Smart homes for older adults with chronic conditions: effects on many health outcomes are uncertain

Added July 25, 2020

Citation: Liu P, Li G, Jiang S, Liu Y, Leng M, Zhao J, Wang S, Meng X, Shang B, Chen L, Huang SH. The effect of smart homes on older adults with chronic conditions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Geriatric Nursing. 2019 Sep-Oct;40(5):522-30.

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What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare resources and services. Existing research on the effects of smart homes on older adults with chronic conditions might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for randomised trials of technologies related to smart home monitoring systems for adults over 60 years of age. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and Chinese and did the search in July 2018. They included 14 studies (1604 participants), which were from Australia (1 study), Denmark (1), Italy (1), Korea (2) and the USA (9).

What works: Smart homes improved physical functioning and depression in older adults with chronic conditions.

Older adults with chronic conditions reported high levels of satisfaction with tele-monitoring services in five categories: privacy protection, nursing service, the tele-monitoring device, availability to use the device, and timely care provision.

What doesn’t work: Smart homes did not affect the frequency of hospital admissions, quality of life, emergency department visits or the number of days spent at hospital.

What’s uncertain: Many aspects of the effectiveness of home health technologies are uncertain.


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