Article

Reactions to a Remote-Controlled Video-Communication Robot in Seniors' Homes: A Pilot Study of Feasibility and Acceptance

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Abstract

Objective: Remote telepresence provided by tele-operated robotics represents a new means for obtaining important health information, improving older adults' social and daily functioning and providing peace of mind to family members and caregivers who live remotely. In this study we tested the feasibility of use and acceptance of a remotely controlled robot with video-communication capability in independently living, cognitively intact older adults. Materials and methods: A mobile remotely controlled robot with video-communication ability was placed in the homes of eight seniors. The attitudes and preferences of these volunteers and those of family or friends who communicated with them remotely via the device were assessed through survey instruments. Results: Overall experiences were consistently positive, with the exception of one user who subsequently progressed to a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. Responses from our participants indicated that in general they appreciated the potential of this technology to enhance their physical health and well-being, social connectedness, and ability to live independently at home. Remote users, who were friends or adult children of the participants, were more likely to test the mobility features and had several suggestions for additional useful applications. Conclusions: Results from the present study showed that a small sample of independently living, cognitively intact older adults and their remote collaterals responded positively to a remote controlled robot with video-communication capabilities. Research is needed to further explore the feasibility and acceptance of this type of technology with a variety of patients and their care contacts.

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... Questions related to perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use were used to assist in understanding stakeholders' preferences regarding technology and identify adaptations that can be made to the robot (ie, the mobile robot, as both concepts may affect stakeholders' attitude toward using the mobile robot, which can then influence their behavioral intention to use the mobile robot and thereafter, affect actual use). We conducted a literature review to understand the types of questions and qualitative themes found in previous research studies relating to mobile telepresence robots as well as other types of robots that have been developed to assist people with ADRD [18][19][20][21][22][23]. On the basis of this literature review, we developed interview questions that focused on domains that we established a priori to help guide our understanding of how stakeholders perceive the mobile robot's usefulness and ease of use: (1) technology use, (2) design and functionality of the robot, (3) future applications to be incorporated into the robot, and (4) overall opinions about the robot. ...
... For example, stakeholders perceived the videoconferencing function (already available in the robot) to be useful in facilitating communication with friends or family members and for video telehealth visits with providers, which helps strengthen relationships by bridging the distance between individuals [26]. However, similar to previous research that highlights the importance of developing robots based on stakeholder feedback [18,19,27], incorporating several adaptations regarding the robot's design, functionality, and applications would be critical to enhance use for their needs, such as additional development of voice command and help button functions as well as applications related to medication reminders or dispensers and emergency response access [20]. These were perceived as critical features or applications to help people with MCI or ADRD maintain independent living at home; stakeholders raised concerns that these may be barriers to adoption if not incorporated. ...
... Our findings echo previous studies that highlight the importance of aligning and customizing technology functions and applications to end-product users [12,18,19,[28][29][30][31]. ...
Article
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Background: By 2050, nearly 13 million Americans will have Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD), with most of those with ADRD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) receiving home care. Mobile telepresence robots may allow persons with MCI or ADRD to remain living independently at home and ease the burden of caregiving. The goal of this study was to identify how an existing mobile telepresence robot can be enhanced to support at-home care of people with MCI or ADRD through key stakeholder input. Objective: The specific aims were to assess what applications should be integrated into the robot to further support the independence of individuals with MCI or ADRD and understand stakeholders' overall opinions about the robot. Methods: We conducted in-person interviews with 21 stakeholders, including 6 people aged >50 years with MCI or ADRD living in the community, 9 family caregivers of people with MCI or ADRD, and 6 clinicians who work with the ADRD population. Interview questions about the robot focused on technology use, design and functionality, future applications to incorporate, and overall opinions. We conducted a thematic analysis of the data obtained and assessed the patterns within and across stakeholder groups using a matrix analysis technique. Results: Overall, most stakeholders across groups felt positively about the robot's ability to support individuals with MCI or ADRD and decrease caregiver burden. Most ADRD stakeholders felt that the greatest benefits would be receiving help in emergency cases and having fewer in-person visits to the doctor's office. Caregivers and clinicians also noted that remote video communication with their family members using the robot was valuable. Adding voice commands and 1-touch lifesaving or help buttons to the robot were the top suggestions offered by the stakeholders. The 4 types of applications that were suggested included health-related alerts; reminders; smart-home-related applications; and social, entertainment, or well-being applications. Stakeholders across groups liked the robot's mobility, size, interactive connection, and communication abilities. However, stakeholders raised concerns about their physical stability and size for individuals living in smaller, cluttered spaces; screen quality for those with visual impairments; and privacy or data security. Conclusions: Although stakeholders generally expressed positive opinions about the robot, additional adaptations were suggested to strengthen functionality. Adding applications and making improvements to the design may help mitigate concerns and better support individuals with ADRD to live independently in the community. As the number of individuals living with ADRD in the United States increases, mobile telepresence robots are a promising way to support them and their caregivers. Engaging all 3 stakeholder groups in the development of these robots is a critical first step in ensuring that the technology matches their needs. Integrating the feedback obtained from our stakeholders and evaluating their effectiveness will be important next steps in adapting telepresence robots.
... The category "Assistance" represent the largest group of articles encompassed in this systematic literature review. This category comprises 40 papers, gathering research from 2010 to 2017, and also in this case the overwhelming majority of the study took into consideration robots as the technology used: 26 out 40 papers (Granata et al., 2010(Granata et al., , 2013Gross et al., 2011Gross et al., , 2012Wu et al., 2011Wu et al., , 2012Wu et al., , 2013Wu et al., , 2014Wu et al., , 2016Pino et al., 2012Pino et al., , 2015Seelye et al., 2012;Bruno et al., 2013;Schroeter et al., 2013;Nishiura et al., 2014;Pahl and Varadarajan, 2015;Tapus, 2016, 2017;Broughton et al., 2016;Nakahara et al., 2016;Reppou et al., 2016;Bellotto et al., 2017;Darragh et al., 2017;Foukarakis et al., 2017;Korchut et al., 2017;Tsardoulias et al., 2017). The remaining papers are shared between two types of technology: namely, personal devices and wearable sensors, making up 14 out 40 papers (Mitseva et al., 2009;Martínez et al., 2011;Sacco et al., 2012;Diaz-Orueta et al., 2014;Meiland et al., 2014;Batista et al., 2015;König et al., 2015a;Lazarou et al., 2016;Mainetti et al., 2016Mainetti et al., , 2017Vasileiadis et al., 2016;Kyriazakos et al., 2017;Mighali et al., 2017;Stavropoulos et al., 2017). ...
... The authors found that people with MCI had more difficulty with technology than healthy older adults, and they were confused about the robot's purpose and function. For this reason, technology should be introduced to them as early as possible to give them time to become familiar with it, and to increase acceptance and longterm use (Seelye et al., 2012). ...
... Even if neither the first nor the second are totally enthusiastic to the idea of living with a companion robot, healthy subjects seems to have a more positive attitude toward this kind of robots. For this reason, and thinking to maximize the residual ability to learn how to use robots, it is recommended to introduce elderly people, even those with MCI, to the robots as early as possible (Pino et al., 2012;Seelye et al., 2012). A last comment concerning the attitude of elderly people and this type of technology is drawn to the fact that in coming years we will begin to meet elderly individuals who are increasingly confident and more expert with technologies. ...
