Older adults' attitudes towards and perceptions of 'smart home' technologies: A pilot study

George Demiris, Marilyn J. Rantz, Myra A. Aud, Karen D. Marek, Harry W. Tyrer, Marjorie Skubic, Ali A. Hussam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

516 Scopus citations


Primary objective: The study aim is to explore the perceptions and expectations of seniors in regard to 'smart home' technology installed and operated in their homes with the purpose of improving their quality of life and/or monitoring their health status. Research design and methods: Three focus group sessions were conducted within this pilot study to assess older adults' perceptions of the technology and ways they believe technology can improve their daily lives. Themes discussed in these groups included participants' perceptions of the usefulness of devices and sensors in health-related issues such as preventing or detecting falls, assisting with visual or hearing impairments, improving mobility, reducing isolation, managing medications, and monitoring of physiological parameters. The audiotapes were transcribed and a content analysis was performed. Results: A total of 15 older adults participated in three focus group sessions. Areas where advanced technologies would benefit older adult residents included emergency help, prevention and detection of falls, monitoring of physiological parameters, etc. Concerns were expressed about the user-friendliness of the devices, lack of human response and the need for training tailored to older learners. Conclusions: All participants had an overall positive attitude towards devices and sensors that can be installed in their homes in order to enhance their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Informatics and the Internet in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Elder care
  • Smart homes
  • Telemedicine
  • Usability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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