Better Technologies and Services for Smart Homes of Disabled People: Empirical Findings from an Explorative Study among Intellectually Disabled Jukka Ojasalo, PhD, Professor
Laurea University of Applied Sciences Espoo, Finland email@example.com
Heikki Seppälä, Researcher
Laurea University of Applied Sciences Espoo, Finland firstname.lastname@example.org
Niko Suomalainen, Researcher
Laurea University of Applied Sciences Espoo, Finland email@example.com Abstract—The purpose of this article is to increase the knowledge of technologies and services of smart homes for disabled people. There is a clear need for such new knowledge since the number of disabled people is significant and growing in EU, US and worldwide in general. Indeed, new technologies and services of smart homes have the potential to increase effectiveness and efficiency of caring disabled. With right solutions there is a great potential to increase disabled persons’ quality of life. The need for the development of such technologies and services increases due to the disabled individuals’ desire to remain independent in their own homes, the increasing costs of health care, and the aging of the population. This article discusses the concept and nature of disability as well as smart home technologies and services. Based on a qualitative empirical research, this study identifies factors relevant for designing better systems and services for smart homes of intellectually disabled people. Our study found that the attitudes towards using safety technologies are very positive among intellectually disabled. Also, the juxtaposition of safety vs. privacy can be alleviated with right technologies and services. Moreover, there is need for technologies and services to assist intellectually disabled in traffic, protect them from various forms of abuse, and prevent immoderation of pleasure giving activities. Furthermore, there is need for various wristband-based technologies and services. This report is based on the research conducted in ITEA2/GUARANTEEproject, A Guardian Angel for the Extended Home Environment Keywords-Smart homes, Ambient intelligence, Disabled
Rob Moonen Project Manager
Laurea University of Applied Sciences Espoo, Finland firstname.lastname@example.org population that is 16 to 64 years old. Figure 1 shows the proportions of people in different EU-counties being affected by severe or moderate disabilities. The proportion of people in the EU countries aged 16 and over that reported they were either severely or to some extent hampered in daily activities by any physical or mental health problem, illness or disability in 1998 ranged from 13% to 40 %. The United States Census reports that 53 million people live in US with one or more chronic conditions that adversely affect their activity level.
There are at least 650 million people with disabilities worldwide.[ 1 ] A growing number of disabled people is expected as a consequence of declining fatalities and stable or increasing non-fatal injuries. Eurostat defines disability as being hampered in daily activities by any physical or mental health problem, illness or disability. The total number of the population with a long-standing health problem or a disability (LSHPD) in 25 European countries is estimated to account for more than 45 million citizens. These European Union statistics only refer to the
Figure 1. Percentage of people of people aged 16-64 reporting severe or moderate disability in EU , adopted from Eurostat 2002  p. 150
Age is the biggest risk factor for dependency on care (Figure 2). According to a prognosis of the EU-Project
2010 2nd International Conference on Software Technology and Engineering(ICSTE)
FELICIE (Future Elderly Living Conditions in Europe), under the “Healthy Life Gain Scenario”...