Article
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Alzheimer's disease, and dementia, represent a common cause of disability and one of the most relevant challenges in the health world. In addition, these conditions do not have, at moment, a pharmacological treatment that can stop the pathological progress. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), defined as the borderline between normal aging and early dementia, represents a meaningful field of study because, in the transition to dementia, clinicians have defined a useful therapeutic window. Additionally, due to the lack of effective pharmacological interventions, recent years have seen an increase in research into new technological solutions to assess, stimulate, and assist patients afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. This review aims to outline the use of information and communication technologies in the field studying MCI. Particularly, the goal is to depict the framework and describe the most worthwhile research efforts, in order to display the current technologies available, describe the research objectives, and delineate prospective future researches. Regarding data sources, the research was conducted within three databases, PubMed Central, Web of Science, and Scopus, between January 2009 and December 2017. A total of 646 articles were found in the initial search. Accurate definition of the exclusion criteria and selection strategy allowed identification of the most relevant papers to use for the study. Finally, 56 papers were fully evaluated and included in this review. Three major clinical application areas have been portrayed, namely “Cognitive Assessment,” “Treatment,” and “Assistance.” These have been combined with three main technological solutions, specifically “Sensors,” “Personal Devices,” and “Robots.” Furthermore, the study of the publications time series illustrates a steadily increasing trend, characterized by the enrollment of small groups of subjects, and particularly oriented to the subjects assistance using robots companion. In conclusion, despite the new technological solutions for people with MCI have received much interest, particularly regarding robots for assistance, nowadays it still owns vast room for improvement.
... Moreover, aged care providers need to familiarize residents with the technology and ensure that they are aware of its Videoconferencing for social connectedness among older adults purposes and features since some residents might be confused why their loved ones were on the screen, but they could not touch them. This recommendation was highlighted in the reviewed papers (Beringer et al. 2013;Boman et al. 2014a;Boman et al. 2014b;Moyle et al. 2014;Moyle et al. 2019;Moyle et al. 2020;Seelye et al. 2012;Tsai et al. 2010b;Zamir et al. 2021). ...
... Banbury et al. 2017;Beringer et al. 2013;Boman et al. 2014a;Boman et al. 2014b;Hemberg et al. 2018;Moyle et al. 2014;Moyle et al. 2019;Moyle et al. 2020;Sacco et al. 2020;Seelye et al. 2012;Tsai et al. 2010a;Tsai et al. 2010b;Zamir et al. 2021;Zamir et al. 2018). ...
... Boman et al. 2014a;Boman et al. 2014b;Moyle et al. 2014;Moyle et al. 2019;Moyle et al. 2020;Seelye et al. 2012;Tsai et al. 2010b;Zamir et al. 2021). In this case, an amount of learning was required to use videoconferencing. ...
Conference Paper
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Videoconferencing has been increasingly used for social connectedness in residential aged care (RAC). In sensitive settings such as RAC, it is important that technologies are introduced with careful consideration of people's needs and experiences with the technology, to ensure that the desired benefits are realised. This paper reviews research evidence about older adults using videoconferencing for social connectedness and issues raised by that use in order to identify strategies RAC providers can adopt to achieve a greater likelihood of sustainability. Fourteen articles were included for in-depth review. Devices featuring videoconferencing in the studies reviewed ranged from tablets to telepresence robots. Most study participants perceived videoconferencing as beneficial for social connectedness. The implementation of videoconferencing in RAC is impacted by differences in sociotechnical systems. This paper contributes key considerations for the future design and implementation of videoconferencing for social connectedness in RAC and opportunities for future work in this area.
... Several studies have highlighted the importance of robot butlers or robot servants in the daily activities of seniors. 45,51,61,63 However, there are some issues with household robots that should be anticipated, for instance, failure of the robot's operation could damage the residence. 46 Regardless of potential benefits offered by socially assistive robots, seniors argued that a robot is not needed to manage daily activities, 34 since those functionalities are already provided by other, existing commercial products, such as mobile phones and global positioning systems (GPS). ...
... Seelye et al. 61 proposed using a telepresence robot to enable active communication between seniors and their relatives. Findings from the study were that some participants felt slightly confused when operating handheld remotes and one participant with mild cognitive impairment found that controlling the robot was sometimes quite overwhelming due to its complexity. ...
... 31 Autonomy must be granted to users to solve these privacy concerns. 61 Seniors should be able to decide who can directly contact them, for example, through mobile robotic telepresence, as demonstrated in the ORCATECH Living Laboratory project. 61 Moreover, it was recommended that a surveillance robot must be accompanied by a specific formulated policy to ensure privacy rights of seniors are protected within a residential environment. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to explore challenges underlying seniors’ adoption of assistive robots. A systematic literature review involved three stages: the first two stages focused on identifying and selecting relevant papers, followed by extracting and analyzing data from selected papers. Analysis revealed several issues which were categorized based on robot type: rehabilitation or socially assistive. Negative influences related to seniors’ concerns about cost, design issues, negative perceptions, safety and privacy concerns; positive influences included ease of use and potential benefits.
... (see Figure 9.5). It provides a means for obtaining health information, improving older adults' social and daily functioning, and giving peace of mind to family members and caregivers who live remotely (Seelye et al. 2012). e VGo robot can be controlled locally through a handheld controller or remotely over the Internet. ...
... e current applications of the other robots presented in this chapter are not abundant. To the best of our knowledge, there is one study trialing the VGo robot with end users (Seelye et al. 2012) and some user studies with the Care-O-bot robot (Bedaf et al. 2016;Marti and Iacono 2015). Multicountry VictoryaHome user trials are currently being executed (Serrano et al. 2014). ...
... Further research (i.e., independent randomized clinical trials) is still needed to establish the e cacy of SARs such as PARO in the treatment of elderly people. e robot VGo was placed in the homes of eight older adults who lived alone in their own homes and had no cognitive impairment (Seelye et al. 2012). Results from rst user trials indicated that older adults appreciated the potential of telepresence robotic technology of the VGo to support physical health and well-being, social connectedness, and the ability to live independently at home. ...
... The older adults' opinions towards the system were primarily positive, although concerns were noted as well (Beer & Takayama, 2011). Similarly, in previous studies with older adults, their family, caregivers, and healthcare workers, participants perceived advantages and disadvantages of telepresence (Cesta, Cortellessa, Orlandini & Tiberio, 2012;Helal & Abdulrazak, 2006;Seelye et al., 2012). Yet, results from these studies showed that these participants also held predominately positive attitudes toward telepresence systems. ...
... In these prior studies, potential benefits of telepresence were identified, including visualization, remote monitoring, time efficiency, reducing isolation, mobility, feeling of "being there", convenience, and health diagnosis (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013). Concerns about using telepresence technology that were discussed in these studies included privacy (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013;Seelye et al., 2012), ease of use (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012), size of the system (Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013), and low level of technology autonomy (Cesta et al., 2012). ...
... In these prior studies, potential benefits of telepresence were identified, including visualization, remote monitoring, time efficiency, reducing isolation, mobility, feeling of "being there", convenience, and health diagnosis (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013). Concerns about using telepresence technology that were discussed in these studies included privacy (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013;Seelye et al., 2012), ease of use (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012), size of the system (Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013), and low level of technology autonomy (Cesta et al., 2012). ...
Conference Paper
For older adults with mobility impairment, maintaining health and wellness while aging-in-place independently is crucial. Telepresence technology, such as Kubi, can be potentially beneficial for this target population to stay socially connected [1]. However, the Kubi robot is not specifically designed for older adults with mobility impairment. For this target population to adopt the technology successfully, it is important to ensure that they would not experience usability barriers. Thus, we conducted usability testing of Kubi with five older adults with self-reported mobility impairment. The findings indicated both hardware and GUI problematic issues for this population. Hardware problems were primarily related to the base. GUI usability issues were caused by system visibility and control of the robot. These findings provide direction for improving the usability of telepresence robots, particularly for adults aging with mobility impairment.
