Experiences from adopting assistive technology

Juha Häikiö, Minna Isomursu, Tapio Matinmikko, Heikki Ailisto, Tua Huomo

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    This paper reports experiences from a field study examining new assistive technology to support the independent living of the elderly in their homes. The technology allows the elderly to order meals by using a touch based user interface that is operated with a mobile phone and an NFC (Near Field Communication) – enhanced menu. NFC is a short-range wireless connectivity technology. It is a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. The users taking part in the study were volunteer customers of a meal delivery service in Oulu, Finland. A total of 11 elderly users volunteered, from which nine users were able to finish the study. Total study period was approximately eight weeks. This paper explores the learning from conducting a user study with new technology that could be adopted by the elderly living at home. Our user research methods included pre usage home interviews and training, constant real-time monitoring of the system status, telephone assistance during the research period, paper diaries for the elderly to record their experiences during the use, and post use home interviews. Our experiences indicate that the most critical point of adopting new assistive technology is the first physical and visual encounter with the assistive technology. In our field study interviewbased data collection methods proved to be superior over the diary method. Furthermore, telephone support during the research period provided valuable information about the trial, as well as maintaining the feeling of involvement for the trial users. However, this level of deep personal support is probably possible only in a research setting, which needs to be taken into account when applying the results in practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFICCDAT/ICTA: the 2nd International Conference on Technology and Aging. Toronto, Canada, 16 - 19 Jun. 2007
    Place of PublicationToronto; Canada
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event2nd International Conference on Technology and Aging, FICCDAT/ICTA 2007 - Toronto, Canada
    Duration: 16 Jun 200719 Jun 2007


    Conference2nd International Conference on Technology and Aging, FICCDAT/ICTA 2007
    Abbreviated titleFICCDAT/ICTA 2007


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