Participatory design for home care technology

We propose a Prosumer (producer + consumer) model of participatory design for applications of technology for home health. Our focus is on technology to keep elderly and disabled consumers of care independent and able to live in their own homes. Our methodology is based on a new technique for participative design whereby the consumers of…

Robot Caregivers: Harbingers of Expanded Freedom for All?

As we near a time when robots may serve a vital function by becoming caregivers, it is important to examine the ethical implications of this development. By applying the capabilities approach as a guide to both the design and use of robot caregivers, we hope that this will maximize opportunities to preserve or expand freedom…

Artificial agents, good care, and modernity

When is it ethically acceptable to use artificial agents in health care? This article articulates some criteria for good care and then discusses whether machines as artificial agents that take over care tasks meet these criteria. Particular attention is paid to intuitions about the meaning of 'care', 'agency', and 'taking over', but also to the…

Aging-in-place with the use of ambient intelligence technology: Perspectives of older users

INTRODUCTION: Ambient intelligence technologies are a means to support aging-in-place by monitoring clients in the home. In this study, monitoring is applied for the purpose of raising an alarm in an emergency situation, and thereby, providing an increased sense of safety and security. Apart from these technological solutions, there are numerous environmental interventions in the…

E-care as craftsmanship: Virtuous work, skilled engagement, and information technology in health care

Contemporary health care relies on electronic devices. These technologies are not ethically neutral but change the practice of care. In light of Sennett’s work and that of other thinkers (Dewey, Dreyfus, Borgmann) one worry is that “e-care”—care by means of new information and communication technologies—does not promote skillful and careful engagement with patients and hence…

Effectiveness of assistive technology and environmental interventions in maintaining independence and reducing home care costs for the frail elderly: A randomized controlled trial

CONTEXT: Home environmental interventions (EIs) and assistive technology (AT) devices have the potential to increase independence for community-based frail elderly persons, but their effectiveness has not been demonstrated. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a system of AT-EI service provisions designed to promote independence and reduce health care costs for physically frail elderly persons. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.…

Elderly persons’ perception and acceptance of using wireless sensor networks to assist healthcare

PURPOSE: This is an exploratory study carrying out qualitative research into the perceptions, attitudes and concerns of elderly persons towards wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies in terms of their application to healthcare. This work aims to provide guidance on the dimensions and items that may be included in the development of a more in-depth questionnaire…

Enhancing Health Care Delivery through Ambient Intelligence Applications

This paper presents the implementation of a smart environment that employs Ambient Intelligence technologies in order to augment a typical hospital room with smart features that assist both patients and medical staff. In this environment, various wireless and wired sensor technologies have been integrated, allowing the patient to control the environment and interact with the…

OutCare: Supporting Dementia Patients in Outdoor Scenarios

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is a profound vision of computing power that is invisibly embedded into the fabric of everyday life. It is accessible through intelligent interfaces which are so natural that they can be used unconsciously. The increasing maturity, performance and miniaturization of processors, networking technologies and wireless sensor networks enables a move towards pervasive…

Robotic technology in surgery: Past, present, and future

It has been nearly 20 years since the first appearance of robotics in the operating room. In that time, much progress has been made in integrating robotic technologies with surgical instrumentation, as evidenced by the many thousands of successful robot-assisted cases. However, to build on past success and to fully leverage the potential of surgical…

Wireless sensor networks for in-home healthcare: Issues, trends and prospects

As the world's population ages, those suffering from diseases of the elderly will increase. Health care expenditures will increase rapidly and become unaffordable for governments around the world. New technology and new models for patient healthcare must be found to relieve the pressure on finances and society. In-home pervasive networks may assist residents by providing…