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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2014 Jan-Feb;21(1):56-63. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001586. Epub 2013 May 15.

In-home monitoring of older adults with vision impairment: exploring patients', caregivers' and professionals' views.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To develop a conceptual framework for the design of an in-home monitoring system (IMS) based on the requirements of older adults with vision impairment (VI), informal caregivers and eye-care rehabilitation professionals.


Concept mapping, a mixed-methods statistical research tool, was used in the construction of the framework. Overall, 40 participants brainstormed or sorted and rated 83 statements concerning an IMS for older adults with VI. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were employed to construct the framework. A questionnaire yielded further insights into the views of a wider sample of older adults with VI (n=78) and caregivers (n=25) regarding IMS.


Concept mapping revealed a nine-cluster model of IMS-related aspects including affordability, awareness of system capabilities, simplicity of installation, operation and maintenance, system integrity and reliability, fall detection and safe movement, user customization, user preferences regarding information delivery, and safety alerts for patients and caregivers. From the questionnaire, independence, safety and fall detection were the most commonly reported reasons for older adults and caregivers to accept an IMS. Concerns included cost, privacy, security of the information obtained through monitoring, system accuracy, and ease of use.


Older adults with VI, caregivers and professionals are receptive to in-home monitoring, mainly for fall detection and safety monitoring, but have concerns that must be addressed when developing an IMS.


Our study provides a novel conceptual framework for the design of an IMS that will be maximally acceptable and beneficial to our ageing and vision-impaired population.


In-home monitoring; assistive technology; elderly; in-home monitoring system (IMS); vision impairment

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