In-home monitoring of persons with dementia: ethical guidelines for technology research and development

Alzheimers Dement. 2007 Jul;3(3):217-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2007.04.388.


Innovative technologies are rapidly emerging that offer caregivers the support and means to assist older adults with cognitive impairment to continue living "at home." Technology research and development efforts applied to older adults with dementia invoke special grant review and institutional review board concerns, to ensure not only safe but also ethically appropriate interventions. Evidence is emerging, however, that tensions are growing between innovators and reviewers. Reviewers with antitechnology biases are in a position to stifle needed innovation. Technology developers who fail to understand the clinical and caregiving aspects of dementia may design applications that are not in alignment with users' capabilities. To bridge this divide, we offer an analysis of the ethical issues surrounding home monitoring, a model framework, and ethical guidelines for technology research and development for persons with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.