The potential of smart home technology for improving healthcare: a scoping review and reflexive thematic analysis

Saahir Shafi, Daniel J. Mallinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As aging populations grow and contribute to rising healthcare costs, policymakers and scholars recognize the need for technological solutions that reduce the costs of public service delivery. Smart homes, equipped with an array of physical and virtual networks, automated products, and intelligent system controls, present a cost-effective solution to extend the independence of older adults and persons with disabilities. We conduct a scoping review and reflexive thematic analysis of the existing literature on smart homes and healthcare. Our analysis of abstracts from 303 articles published between 2010 and 2020 finds that although the research on smart homes and health is nascent, there has been a marked growth in the last decade. The disciplines of study with the most prolific research on the health effects of smart home technology are health informatics, engineering & technology, nursing & medical, gerontechnology, computing, and wireless communications. Much of this research appears to be conducted in OECD countries. The major themes identified in the literature are supply-side topics focusing on the technological development of smart home systems and demand-side topics concentrating on primary, secondary, and tertiary users. Most of the research analyzed is a-theoretical and most empirical methodologies used involve quantitative methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHousing and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

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