Technological and methodological innovation: Working "with" and "for" older people to develop a smart activity monitoring system

Alessandro Pratesi, Judith Sixsmith, Ryan Woolrych

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent UK government policy has highlighted the value of user involvement in service development, particularly concerning assistive technologies and their role in providing care. This article illustrates the case of a person-centred, participatory project involving older people in the design, implementation and development of innovative technological solutions to enable older people to live independently and age-in-place within their homes and communities. The research aims and objectives included: the identification of technological, psychological and social needs of older people; the definition of user requirements to inform an activity monitoring system for use in private homes and residential care settings; and the analysis of the ways in which such systems impact on the everyday lives of older adults in different settings. The innovative aspects of the user-driven, participatory approach illustrated in this paper concern the involvement of older people as co-researchers throughout the research process. This article reports the reflexive accounts which emerged during the project and provides viable and practical pathways to facilitate participatory research in the development of assistive technology for older adults. It provides practical guidelines for future user-driven, participatory research involving older adults in the design, development and implementation of assistive technologies. Our findings show that developing authentic, non-tokenistic research partnerships and including older people's ideas, motivations and perspectives in the design and development of these types of technology can lead to productive forms of mutual inspiration and technological solutions grounded in the experiences of older people.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInnovation Journal
Volume18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Innovative assistive technologies
  • Innovative research partnerships
  • Older adults as coresearchers
  • Participatory research approaches
  • Person-centred
  • Smart Activity Monitor
  • User-driven

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