Ethics and acceptance of smart homes for older adults

Pireh Pirzada*, Adriana Wilde, Gayle Helane Doherty, David Harris-Birtill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Societal challenges associated with caring for the physical and mental health of older adults worldwide have grown at an unprecedented pace, increasing demand for health-care services and technologies Despite the development of several assistive systems tailored to older adults, the rate of adoption of health technologies is low. This review discusses the ethical and acceptability challenges resulting in low adoption of health technologies specifically focused on smart homes for older adults. The findings have been structured in two categories: Ethical Considerations (Privacy, Social Support, and Autonomy) and Technology Aspects (User Context, Usability, and Training). The findings conclude that older adults community is more likely to adopt assistive systems when four key criteria are met. The technology should: be personalized toward their needs, protect their dignity and independence, provide user control, and not be isolating. Finally, we recommend researchers and developers working on assistive systems to: (1) provide interfaces via smart devices to control and configure the monitoring system with feedback for the user, (2) include various sensors/devices to architect a smart home solution in a way that is easy to integrate in daily life, and (3) define policies about data ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-37
Number of pages28
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Ethics
  • Smart home
  • Ambient-assisted living
  • Assistive technology
  • Ethical aspects


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