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Challenges and Possibilities in Observational Lifestyle Monitoring Technology for the Elderly: A Scoping Review

Gard, Christina (2019) Challenges and Possibilities in Observational Lifestyle Monitoring Technology for the Elderly: A Scoping Review.

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Abstract:Background: Given the rising number of elderly people in society that one day will outweigh the possibilities of health care institutions, alternative solutions have to be found to offer a safe but independent lifestyle to the elderly. Ambient assisted living (AAL) systems serve this function by monitoring elderly people in their own homes. The recorded data can be accessed by pre-defined caregivers, both formal and informal. In case of unusual data that are alarming in regard to the resident’s health, this group of caregivers probably can react faster than they could without the data of the system. This literature review aims at giving an overview of unobtrusive AAL systems designed for providing more safety for the elderly in their own homes. The resulting overall research question is: What are possibilities and limitations in observational lifestyle of the elderly? This question was answered by giving answers to the following sub-questions: What objectives do the monitoring systems pursue and how are they operationalised? What is the reliability and validity of the different technology methods? How are the data of the monitoring systems stored and who can access them? Methods: Based on several inclusion and exclusion criteria it was searched for suitable papers in the database Scopus. Among the inclusion criteria were the use of only privacy-preserving sensors and the use of sensors that did not need to be constantly worn on the body. Papers that were not written in English, did not include monitoring systems with the aim of assisting the elderly but another population and studies that included privacy-threatening technologies were not included in this literature review. Results: Seven eligible studies were found. The systems described in these studies were compared in the prevalence and the operationalisation of AAL services as physical health tracking (including sleep pattern, vital signs, and body weight), mental health tracking (including cognition and well-being) and safety enhancement (including emergency detection and the possibility to call for help). Furthermore the quality of the system was assessed in terms of validity and reliability, data storage and data access. It was striking that in many studies clear numbers concerning reliability were missing, and also information on data access and storage was scarce. However, an overview of a variety of sensors used in monitoring systems is provided for physical health tracking and emergency detection. Mental health was not often taken into account in these systems. Conclusion: In the future, more attention needs to be turned to usability concerns and to a more profound assessment of reliability and validity, sensitivity and specificity, study design and duration, and privacy concerns.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/79174
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