A persons' home provides them with a sense of security, familiarity and belonging, all of which contribute to the extent to which they feel that they have control over their life. In recent years technology has established an increased presence in this environment enabling (older) people to benefit from the use of systems, including community alarms, to make their lives more manageable. The Smart House concept is seen by some technology champions as an obvious progression of home healthcare technology, enabling the house to facilitate the support necessary to enable individuals to remain in their own home rather than being forced into a sheltered or institutional setting. Yet it may be argued that care provision through the medium of a Smart House transforms what is essentially an individually crafted environment into a fully operational extension of a clinical environment while losing crucial elements associated with an individual's personal space. Home care technology that 'grows with you' rather than a Smart House that must 'grow on you' should therefore be the goal for work to find a technical solution to bridging the gap between available resources and demands on healthcare providers. This paper considers the need for home healthcare technologies and the ways in which they may evolve while introducing the concept of a 'Technology Prescription'. This mode of future 'smart' care provision is suggested as a means of matching user need to appropriate technology, as part of a needs led approach which would allow for the gradual introduction of specific care technologies into a familiar home environment.
|Journal||New technology in the human services|
|Issue number||1 & 2|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|