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Examining digital assisted living: towards a case study of smart homes for the elderly
conference contributionposted on 15.06.2016, 00:00 authored by Niroshinie FernandoNiroshinie Fernando, F Tan, Rajesh VasaRajesh Vasa, Kon MouzakisKon Mouzakis, I Aitken
Actualising assisted living for increasing aging populations, who want to continue living at home, is a significant challenge in many countries. IT enabled assistive systems can address this challenge by providing services such as home automation, providing security, identifying potential health risks, and monitoring environmental hazards. However, current solutions often undervalue the effects of user perceptions of, and interactions with, technology when deploying such systems. As a result, current systems do not accurately represent the goals of the elderly users, who often do not identify the potential uses of such systems and perceive them to be too complex, invasive and/or irrelevant. Consequently such solutions frequently fail to be utilised to their full potential, thus deterring the successful adoption of technology for assisted living. This study aims to better understand the role of IT in assisted living by examining case studies in the literature through an affordance lens. We identify IT affordances of such digital assisted living systems based on the existing affordances of the 'home environment', and explore inter-relations between the IT affordances. These findings will form the theoretical foundations of a smart home project currently under development, which aims to help people to remain healthy and safe in their own home as they grow older. The initial iteration of this technology is planned to be trialled in homes of elderly users shortly, and will provide the case study for our future work.