ABSTRACT: The study aim is to explore the perceptions and expectations of seniors in regard to "smart home" technology installed and operated in their homes with the purpose of improving their quality of life and/or monitoring their health status.
Three focus group sessions were conducted within this pilot study to assess older adults' perceptions of the technology and ways they believe technology can improve their daily lives. Themes discussed in these groups included participants' perceptions of the usefulness of devices and sensors in health-related issues such as preventing or detecting falls, assisting with visual or hearing impairments, improving mobility, reducing isolation, managing medications, and monitoring of physiological parameters. The audiotapes were transcribed and a content analysis was performed.
A total of 15 older adults participated in three focus group sessions. Areas where advanced technologies would benefit older adult residents included emergency help, prevention and detection of falls, monitoring of physiological parameters, etc. Concerns were expressed about the user-friendliness of the devices, lack of human response and the need for training tailored to older learners.
All participants had an overall positive attitude towards devices and sensors that can be installed in their homes in order to enhance their lives.
Medical Informatics and the Internet in Medicine 07/2004; 29(2):87-94. · 1.04 Impact Factor