Ethics and Acceptance of Smart Homes for Older Adults

Pireh Pirzada, Adriana Wilde, Gayle Helane Doherty, David Harris-Birtill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Societal challenges associated with caring for the physical and mental health of the elderly world- wide have grown at an unprecedented pace, increasing demand for healthcare services and technologies. Despite the development of several assistive systems tailored to the elderly, the rate of adoption of health technologies is low. This review discusses the ethical and acceptability challenges resulting in low adoption of health technologies specifically focused on smart homes for the elderly. The findings have been structured in two categories: Ethical Considerations (Privacy, Social Support, Autonomy) and Technology Aspects (User Context, Usability, Training). The findings conclude that the elderly community is more likely to adopt assistive systems when four key criteria are met. The technology should: be personalised towards their needs, protect their dignity and independence, provide user control, and not be isolating. Finally, we recommend researchers and developers working on assistive systems to: (1) Provide interfaces via smart devices to control and configure the monitoring system with feedback for the user, (2) Include various sensors/devices to architect a smart home solution in a way that is easy to integrate in daily life and (3) Define policies about data ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Apr 2021

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