Unobtrusive in-home monitoring of cognitive and physical health: Reactions and perceptions of older adults

Katherine Wild, Linda Boise, Jay Lundell, Anna Foucek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Although the potential benefits of unobtrusive in-home sensing technologies for maintaining health and independence of older adults have been highlighted in recent research, little is known about their views toward such technology. The aims of this project were to identify monitoring needs and expectations of community-residing elderly and their family members. Focus groups were presented with examples of in-home monitoring devices and data output; participants were asked to consider whether the data showed information that was meaningful to them, and how and to whom they would like to have such data disseminated. Content analysis of transcripts revealed four dominant themes: maintaining independence, detecting cognitive decline, sharing of information, and the trade-off between privacy and usefulness of monitoring. The acceptance by elderly of unobtrusive in-home monitoring was closely tied to perceived utility of data generated by such systems. Privacy concerns appeared to be less of an issue than anticipated in this sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-200
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Focus groups
  • In-home monitoring
  • Maintaining independence
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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