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Older Adults' Perception and Use of PDAs, Home Automation System, and Home Health Monitoring System

Mann, William C. OTR, PhD; Belchior, Patrícia OT; Tomita, Machiko R. PhD; Kemp, Bryan J. PhD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January-March 2007 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 35–46

The purpose of this study was to understand elders' perception on 3 assistive technology devices that might enhance their safety and independence at home. This study also aimed to describe the perceptions of older persons who did not use these devices and their reasons for not using them. The following assistive technology devices were investigated: (1) personal digital assistant; (2) home automation systems; and (3) home health monitoring systems. Six hundred seventy-three older persons with chronic physical conditions were surveyed in 2001–2002. Although smart technology will play an increasingly important role in promoting independent living for older persons this study found that it has been underutilized by this population.

Department of Occupational Therapy (Dr Mann) and Rehabilitation Science Doctoral Program (Ms Belchior), University of Florida, Gainesville; the Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY (Dr Tomita); and Program in Geriatrics, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Disabilities, University of California, Irvine (Dr Kemp).

Corresponding author: William C. Mann, OTR, PhD, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Florida, PO Box 100164, Gainesville, FL 32610 (e-mail:

This is a publication of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Successful Aging, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the Department of Education under grant number H133E010106. The opinions contained in this publication are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Education.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.