This literature review critically evaluates the psychological dimensions implicated in the successful outcome of ‘Smart Home’ pilot research in health care settings. Many health care research projects have pilot tested ‘Smart Home’ technology in Europe and North America (see Appendix D). Various psychological dimensions have been identified for patients, family, and health care workers (see Appendix A for a summary of the main findings) that contribute to the adoption and acceptance of ‘Smart Home’ technology. These psychological dimensions will be organized, reviewed, and summarized from a review of five research studies conducted between 2004 and 2012 and from a literature review by Lennart, Hansom, and Borg in 2004.
Defining ‘Smart Home’ Technology
‘Smart Home’ technology is the integration of technology and services through home networking and automation that promote a better quality of life. The most common areas of application include home automation, safety, vital-sign monitoring, energy control, working and productivity, entertainment, and communication (Van Berlo, 2003). Courtney and colleagues (2008) refine the definition for health care by defining ‘Smart Home’ as information-based technologies that passively collect health and safety information for sharing with the patient, family members, and primary health care providers. The type of information collected can include physiological, location or movement data, environmental information, and pattern analysis algorithm data to identify divergence from typical behavior patterns. Specific examples of technologies include motion sensors, kitchen safety sensors, fall detection sensors, and wireless vital-sign monitoring units (Cheek, Nikpouer, & Nowlin, 2005).
The role of ‘Smart Home’ technology in health care includes safety, security, comfort, and efficiency by alerting family and health care providers when issues occur, reducing the need for constant monitoring which can be expensive, intrusive, and impact a persons privacy and independence (Lennart et. al, 2004).