Health Monitoring Smart Clothing: Understanding its Acceptance among Older Adults
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Consumer and Design Sciences
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The overall purpose of this study was to investigate and understand the factors that affect older adults’ perception and intention to adopt health monitoring smart clothing. The specific objectives of this study were: (1) to develop a theoretical framework by identifying the key factors that explain older adults’ acceptance of health monitoring smart clothing and (2) to examine the perception and wearing intention of older adults’ health monitoring smart clothing by testing the hypothetical research model. The conceptual model was developed by adapting theoretical elements from Functional-Expressive-Aesthetic Consumer Needs Model combined with tracking dimension and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. An online survey was conducted with a nationwide convenience sample of 376 older adults living in U.S., purchased from reliable market service companies. Before answering the survey questionnaire, participants were guided to watch a short video clip introducing health monitoring smart clothing. The questionnaire consisted of (a) demographic information and (b) close-ended questions including 52 items adapted from the existing scales to measure the 11 constructs, using a 5-point Likert-type scale. Structural equation modeling was used to test overall fit and proposed hypothesized relationships among variables in the model. Moderating effect of the construct, familiarity with technology, in the model was tested by using the latent moderated structural equation. The results from the overall model testing confirmed the positive significant effect of perceived expressive and tracking attributes on performance expectancy and effort expectancy. Perceived expressive attributes also significantly influenced social influence. Wearing intention was significantly influenced by performance expectancy and social influence. Seven out of 16 hypothesized paths in the proposed theoretical framework were supported. The findings imply that older adults who are satisfied with expressive and tracking attributes of health monitoring smart clothing find it useful, easier to use, and socially acceptable, which lead them to more likely use it. This study addressed the existing literature gap which did not consider the impact of clothing attributes on perception and wearing intention of healthcare wearables. The findings can be a useful guide for the apparel industry professionals to expand their product category in this wearable healthcare market. Recommendations for future studies were also presented along with the limitations of this study.