... The older adults' opinions towards the system were primarily positive, although concerns were noted as well (Beer & Takayama, 2011). Similarly, in previous studies with older adults, their family, caregivers, and healthcare workers, participants perceived advantages and disadvantages of telepresence (Cesta, Cortellessa, Orlandini & Tiberio, 2012;Helal & Abdulrazak, 2006;Seelye et al., 2012). Yet, results from these studies showed that these participants also held predominately positive attitudes toward telepresence systems. ...
... In these prior studies, potential benefits of telepresence were identified, including visualization, remote monitoring, time efficiency, reducing isolation, mobility, feeling of "being there", convenience, and health diagnosis (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013). Concerns about using telepresence technology that were discussed in these studies included privacy (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013;Seelye et al., 2012), ease of use (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012), size of the system (Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013), and low level of technology autonomy (Cesta et al., 2012). ...
... In these prior studies, potential benefits of telepresence were identified, including visualization, remote monitoring, time efficiency, reducing isolation, mobility, feeling of "being there", convenience, and health diagnosis (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013). Concerns about using telepresence technology that were discussed in these studies included privacy (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013;Seelye et al., 2012), ease of use (Beer & Takayama, 2011;Seelye et al., 2012), size of the system (Cesta et al., 2012;Rantanen, 2013), and low level of technology autonomy (Cesta et al., 2012). ...
Article
Mobility is a key component for older adults to maintain wellness and health while aging-in-place independently. However, older adults with mobility impairments may experience challenges in remaining socially connected. Telepresence systems hold much potential to help older adults with mobility impairments. However, telepresence systems are not specifically designed with this population’s capabilities and limitations in mind – creating many potential usability barriers. We conducted a heuristic evaluation of three telepresence systems. The results of the evaluation indicated a range of design issues. Issues related to the base height, un-adjustable screen height, camera resolution, microphone/speaker quality, and sensor sensitivity were categorized as hardware problems. Usability issues caused by poor network connectivity, lack of privacy settings, lack of notifications of the system status, and limited control of the system were identified as software problems. It is critical that designers consider and address these findings to ensure that telepresence systems are usable by individuals with a wide range of abilities.
... In the selected publications, robots were used in hospitals, laboratories, care homes for the elderly, and private homes. A total of 16 studies were carried out in Europe [26,35,36,[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46]48,50,[53][54][55], 4 in America (USA) [19,34,49,51], 1 in Asia (Japan) [44], and 3 in Oceania (New Zealand and Australia) [37,47,52]. Experimental times ranged from 1 day to 18 months. ...
... The selected articles included studies carried out with healthy OAs (four studies) [19,35,43,44], as well as OAs suffering from mild neurocognitive disorders (two studies) [36,49], major neurocognitive disorders or dementia (one study) [47], or multiple comorbidities (one study) [34]. Four studies included one healthy group and one mild cognitive impairment (MCI) group [19,34,49,51]. Twelve studies did not report information on the characteristics of the recruited OAs [26,38,40,42,45,[47][48][49][50]52,55]. ...
... The number of older participants in the studies ranged from n = 1 to n = 53. Six studies included family members, [26,42,47,48,50,51], and eight included health professionals (nurses, orderlies, occupational therapists) [34,36,37,40,45,47,48]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Social isolation is a common phenomenon among the elderly. Retirement, widowhood, and increased prevalence of chronic diseases in this age group lead to a decline in social relationships, which in turn has adverse consequences on health and well-being. The coronavirus COVID-19 crisis worsened this situation, raising interest for mobile telepresence robots (MTR) that would help create, maintain, and strengthen social relationships. MTR are tools equipped with a camera, monitor, microphone, and speaker, with a body on wheels that allows for remote-controlled and sometimes autonomous movement aiming to provide easy access to assistance and networking services. We conducted a narrative review of literature describing experimental studies of MTR involving elderly people over the last 20 years, including during the COVID-19 period. The aim of this review was to examine whether MTR use was beneficial for reducing loneliness and social isolation among older adults at home and in health and care institutions and to examine the current benefits and barriers to their use and implementation. We screened 1754 references and included 24 research papers focusing on the usability, acceptability, and effectiveness of MTR. News reports on MTR use during the COVID-19 period were also examined. A qualitative, multidimensional analysis methodology inspired by a health technology assessment model was used to identify facilitating and limiting factors and investigate if and how MTR could reduce social isolation in elderly people. Reviewed studies provide encouraging evidence that MTR have potential in this regard, as experiments report positive feedback on MTR design and core functionalities. However, our analysis also points to specific technical, ergonomic, and ethical challenges that remain to be solved, highlighting the need for further multidimensional research on the design and impact of MTR interventions for older adults and building on new insights gained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
... A total of 205 records were identified via preliminary database searching. After eliminating duplicates, 166 records were screened and eighteen studies were included in this review (see Figure 1): one randomized controlled trial (Yueh et al., 2001), four longitudinal (Arthanat, Vroman, & Lysack, 2016;Bla zun, Saranto, Kokol, & Vo sner, 2012;Sohlberg, Fickas, Ehlhardt, & Todis, 2005;van Middendorp, Watkins, Park, & Landymore, 2015) and thirteen descriptive studies (Chou, Chang, Lee, Chou, & Mills, 2013;Laffont et al., 2007;Lancioni et al., 2010;Lin, Tang, & Kuo, 2012;Papa, Cornacchia, Sapio, & Nicolo, 2016b;Saracchini, Catalina, & Bordoni, 2015;Savolainen, Hanson, Magnusson, & Gustavsson, 2008;Schettini et al., 2015;Seelye et al., 2012;Sellers, Ryan, & Hauser, 2014;Torta et al., 2014;Wherton et al., 2012;Wu et al., 2015), among them, two series of cases (Lancioni et al., 2010;Sohlberg et al., 2005) and one case report (Sellers et al., 2014). ...
... Most of the studies included only apparently healthy participants with communication limitations due to natural aging related changes (Arthanat et al., 2016;Bla zun et al., 2012;Chou et al., 2013;Lin et al., 2012;Papa et al., 2016b;Saracchini et al., 2015;Savolainen et al., 2008;Seelye et al., 2012;Torta et al., 2014;Wherton et al., 2012;Wu et al., 2015) and the others included persons with a pathological problem that prevented them from usual communication (Laffont et al., 2007;Lancioni et al., 2010;Schettini et al., 2015;Sellers et al., 2014;Sohlberg et al., 2005;van Middendorp et al., 2015;Yueh et al., 2001). Description of the studies according to sample, instrument, main findings and potential values are presented in Table 2. ...
... First, we will discuss the interventions that used AT for people with speech problems, such as a speech synthesizer (Laffont et al., 2007), microswitches (Lancioni et al., 2010), BCI (Schettini et al., 2015;Sellers et al., 2014) or ECTS (van Middendorp et al., 2015). Second, interventions via any type of robot or videoconferencing systems (Chou et al., 2013;Savolainen et al., 2008;Seelye et al., 2012;Torta et al., 2014) will be discussed. Third, we will deliberate the studies which used Information and Communication Technologies as a type of AT (Arthanat et al., 2016;Bla zun et al., 2012;Lin et al., 2012;Papa et al., 2016b;Saracchini et al., 2015;Sohlberg et al., 2005;Wu et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Objective: Describe the use of assistive technology to enhance communication opportunities for older adults. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in two databases, PubMed and Web of Science, by using two different searches in each. The search was limited to original articles, in English language, including people aged 60 years and older that used any type of assistive technology for communication. The articles found in the initial search were filtered by title, abstracts and the remaining articles were fully read. Results: Eighteen studies were included in this review after the reading of full-texts. Most of the studies included apparently healthy participants with communication limitations due to aging related changes and the others included people with some pathology that prevent them from normal communication. Conclusion: Four categories of assistive technology were identified: assistive technology for people with speech problems; robot or videoconferencing systems; Information and Communication Technologies and, other types of assistive technology for communication, such as hearing aids and scrapbooks. Assistive technology for communication of older adults is not only used by people with disabilities that prevent them from usual communication. They are mostly for older adults without a pathological communication problem.
