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Older Adult Perceptions of Smart Home Technologies: Implications for Research, Policy & Market Innovations in Healthcare

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4 Author(s)
Coughlin, J.F. ; Massachusetts Inst. of Technol. AgeLab, Cambridge ; D'Ambrosio, L.A. ; Reimer, B. ; Pratt, M.R.

Advances in information communications technology and related computational power are providing a wide array of systems and related services that form the basis of smart home technologies to support the health, safety and independence of older adults. While these technologies offer significant benefits to older people and their families, they are also transforming older adults into lead adopters of a new 24/7 lifestyle of being monitored, managed, and, at times, motivated, to maintain their health and wellness. To better understand older adult perceptions of smart home technologies and to inform future research a workshop and focus group was conducted with 30 leaders in aging advocacy and aging services from 10 northeastern states. Participants expressed support of technological advance along with a variety of concerns that included usability, reliability, trust, privacy, stigma, accessibility and affordability. Participants also observed that there is a virtual absence of a comprehensive market and policy environment to support either the consumer or the diffusion of these technologies. Implications for research, policy and market innovation are discussed.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2007. EMBS 2007. 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

22-26 Aug. 2007