Smart Environments and Social Robots for Age-Friendly Integrated Care Services

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 27;17(11):3801. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17113801.


The world is facing major societal challenges because of an aging population that is putting increasing pressure on the sustainability of care. While demand for care and social services is steadily increasing, the supply is constrained by the decreasing workforce. The development of smart, physical, social and age-friendly environments is identified by World Health Organization (WHO) as a key intervention point for enabling older adults, enabling them to remain as much possible in their residences, delay institutionalization, and ultimately, improve quality of life. In this study, we survey smart environments, machine learning and robot assistive technologies that can offer support for the independent living of older adults and provide age-friendly care services. We describe two examples of integrated care services that are using assistive technologies in innovative ways to assess and deliver of timely interventions for polypharmacy management and for social and cognitive activity support in older adults. We describe the architectural views of these services, focusing on details about technology usage, end-user interaction flows and data models that are developed or enhanced to achieve the envisioned objective of healthier, safer, more independent and socially connected older people.

Keywords: ambient assisted living; care services models; daily life activities monitoring; machine learning; older adults care; social robots; technology limitation and acceptance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated*
  • Environment Design*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Quality of Life
  • Robotics*
  • Self-Help Devices*