... Robots have been proposed as one form of assistive technology likely to have much potential to support older adults, maintain their independence, and enhance their wellbeing. [1][2][3][4] Enthusiasm for developing robotic technologies to assist the elderly is linked with the belief that there is a societal need (an aging society with few human caregivers available to care for the elderly) to be met by these technological innovations, which could save costs for public services or care-assurance budgets. 5 According to Broekens et al 6 robot research in eldercare includes two kinds of assistive robots, namely rehabilitation robots and social robots. ...
... Acceptance of an assistive robot in older adults learning to use a robot. We explored if MCI subjects would have more negative reactions to a robot, as shown in the study of Seelye et al. 3 The project was approved by the local ethics board, the Comité Consultatif sur le Traitement de l'Information en Matière de Recherche dans le Domaine de la Santé and the Commission Nationale Informatique et Liberté. ...
Article
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Background There is growing interest in investigating acceptance of robots, which are increasingly being proposed as one form of assistive technology to support older adults, maintain their independence, and enhance their well-being. In the present study, we aimed to observe robot-acceptance in older adults, particularly subsequent to a 1-month direct experience with a robot. Subjects and methods Six older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and five cognitively intact healthy (CIH) older adults were recruited. Participants interacted with an assistive robot in the Living Lab once a week for 4 weeks. After being shown how to use the robot, participants performed tasks to simulate robot use in everyday life. Mixed methods, comprising a robot-acceptance questionnaire, semistructured interviews, usability-performance measures, and a focus group, were used. Results Both CIH and MCI subjects were able to learn how to use the robot. However, MCI subjects needed more time to perform tasks after a 1-week period of not using the robot. Both groups rated similarly on the robot-acceptance questionnaire. They showed low intention to use the robot, as well as negative attitudes toward and negative images of this device. They did not perceive it as useful in their daily life. However, they found it easy to use, amusing, and not threatening. In addition, social influence was perceived as powerful on robot adoption. Direct experience with the robot did not change the way the participants rated robots in their acceptance questionnaire. We identified several barriers to robot-acceptance, including older adults’ uneasiness with technology, feeling of stigmatization, and ethical/societal issues associated with robot use. Conclusion It is important to destigmatize images of assistive robots to facilitate their acceptance. Universal design aiming to increase the market for and production of products that are usable by everyone (to the greatest extent possible) might help to destigmatize assistive devices.
... The essential aim is to enable autonomy and quality of life while coping with different and possibly progressive incapacities. The provision of teleoperated assistive mobile robots to support the provision of home telehealth services is one potential solution (1,(3)(4)(5)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13). Such robots could support effective use of complex instrumentation and reduce overall costs of home care. ...
... Furthermore, any clinical or health setting can be considered as an enterprise with an ordered process of specific activities centered around its primary mission to promote and foster the quality of patient care (22,9,23,10,24,25). The specific activities, sometimes known as business processes, undertaken in any clinical setting revolve around three major themes: care, including at specialist and community levels, constant innovation, and education. ...
Article
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Objective: The objective of this study was to design effectively integrated information architecture for a mobile teleoperated robot in remote assistance to the delivery of home health care. Methods: Three role classes were identified related to the deployment of a telerobot, namely, engineer, technology integrator, and health professional. Patients and natural caregivers were indirectly considered, this being a component of future field studies. Interviewing representatives of each class provided the functions, and information content and flows for each function. Interview transcripts enabled the formulation of UML (Universal Modeling Language) diagrams for feedback from participants. The proposed information architecture was validated with a use-case scenario. Results: The integrated information architecture incorporates progressive design, ergonomic integration, and the home care needs from medical specialist, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and social worker care perspectives. The integrated architecture iterative process promoted insight among participants. The use-case scenario evaluation showed the design's robustness. Conclusions: Complex innovation such as a telerobot must coherently mesh with health-care service delivery needs. The deployment of integrated information architecture bridging development, with specialist and home care applications, is necessary for home care technology innovation. It enables continuing evolution of robot and novel health information design in the same integrated architecture, while accounting for patient ecological need.
... A recent dog-like robot called MiRo has been developed to do home patrolling and security [36]. Another class of service robots is non-mobile or mobile robots without manipulator such as Vgo, designed primarily for clinician and caregiver use to monitor elders [22][23][24], the HOBBIT prototype robots, focused on preventing and detecting falls in elders [25], Kompai communication assistant [27,28], and Giraff companion robot [26]. ...
... Studies show the PARO can be used to effect longlasting changes in mental health as supported by changes in brain activation patterns pre-and post-use of the robot. The Vgo telepresence robot has been shown to provide opportunity to connect elders to their caregivers and family by providing a virtual "in person" environment [21][22][23][24]. The Kompai robot offered an opportunity for a low-cost communication [28]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The high cost of elder care combined with the shortage of caregivers lead us to consider how service robots can be affordably leveraged to support the independence of elders and the work of their caregivers and clinicians. Our objective is to gain design insight into tasks older adults desire to accomplish daily in a low-resource, assisted living setting and how an affordable service robot could suit. A need-finding design approach consisting of focus groups and surveys was completed with three stakeholders groups: Elders, Clinicians, and Caregivers. Stakeholders were asked to identify and then prioritize service tasks by importance and frustration. Thirty-six unique high priority tasks were identified. Instrumental activities of daily living, a desire to have their preferences known, leisure activities, and increased opportunities for socialization were the most important tasks that the elders wanted a low-cost mobile service robot to address. Clinicians and caregivers prioritized highly safety-related reminders and assistance in complying with care plans in assessment of elder task needs. Service robots exist that do some, but not all of these desired tasks. An effective and affordable service robot requires design trade-offs in terms of cost, preference and complexity. A low-cost robot targeting reminders, companion walking, hydration and fetching assistance was suggested as an initial prototype. Prototypes may address high priority desires of all stakeholders, but robots that can intervene and affect long-lasting changes in elder care are still needed.
... 19 Seelye et al. conducted an assessment that was limited to the installation and set up of computer software, communications experience and driving experience. 20 In our evaluation, we assessed the clinical function of the robot by investigating its ability to detect hazards. ...
... The enthusiastic attitudes of patients in our study toward the robot matched the enthusiasm of participants in the two studies mentioned above. 19,20 Potential loss of privacy was not a concern for our participants. Taken together, these results suggest that older adults are open to using robot technology and remote monitoring to enhance their health care, even though it might affect their privacy. ...
Article
We examined the feasibility of using a remotely maneuverable robot to make home hazard assessments for fall prevention. We employed use-case simulations to compare robot assessments with in-person assessments. We screened the homes of nine elderly patients (aged 65 years or more) for fall risks using the HEROS screening assessment. We also assessed the participants' perspectives of the remotely-operated robot in a survey. The nine patients had a median Short Blessed Test score of 8 (interquartile range, IQR 2-20) and a median Life-Space Assessment score of 46 (IQR 27-75). Compared to the in-person assessment (mean = 4.2 hazards identified per participant), significantly more home hazards were perceived in the robot video assessment (mean = 7.0). Only two checklist items (adequate bedroom lighting and a clear path from bed to bathroom) had more than 60% agreement between in-person and robot video assessment. Participants were enthusiastic about the robot and did not think it violated their privacy. The study found little agreement between the in-person and robot video hazard assessments. However, it identified several research questions about how to best use remotely-operated robots.
