A typology of Information and Communication Technology Users by PEW INTERNET

May 9, 2007

On May 7 PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT publised “A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users“. Here is the Summary of Findings at a Glance:

  • Omnivores: 8% of American adults constitute the most active participants in the information society,consuming information goods and services at a high rate and using them as a platform for participation and self-expression.
  • The Connectors: 7% of the adult population surround themselves with technology and use it to connect with people and digital content. They get a lot out of their mobile devices and participate actively in online life.
  • Lackluster Veterans: 8% of American adults make up a group who are not at all passionate about their abundance of modern ICTs. Few like the intrusiveness their gadgets add to their lives and not many see ICTs adding to their personal productivity.
  • Productivity Enhancers: 9% of American adults happily get a lot of things done with information technology, both at home and at work.
  • Mobile Centrics: 10% of the general population are strongly attached to their cell phones and take advantage of a range of mobile applications.
  • Connected but Hassled: 9% of American adults fit into this group. They have invested in a lot of technology, but the connectivity is a hassle for them.
  • Inexperienced Experimenters: 8% of adults have less ICT on hand than others. They feel competent in dealing with technology, and might do more with it if they had more.
  • Light but Satisfied: 15% of adults have the basics of information technology, use it infrequently and it does not register as an important part of their lives.
  • Indifferents: 11% of adults have a fair amount of technology on hand, but it does not play a central role in their daily lives.
  • Off the Net: 15% of the population, mainly older Americans, is off the modern information network.

Source: Horrigan, John B. A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 2007 (see at ICTconsequences Bibliography)

I really recommend the reading of this article because it is based on a survey with a clear methodological approach and also because their results will help us to understand the use of the Internet, Web 2.0, and their consequences in any field, health included.

A few year ago Parasuraman wrote Technology Readiness Index (Tri): A Multiple-Item Scale to Measure Readiness to Embrace New Technologies. If you read the abstract below you can find some points in common.

The role of technology in customer-company interactions and the number of technology-based products and services have been growing rapidly. Although these developments have benefited customers, there is also evidence of increasing customer frustration in dealing with technology-based systems. Drawing on insights from the extant literature and extensive qualitative research on customer reactions to technology, this article first proposes the construct of technology readiness of people and discusses its conceptualization. It then describes a program of research that was undertaken to operationalize the construct, develop and refine a multiple-item scale to measure it, and assess the scale’s psychometric properties. The article concludes with a discussion of potential practical applications of the scale and an agenda for additional research aimed at deepening our understanding of technology’s role in marketing to and serving customers.

The key point for me is that both analysis have a demand approach. I wonder what will we the consequences of adding the typology of users of ICT or the TRI as a variable in the demand of healthcare services. Will Omnivores users demand more or less healthcare services than the indiferents users?