Objective: Remote telepresence provided by tele-operated robotics represents a new means for obtaining important health information, improving older adults' social and daily functioning and providing peace of mind to family members and caregivers who live remotely. In this study we tested the feasibility of use and acceptance of a remotely controlled robot with video-communication capability in independently living, cognitively intact older adults. Materials and Methods: A mobile remotely controlled robot with video-communication ability was placed in the homes of eight seniors. The attitudes and preferences of these volunteers and those of family or friends who communicated with them remotely via the device were assessed through survey instruments. Results: Overall experiences were consistently positive, with the exception of one user who subsequently progressed to a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. Responses from our participants indicated that in general they appreciated the potential of this technology to enhance their physical health and well-being, social connectedness, and ability to live independently at home. Remote users, who were friends or adult children of the participants, were more likely to test the mobility features and had several suggestions for additional useful applications. Conclusions: Results from the present study showed that a small sample of independently living, cognitively intact older adults and their remote collaterals responded positively to a remote controlled robot with video-communication capabilities. Research is needed to further explore the feasibility and acceptance of this type of technology with a variety of patients and their care contacts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management