... Autonomy is a key feature to provide uninterrupted access to the system, enabling it to provide assistance in everyday life [2]. -Privacy: Especially in nursing homes and public buildings, the system should give a clear indication when audio input is being processed and transmitted to external servers [1,8,25,38]. The activation and deactivation of the listening function of the system should be easily possible for the user. ...
... This makes the interaction with the VUI less natural and puts a burden on the memory load of users. Furthermore, similar to related research [1,25,38] privacy and transparency concerns have been raised by participants and should be taken into account for an updated version of the developed system. Lastly, several limitations had to be made during for the conducted usability test. ...
Conference Paper
Elderly people and especially people with dementia often experience social isolation and need assistance while performing activities of daily living. We investigate a novel approach to cope with this problem by integrating voice assistants and social assistance robots. Due to the special communication needs of people with mild cog-nitive impairment, the design of interfaces of such systems is to be based on the particular requirements of the target user group. This paper investigates, how a voice user interface should be designed for elderly users with mild cognitive impairment-such as an early stage of dementia-to provide personalised support throughout activities of daily living. A context and user analysis delivered a set of 11 guidelines for voice user interfaces for people with demen-tia. For a pilot study we selected those strategies often applied by caregivers in their communication with people with dementia and evaluated the voice user interface among elderly participants and healthcare workers who reported a high feasibility, usefulness and acceptance of the designed system.
... Adhering to the assessment items for qualitative research [19,20], the authors ensured the rigor of this research and double-checked the participants' understanding by summarizing and explaining the interviews immediately after finishing the interviews. ...
... In this research, the needs for and acceptance of the elderly regarding robotic technology services were determined to be significantly high, which is consistent with the study Seelye et al. [20] conducted on elderly people who were able to live independent lives and had no cognitive disorders, similar to the participants of the present study; the researchers determined that they had a positive utility and acceptance of robotic technology services. However, this differs from the findings of a study conducted by Wu et al. [21], in which 11 seniors lived with robots for four weeks, after which their acceptance and level of use of the robotic technologies were analysed. ...
Article
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Background: The rate of aging in Korea is extremely fast compared to major countries. We examined the key demands of community-dwelling older adults with regard to Connected Active Space technology, which provides tailored assistance with daily living performance through robotic services. Methods: This study is based on a mixed-method design, through a quantitative survey (n = 234) first phase, followed by a qualitative study with focus group interviews (n = 23) to explore the needs and acceptance of community-dwelling aged people concerning the application of robot technology in their daily lives. Results: The scores concerning the need for and acceptance of robot services to assist daily living performance were high, at 7.2 and 7.9 out of 10 points, respectively. Further, for both needs and acceptance, timely reaction to emergency situations, early detection of emergency situations, help to locate objects, assistance with mobility, and assistance in memory recall were prioritized (in that order). In a thematic analysis of qualitative data from three focus-group interviews, a 'mismatch between desires and functional capacity' was the core characteristic of living as an older person and 'being a friend and helper' was the most desired trait of a robot service. Conclusion: Although most of the participants lived independently, they regularly experienced difficulties regarding buying products, transportation, using phones, and preparing meals. If appropriate assistance technology is developed, this population can maintain its independence. Thus, it is necessary to address main needs, including detecting and addressing emergency situations, locating objects, assisting mobility and memory recall, and assisting with daily living performance. New robot services that can be tailored to the functions or abilities of the elderly must be developed based on individually collected information.
... Furthermore, the main limitation of this study lies in the sample size, and more samples will provide more reliable results. Obviously, the qualitative research of small samples has also obtained interesting findings in previous related studies [83,84]. In subsequent studies, we should expand the scale of participants as much as possible. ...
Article
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The development of robot technology provides many possibilities for the life support of the elderly. This study explored the acceptability of robots to assist the elderly from the perspective of future designers. A quantitative questionnaire (58 copies) and a qualitative one-to-one interview (10 people) were conducted to explore the attitude of future designers towards the use of robots to assist the elderly. One-sample Wilcoxon signed-rank test statistic was used to analyze the data of the questionnaire. The results show that the mean and median of 11 of the 12 dimensions of the acceptability questionnaire are greater than 3 (3 represents uncertain and neutral attitude), and 10 have statistical significance (p < 0.05). Also, the interview results show the positive attitude of future designers. The research shows that future designers hold a positive and open attitude towards the use of robots to assist the elderly. The research findings can help people understand the attitude of future designers and provide some reference for subsequent robot design and development.
... Beer and Takayama [3] and Frennert et al. [4] examined older adults' openness to assistive robots and their perceptions of using a robot at home, and they found that the usability of the robot was more important than the appearance. Seelye et al. [5] examined older adults' acceptance of a robot in the home environment. The users were satisfied with the robot and expressed little concern about integrity issues, although they emphasised the importance of having control over who had access and could thus contact them through the robot. ...
Article
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Purpose: To evaluate the usability of a mobile telepresence robot (MTR) in a hospital training apartment (HTA). The MTR was manoeuvred remotely and was used for communication when assessing independent living skills, and for security monitoring of cognitively impaired patients. Method: Occupational therapists (OTs) and nurses received training in how to use the MTR. The nurses completed a questionnaire regarding their expectations of using the MTR. OTs and patients staying in the HTA were interviewed about their experiences of the MTR. Interviews and questionnaires were analysed qualitatively. Results: The HTA patients were very satisfied with the MTR. The OTs and nurses reported generally positive experiences. The OT's found that assessment via the MTR was more neutral than being physically present. However, the use of the MTR implied considerable difficulties for health-care professionals. The main obstacle for the nurses was the need for fast and easy access in emergency situations while protecting the patients' integrity. Conclusions: The results indicate that the MTR could be a useful tool to support daily living skills and safety monitoring of HTA patients. However, when designing technology for multiple users, such as health-care professionals, the needs of all users, their routines and support services involved, should also be considered. Implications for Rehabilitation A mobile telepresence robot (MTR) can be a useful tool for assessments and communication in rehabilitation. The design of the robot has to allow easy use by remote users, particularly in emergency situations. When designing MTRs the needs of ALL users have to be taken into consideration.
... Tsai and Tsai (41) show that only 3 months of 5 minutes per week of videoconferencing interaction with family alleviated depressive symptoms and loneliness for nursing home residents, as compared to a control group, over a period of a year. Seelye et al. (37) show that tele-operated robotic-controlled videoconferencing is perceived by independently living, cognitively healthy older adults as enhancing their well-being and physical health, social connectedness, and ability to live at home. Additionally, the concept of creating comfort and the role of communication in hospice care is explored in Ferguson et al. (14). ...
Article
Full-text available
Large numbers of individuals, many of them senior citizens, live in social isolation. This typically leads to loneliness, depression, and vulnerability, and subsequently to other negative health consequences. We report on research focused on understanding the communication needs of people in environments associated with social isolation and loneliness, and how technology facilitates social connection. Our work consists of successive iterations of field studies and technology prototype design, deployment, and analysis. Particular attention is paid to seniors in retirement communities and in long-term care settings (nursing homes). We present design implications for technology to enable seniors' social connections, the "InTouch" prototype that satisfies most of the implications, and a report on one older adult's experience of InTouch.
