Design Challenges in Home Health Technologies for Older Adults

This presentation provided designers of technologies targeted toward older adults with insights into the demographics and health needs of that population, and suggested methods of how to evaluate their products in a home environment. For new technologies to be successful supporting adults to age in place, two practical and actionable methods were proposed. The first was to understand the unique health attributes of older adults; the second was the value of testing and evaluating new products within the home. The HomeLab research initiative enables designers to learn about older adults’ needs and to evaluate products in the home environment.

Harley, L., Ray, J., Blunt, C., Bell, C., Thompson, V., Fausset, C., Nguyen, J., & Fain, B. (2013). Design challenges in home health technologies for older adults. International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care: Advancing the Cause, Baltimore, MD.

A Holistic Approach to Product Assurance Evaluation

In a joint presentation with the Beauty Becomes You Foundation, HomeLab researchers presented information on the Senior Select Seal, a proposed commendation program for products that are easy for older adults to use. The researchers described the GTRI consumer product testing lab and the in-home evaluation services offered by HomeLab, which would be used for validating products for the Senior Select Seal commendation.

Jones, B. & Folds, R. (2013). A holistic approach to product assurance evaluation. American Society on Aging Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Realizing Aging In Place: Bringing Medical Devices into the Home

HomeLab researchers presented a workshop on the needs and challenges of translating medical devices into the home using a systems engineering approach. Bringing medical devices into older adults’ homes can provide benefits such as supporting aging in place and reducing hospital visits and healthcare expenses. However, introducing medical devices into the home can present challenges in that the devices will be operated in a non-healthcare environment by non-healthcare professionals. This workshop discussed opportunities for home medical device design and constraints from a human systems engineering perspective.

Harley, L. & Fausset, C. (2013). Realizing aging in place: Bringing medical devices into the home. AAMI 2013. Long Beach, CA.