Smart Homes and Home Health Monitoring Technologies for Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Int J Med Inform. 2016 Jul;91:44-59. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2016.04.007. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Abstract

Background: Around the world, populations are aging and there is a growing concern about ways that older adults can maintain their health and well-being while living in their homes.

Objectives: The aim of this paper was to conduct a systematic literature review to determine: (1) the levels of technology readiness among older adults and, (2) evidence for smart homes and home-based health-monitoring technologies that support aging in place for older adults who have complex needs.

Results: We identified and analyzed 48 of 1863 relevant papers. Our analyses found that: (1) technology-readiness level for smart homes and home health monitoring technologies is low; (2) the highest level of evidence is 1b (i.e., one randomized controlled trial with a PEDro score ≥6); smart homes and home health monitoring technologies are used to monitor activities of daily living, cognitive decline and mental health, and heart conditions in older adults with complex needs; (3) there is no evidence that smart homes and home health monitoring technologies help address disability prediction and health-related quality of life, or fall prevention; and (4) there is conflicting evidence that smart homes and home health monitoring technologies help address chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Conclusions: The level of technology readiness for smart homes and home health monitoring technologies is still low. The highest level of evidence found was in a study that supported home health technologies for use in monitoring activities of daily living, cognitive decline, mental health, and heart conditions in older adults with complex needs.

Keywords: Frail elderly; Gerontechnology; Smart homes; Telehealth; eHealth.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomedical Technology / instrumentation
  • Biomedical Technology / methods*
  • Geriatrics / instrumentation
  • Geriatrics / methods
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation
  • Telemedicine / methods