... Beer and Takayama [3] and Frennert et al. [4] examined older adults' openness to assistive robots and their perceptions of using a robot at home, and they found that the usability of the robot was more important than the appearance. Seelye et al. [5] examined older adults' acceptance of a robot in the home environment. The users were satisfied with the robot and expressed little concern about integrity issues, although they emphasised the importance of having control over who had access and could thus contact them through the robot. ...
Article
This exploratory study examined nurses' perceptions of using the robot 'Giraff' in their work in brain injury rehabilitation. The robot is a mobile robotic that is driven remotely via a computer and pc-mouse. All nurses at a rehabilitation clinic in Stockholm, Sweden received training in how to handle the 'Giraff'. After the training session they were asked to answer a questionnaire regarding their perceptions of using the robot in their work. The results indicated that the robot 'Giraff' could be useful to check on the patient, handle alarms and unforeseen situations and be funny to use. The potentials of the robot reported prompt for further research into the use of mobile telepresence robotics in brain injury rehabilitation. In a forthcoming study we are going to interview patients, occupational therapists and nurses' to assess their experiences in using the 'Giraff'.
... For example, the VGo has a 21-button handheld remote. Seeyle et al. (2012), who conducted a 2day trial with elderly people using VGo, found that such a remote can be confusing to use. ...
Article
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This article reports on the EU project ExCITE with specific focus on the technical development of the telepresence platform over a period of 42 months. The aim of the project was to assess the robustness and validity of the mobile robotic telepresence (MRP) system Giraff as a means to support elderly people and to foster their social interaction and participation. Embracing the idea of user-centered product refinement, the robot was tested over long periods of time in real homes. As such, the system development was driven by a strong involvement of elderly people and their caregivers but also by technical challenges associated with deploying the robot in real-world contexts. The results of the 42-months’ long evaluation is a system suitable for use in homes rather than a generic system suitable, for example, in office environments.
... Research has shown that the form of a telepresence robot can influence the perceptions and behavior of both the operator and the individuals interacting with the robot [5,6,7,8], yet there is little research into the form of telepresence robots in terms of social acceptance and perceived suitability for a given context. Healthcare and care for the elderly are two key areas of telepresence research, with a number of studies highlighting the potential benefits and exploring the acceptability of such systems [9,10,11,12,13]. As the technology progresses and becomes more widespread, the suitability of the hardware design for a given application should be considered to ensure positive user experiences. ...
Article
Research has shown that the form of a telepresence robot can affect the thoughts and behaviour of both the operators and individuals interacting with the robot, however there has been little research into how potential users perceive the various forms of robot in a range of social contexts. This paper reports on a survey study which sought to investigate this topic. The study finds that perceptions of suitability differ across the various forms of telepresence robot and that perceptions of suitability for specific activities were affected by gender.
... Telepresence robots have been tested in different settings for their potential to support social relationships for elderly people. Both lab and in-home short trials have reported mostly positive perceptions of mobile telepresence systems e.g., [18,19]. In addition, long-term studies of a telepresence robot supporting independent living have shown positive influences [4,20]. ...
Article
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Robotic telepresence is a potential technology to help alleviating the loneliness of elderly people. The impacts of long-term use of telepresence robots in residential care are not well known. We were interested in how using a telepresence robot influences the resident, family members and care workers at a facility, and what challenges and solutions there are for wider adoption of such robots in residential care. With a telepresence robot Double, we arranged a series of three trials in two separate residential care facilities: one 12-week trial in a private facility and two successive 6-week trials in a public facility. In each trial, we installed the telepresence robot in a room of a long-term care home resident for communicating with her/his family members. Based on the results, telepresence robots do increase presence and possibly engagement of family members in residential care, but privacy is a central concern. The mobility of a telepresence robot is hard to utilize in residential care, and to be able to do so, ethical consideration and guidelines are needed. We provide a draft of such ethical guidelines.
... 16: Actuation efficiency of a ball drive actuator for linear X and Y motion as a function of ψ and rotation about Z as a function of α ...
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This paper provides an overview of the literature concerning Seniors’ psychological perspective in exploiting assistive robots and the embodied conversational agents. The main theoretical models devoted to assess user’s technology acceptance are briefly reviewed along with a description of the main factors empirically found to be positively/negatively associated with Seniors’ acceptance level. Special attention is reserved to barriers generated by Seniors’ representations of social assistive technologies, such as, a stigma or threat to their autonomy, infantilization, privacy interferences, fear of dehumanization and isolation.
Conference Paper
Increasing prevalence of dementia matched with higher demand on healthcare services poses a challenge to society. The use of innovative technologies such as robotics has been identified as one of the solutions to this predicament. The design of Socially Assistive Robots (SAR) is a multidisciplinary field that needs to incorporate the diverse requirements of people with dementia and their carers. This paper attempts to identify important considerations for the successful design of SARs and to categorize them. A taxonomy of SAR's features is proposed, best practice design approaches, technology acceptance and ethical issues are examined. Recommendations for future areas of research are outlined.
Article
The proportion of older adults who live alone in single households is growing continuously. In the care of these solo-living older adults, electronic assistive technology (EAT) can play an important role. The objective of this review is to investigate the effects of EAT on the wellbeing of community-dwelling older adults living alone in single households. A systematic review of English articles was conducted based on PMC, Scopus, Web of Science and the Cochrane database. Additional studies were identified from the references. In total, 16 studies were identified, six of them with follow-up. There is evidence that EAT can improve the physical and mental wellbeing of older adults. There was little evidence that EAT can improve social wellbeing. We conclude that more personalized designs and interventions, and more user engagement could be embedded in the design of EAT for solo-living community-dwelling older adults and that more evidence is needed regarding the effects of those interventions.
Article
Living laboratories are real-life settings with embedded heterogeneous technology, where subjects can conduct their everyday activities while researchers measure and observe their interactions with pervasive technology. Early examples of living labs for pervasive healthcare research include home environments with sensing and control infrastructure, such as the Aware Home at Georgia Tech and the PlaceLab at MIT. These labs offer realistic conditions but aren't actual living spaces. Here, the authors focus on actual living spaces that have been instrumented to design and evaluate pervasive healthcare systems and applications: The Life Laboratory at the Oregon Center for Aging a Technology (ORCATECH); TigerPlace, a senior housing facility in Missouri; and Life at a Pie (Living at a Pervasive Interaction Environment) in Tijuana, Mexico.
Article
The dual challenge of increasing numbers of older adults and overall increases in those with some form of insurance is driving the need to develop and evaluate novel methods of primary care delivery such as telehealth. The goal of this study was to explore the acceptability and usability of a remote presence robot (RPR) in a simulated primary care wellness encounter for older adults. A descriptive exploratory study was used to determine the acceptability and usability of the RPR operated by an APRN 250 miles from 13 older adults residing in a high rise during a simulated primary care visit. The results support previous research that technology such as the RPR can be both acceptable and useful for an older adult and primary care provider but only in certain circumstances. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Article
Objective: To examine the effectiveness of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in reducing social isolation in older people and draw recommendations from previous literature appropriate for informing ICT use in future mandated periods of isolation. Methods: A systematically conducted review of key databases to identify studies investigating ICT interventions that targeted social isolation or loneliness among older people. Results: Fifteen articles were identified. All articles used ICT as an intervention for targeting social isolation with varying results. Most studies reported positive impacts on social isolation, but this was identified more in self-reporting compared to changes in baseline measures. The types of ICT used included videoconferencing, Internet-based applications and purpose-designed applications. A number of factors were also identified throughout the studies that impacted uptake that should be considered when implementing ICT. Conclusions: Overall, we found evidence of ICT improving social connectedness of older people to some extent although more rigorous research in future is needed. Recommendations from previous literature highlight the importance of including older people in purposeful design, engaging families and support networks, and providing ongoing ICT training and support so that systems and skills are in place for future periods of mandated isolation. The literature also warns us not to rely on ICT as the only avenue for social interaction either during or outside periods of social distancing.
