A Conceptual Framework of Smart Home Context: An Empirical Investigation

A Conceptual Framework of Smart Home Context: An Empirical Investigation

Ahmad Al-Aiad (Department of Computer Information Systems, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan), Khalid Alkhatib (Department of Computer Information Systems, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan), Muhammad Al-Ayyad (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, Jordan) and Ismail Hmeidi (Department of Computer Information Systems, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHISI.2016070103
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Abstract

Addressing the health problems of the 21st century will require individuals to use a new set of medical and public health resources that extend beyond historic and traditional medical devices and are built on current and smart information technologies. Much of these new medical tools was originally designed by device manufacturers to be used only in clinical settings and by trained healthcare professionals but recently are finding their way into the home nevertheless. Their migration to the home poses many challenges to both caregivers and care recipients. In order to facilitate their migration to the home, it is very important to first understand the domain boundary, its components and their interactions. Little research discusses the context of smart home healthcare and its surrounding entities to date. This paper aims to fill the knowledge gap by developing a framework of smart home healthcare context. To this end, the authors conducted semi-structured interviews with patients and health professionals served for or by home healthcare agencies on the east coast in the United States. They analyzed the content applying thematic approach. The findings revealed four major components of the framework including person, tasks, technologies, and environments. The findings also revealed to define the interactions between these components. The findings have significant implications for smart home designers and manufacturers, and service providers.
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Introduction

In the United States, healthcare devices, technologies, and care practices are rapidly moving into the home (Manhattan, 2009). Health Information Technology (HIT) is the key facilitator for this migration. It is impossible to see this migration into practice without HIT (Lewis, 2001). HIT can be defined as an umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information across computerized systems and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers (Karsh et al., 2011). If the target domain is the patient home and the used technology is smart, then we call it smart home healthcare information technology (sH2IT).

The healthcare delivery system is rapidly changing today, and individuals are assuming an increasing role in management of their own health (LaPlante et al., 2011). In these settings, individuals are expected to perform a range of healthcare tasks and interact with a vast array of medical devices and technologies in residential settings (LaPlante et al., 2011). Thus, healthcare that occurs at home is a complex experience, involving various types of persons, tasks, technologies, and environments.

All of these elements—the persons, tasks, technologies, and environments—affect the safety and quality of the healthcare that occurs in the home. To ensure that healthcare in the home is safe, efficient, effective, and responsive to individual needs, it requires identifying potential user groups who will be interacting with home health systems; understanding the capabilities, limitations, needs, and preferences of these populations; and matching these capabilities, needs, and preferences to the demands generated by healthcare and health management tasks, technologies, and the environments in which these tasks occur.

Addressing the health problems of the 21st century will require individuals to use a new set of biomedical and public health resources that extend beyond historic and traditional medical devices and are built on current and emerging information technologies (Hesse, 2005; Karami & Gangopadhyay, 2014, Karami et al., 2015). These new information technology tools will enable the future healthcare system to become predictive, preemptive, and personalized to the needs of individual providers, care recipients, and caregivers to an extent not previously possible (Gibbons, 2007).

Much of these new medical tools was originally designed by device manufacturers to be used only in clinical settings and by trained healthcare professionals (U.S. food & drug administration, 2010) but recently are finding their way into the home nevertheless (Rialle et al., 2010). Their migration to the home poses many challenges to both caregivers and care recipients (Rialle et al., 2010).

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