A qualitative study of in-home robotic telepresence for home care of community-living elderly subjects

J Telemed Telecare. 2007;13(2):79-84. doi: 10.1258/135763307780096195.


We examined the requirements for robots in home telecare using two focus groups. The first comprised six healthcare professionals involved in geriatric care and the second comprised six elderly people with disabilities living in the community. The concept of an in-home telepresence robot was illustrated using a photograph of a mobile robot, and participants were then asked to suggest potential health care applications. Interview data derived from the transcript of each group discussion were analyzed using qualitative induction based on content analysis. The analyses yielded statements that were categorized under three themes: potential applications, usability issues and user requirements. Teleoperated mobile robotic systems in the home were thought to be useful in assisting multidisciplinary patient care through improved communication between patients and healthcare professionals, and offering respite and support to caregivers under certain conditions. The shift from a traditional hospital-centred model of care in geriatrics to a home-based model creates opportunities for using telepresence with mobile robotic systems in home telecare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups / methods
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Robotics* / methods