Article
Telepresence has the potential to assist older adults to stay socially connected and to access telehealth. Telepresence was initially created for office use, thus the usability of telepresence for older adults remains unknown and there is a lack of design recommendations, particularly those with an emphasis on users’ age-related needs and limitations. To bridge the gap, this study assessed two telepresence user interfaces (UIs). One UI was designed to mimic common features founds in commercially available telepresence systems. Another UI was designed based on design guidelines for older adults. Each UI was integrated to a virtual driving environment created via Unity. To assess the usability of both UIs, thirty older adults participated in usability testing. Questionnaires and semi-structured interview were administered following each UI test sessions. Results of this study provide insight on what usability features are critical for the aging population to use telepresence, such as high color contrast, automated controls, and consistent icons.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the publicity around the implementation of the Zora robot in elderly-care services in Lahti, Finland. The aim is to discover opinions concerning the use of robots in elderly care as well as the arguments and justifications behind those opinions. Zora is a humanoid robot intended to promote mobility and rehabilitation. The Lahti pilot was the first Zora pilot in Finland in public elderly-care services. It received much publicity, both regionally and nationally. Design/methodology/approach This study is based on an empirical case study on the implementation of the Zora robot in elderly-care services. The data consist of interviews with personnel who operated Zora and comments from the general public about the “Zora” robot. Two data sources were used: 107 comments were collected from online and print media, and the personnel (n=39) who worked with Zora were interviewed. The data were analysed by means of interpretative content analysis. Findings The results show that public opinion is mainly negative, but that the commentators apparently have little information about the robot and its tasks. The personnel had more positive views; they saw it as a recreational tool, not as a replacement for their own roles. Originality/value There is clearly a need for more information, for a better informed discussion on how robots can be used in elderly care and how to involve the general public in this discussion in a constructive way. Pre-print available at: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2018122051383
Article
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Background: Social robots are currently a form of assistive technology for the elderly, healthy, or with cognitive impairment, helping to maintain their independence and improve their well-being. Objective: The main aim of this article is to present a review of the existing research in the literature, referring to the use of social robots for people with dementia and/or aging. Methods: Academic databases that were used to perform the searches are IEEE Xplore, PubMed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar, taking into account as date of publication the last 10 years, from 2007 to the present. Several search criteria were established such as "robot" AND "dementia," "robot" AND "cognitive impairment," "robot" AND "social" AND "aging," and so on., selecting the articles of greatest interest regarding the use of social robots in elderly people with or without dementia. Results: This search found a total of 96 articles on social robots in healthy people and with dementia, of which 38 have been identified as relevant work. Many of the articles show the acceptance of older people toward social robots. Conclusion: From the review of the research articles analyzed, it can be said that use of social robots in elderly people without cognitive impairment and with dementia, help in a positive way to work independently in basic activities and mobility, provide security, and reduce stress.
Article
Telepresence robots can be beneficial for older adults by helping them stay socially connected and to access telehealth services; both factors are vital in maintaining health and wellness while aging in place. For older adults to willingly use telepresence technology, it is important to ensure that they do not experience barriers to adoption, such as issues with usability and privacy. In this study, we present a two-part research endeavor. Firstly, we developed two telepresence user interfaces (UIs): (1) the control condition—a generic UI design based on currently available telepresence robots; and (2) the experimental condition—a modified UI that was designed specifically for older adults’ capabilities and limitations, which also incorporated enhanced privacy features. Secondly, we conducted an in-depth within-subjects mixed-methods assessment of both UIs with 30 older adults (aged M=71.00, SD=5.50, range=61-84 years). Both qualitative and quantitative data yielded positive results, suggesting that older adults perceived the experimental condition to be more usable and private than the control condition. The older adult participants provided insight on which usability and privacy features were perceived as critical, specifying features such as obstacle detection, adjustable robot height, and the ability to restrict room access. By conducting this preliminary study, we investigated what usability features are deemed critical for older adult usage of telepresence. Our goal is to improve the ease of use of telepresence robots, and to enable older adults to remain socially connected while aging in place.
Book
The book presents the state of the art of the Internet of Things (IoT), applied to Human-Centered Design (HCD) projects addressed to ageing users, from the perspective of health, care and well-being. The current focus on the ageing population is opening up new opportunities for the development of niche solutions aimed at the niche category of older users who are beginning to experience physical and cognitive decline but are still independent and need to maintain their autonomy for as long as possible. The combination between the needs expressed by older users and the opportunities offered by the recent innovative technologies related to the Internet of Things allows research institutions, stakeholders, and academia to target and design new solutions for older users, safeguarding their well-being, health, and care, improving their quality of life. This book discusses and analyses the most recent services, products, systems and environments specifically conceived for older users, in order to enhance health, care, well-being and improve their quality of life. This approach is coherent with the percept of AAL or enhanced living environment, looking to the users’ comfort, autonomy, engagement and healthcare. The book describes and analyses aspects of HCD with older users looking to the emerging technologies, products, services, and environments analysed in their actual application in different areas, always concerning the design for the elderly related to the IoT, just as the development of biomonitoring devices, tools for activity recognition and simulation, creation of smart living environments, solutions for their autonomy, assistance and engagement enhancing health, care and wellbeing. The book is intended for researchers, designers, engineers, and practitioners in healthcare to connect academia, stakeholders, and research institutions to foster education, research and innovation.
Article
With an ageing population, more and more older people are expected to remain in their living environment. Mobile robots, whose market is expected to increasingly grow, could assist them for specific tasks. Existing studies, however, show that potential users have privacy concerns. In this paper, we therefore aim at understanding factors influencing these concerns and exploring their preferences with regards to different aspects related to informational privacy. In a quantitative study with 1090 German-speaking older adults, we show that female and non-owners of robots tend to express more concerns about their privacy than others.
Conference Paper
Elderly people moving into assisted living facilities often face profound changes in their daily routines and social relationships, which may lead to feelings of social isolation and even to depression. Telepresence robots can alleviate this by enabling easily accessible virtual presence of family members and other close ones at the ward. Telepresence robots have been tested in different care environments with often positive responses, but there are still challenges, both technical and non-technical, that hinder the wider adoption of the robots in residential care settings. We seek for more understanding of the non-technical challenges by studying the use of a telepresence robot Double in a residential care facility. In a 12-week field trial, we installed a telepresence robot in a room of a long-term care home resident for communicating with her family members. The qualitative interview data included the perspectives of the resident, her family members and care workers at the ward. The results confirm the potential of telepresence robots in assisted living in order to increase the presence of family members to the resident and vice versa; the study also provides insight about how the increased presence of family members may affect the care work.
Chapter
Die Forschung zur kontrovers diskutierten Robotik in der Pflege und Begleitung von Personen mit Demenz steht noch am Anfang, obwohl bereits erste Systeme auf dem Markt sind. Die zentrale Frage besteht darin, ob und wie sich Telepräsenzroboter im Alltag von Personen mit Demenz integrieren lassen und wie sich diese Integration auf das Lebensarrangement der Menschen mit Demenz und der betreuenden Personen auswirkt.
Article
Reliance on socioemotional assistive robots is projected to increase, yet little is known about how our ability to perceive their emotional expression is impacted by psychological factors. In high-risk and high-tension domains such as emergency services and healthcare, how might the cognitive and physiological stress we are experiencing influence how we read a humanoid robot's nonverbally conveyed emotions? Using a novel paradigm, we asked participants under experimentally-induced acute stress vs. low stress to evaluate a set of normed emotional body language poses conveyed by a physically-present vs. virtually-instantiated humanoid robot. Participants rated each pose for emotional valence (positivity/negativity) and arousal (calm/excited). Acute stress increased the perception of negative valence in negative high arousal poses, consistent with stress-induced hypervigilance. Surprisingly, stress diminished the perception of arousal in high arousal poses, whereas repeated presentation of the low arousal poses increased perception of arousal. Participants rated emotion similarly for the physically-present vs. virtually-present robot, although positively-valenced poses conveyed by the physical robot were perceived as more positive and more animate. We propose that perceptions of emotional arousal may be especially vulnerable to context effects and misattribution. These findings have implications for how assistive robots can best be designed for high-risk and high-tension contexts.
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Assistive social robots, a particular type of assistive robotics designed for social interaction with humans, could play an important role with respect to the health and psycho-logical well-being of the elderly. Objectives Assistive social robots are believed to be useful in eldercare for two reasons, a functional one and an affective one. Such robots are developed to function as an interface for the elderly with digital technology, and to help increase the quality of life of the elderly by providing companionship, respectively. There is a growing attention for these devices in the literature. However, no comprehensive review has yet been performed to in-vestigate the effectiveness of such robots in the care of the elderly. Therefore, we systematically reviewed and analyzed existing literature on the effects of assistive social robots in health care for the elderly. We focused in particular on the com-panion function. Data Sources A systematic search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, Psy-cINFO, The Cochrane Library databases, IEEE, ACM libraries and finally Google Scholar was performed for records through December 2007 to identify articles of all studies with actual subjects aimed to assess the effects of assistive social robots on the elderly. This search was completed with information derived from personal expertise, contacts and reports. Study Selection and Data Extraction Since no randomized controlled trials (RCT)'s have been found within this field of research, all studies reporting effects of assistive robotics in elderly popula-tions were included. Information on study design, interventions, controls, and findings were extracted for each article. In medical journals only a few articles were found, whereas about 50 publications were found in literature on ICT and robotics. Data Synthesis The identified studies were all published after 2000 in-dicating the novelty of this area of research. Most of these publications contain the results of studies that report positive effects of assistive social robots on health and psychological well-being of elders. Solid evidence indicating that these ef-fects can indeed be attributed to the actual assistive social robot, its behavior and its functionality is scarce. Conclusions There is some qualitative evidence as well as limited quantitative evidence of the positive effects of assistive social robots with respect to the elderly. The research designs, however, are not robust enough to establish this. Confounding variables often cannot be excluded. This is partly due to the chosen research designs, but also because it is unclear what research methodology is adequate to investigate such effects. Therefore, more work on methods is needed as well as robust, large-scale studies to establish the effects of these devices. Assistive social robots in elderly care: a review G8(2)Review-Broekens-v4.indd 1 29-5-2009 10:52:03
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Soziale Beziehungen stellen einen wichtigen Faktor für den Erhalt der Lebenszufriedenheit im Alter dar. Wenig bekannt ist, welchen Einfluss erhöhte soziale Unterstützung auf das Wohlbefinden kognitiv beeinträchtigter Menschen hat. In zwei vergleichenden Studien in der Schweiz und Österreich mit insgesamt 84 kognitiv beeinträchtigten Personen (65–98 Jahre) in stationärer Betreuung wurde deshalb in einem Kontrollgruppendesign untersucht, ob sich die Erhöhung sozialer Unterstützung positiv auf das Wohlbefinden auswirkt. Dazu wurden Interventionen bei kognitiv beeinträchtigten Menschen in Form von emotionaler sozialer Unterstützung durch freiwillige Besucher durchgeführt. In beiden Studien konnte ein positiver Zusammenhang zwischen der Erhöhung sozialer Unterstützung durch freiwillige Helfer und dem Wohlbefinden der Probanden festgestellt werden. Die Untersuchungen zeigen auf, dass soziale Unterstützung und Zuwendung generell von kognitiv beeinträchtigten Menschen registriert und als wohltuend empfunden werden. = Social relationships are an important factor for maintaining life satisfaction in elderly people. Little is known, however, about the influence of increased social support towards the well-being of cognitively impaired people. This is why two comparative studies in Switzerland and Austria, with 84 cognitively impaired individuals (aged between 65 and 98) with in-patient treatment, used a control group design to examine whether increased social support would have a positive effect on the well-being of these individuals. To this end, interventions in the form of emotional social support through volunteer visitors for dementia patients were carried out. In both studies, a positive association between increased social support by volunteer assistants and well-being emerged. The investigations show that social support and attention are generally registered and perceived as creating a pleasantly soothing feeling in cognitively impaired people.
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Reminder systems support people with impaired prospective memory and/or executive function, by providing them with reminders of their functional daily activities. We integrate temporal constraint reasoning with reinforcement learning (RL) to build an adaptive reminder system and in a simulated environment demonstrate that it can personalize to a user and adapt to both short- and long-term changes. In addition to advancing the application domain, our integrated algorithm contributes to research on temporal constraint reasoning by showing how RL can select an optimal policy from amongst a set of temporally consistent ones, and it contributes to the work on RL by showing how temporal constraint reasoning can be used to dramatically reduce the space of actions from which an RL agent needs to learn.
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The concept of cognitive impairment intervening between normal ageing and very early dementia has been in the literature for many years. Recently, the construct of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been proposed to designate an early, but abnormal, state of cognitive impairment. MCI has generated a great deal of research from both clinical and research perspectives. Numerous epidemiological studies have documented the accelerated rate of progression to dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in MCI subjects and certain predictor variables appear valid. However, there has been controversy regarding the precise definition of the concept and its implementation in various clinical settings. Clinical subtypes of MCI have been proposed to broaden the concept and include prodromal forms of a variety of dementias. It is suggested that the diagnosis of MCI can be made in a fashion similar to the clinical diagnoses of dementia and AD. An algorithm is presented to assist the clinician in identifying subjects and subclassifying them into the various types of MCI. By refining the criteria for MCI, clinical trials can be designed with appropriate inclusion and exclusion restrictions to allow for the investigation of therapeutics tailored for specific targets and populations.
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The authors' aim was to investigate the representations, wishes, and fears of family caregivers (FCs) regarding 14 innovative technologies (IT) for care aiding and burden alleviation, given the severe physical and psychological stress induced by dementia care, and the very slow uptake of these technologies in our society. A cluster sample survey based on a self-administered questionnaire was carried out on data collected from 270 families of patients with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders, located in the greater Paris area. Multiple Correspondence Analysis was used in addition to usual statistical tests to identify homogenous FCs clusters concerning the appreciation or rejection of the considered technologies. Two opposite clusters were clearly defined: FCs in favor of a substantial use of technology, and those rather or totally hostile. Furthermore the distributions of almost all the answers of appreciations were U-shaped. Significant relations were demonstrated between IT appreciation and FC's family or gender statuses (e.g., female FCs appreciated a tracking device for quick recovering of wandering patients more than male FCs: p = 0.0025, N = 195). The study provides further evidence of the contrasted perception of technology in dementia care at home, and suggests the development of public debates based on rigorous assessment of practices and a strict ethical aim to protect against misuse.
What do family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients desire in smart home technologies? Contrasted results of a wide survey
  • V Rialle
  • C Ollivet
  • C Guigui
  • C Herve
Rialle V, Ollivet C, Guigui C, Herve C. What do family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients desire in smart home technologies? Contrasted results of a wide survey. Methods Inf Med 2008;47:63-69.