Older Asian immigrants’ perceptions of a health-assistive smart home

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Roschelle L. Fritz PhD RN FAAN
Connie Kim Yen Nguyen-Truong PhD RN Alumnus PCCN
Jacqueline Leung JD MS CHW
Junghee Lee PhD
Christine Lau MA CACDI
Cang Le BS
Jane Kim MEd
Keith Wong BA
Thai Hien Nguyen BSN RN
Tuong Vy Le MS BS
Jennifer I. Nevers BSN RN
Anthony M. Truong BS RPh



Background: The needs of the growing aging population will soon surpass available resources. Health-assistive smart homes may be one solution for extending independence and facilitating early health interventions thereby lowering healthcare costs and conserving resources. Perceptions of usability and adoption may differ across populations. Objective: To explore diverse older Asian immigrants’ perceptions of adoption of health-assistive smart home monitoring (smart home) and culturally-specific expectations. Methods: A community-engaged research approach was employed. Participants (n=55; age 55+) were recruited through an immigrant community health and social services center in the United States. Participants joined one of four language-based group discussions (Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Vietnamese, or Korean). Scientific group-level assessment, a participatory qualitative data collection, and analysis method, was conducted in real-time with participants. The main ideas were transcribed, verified with participants, and translated into English. Results: Intra- and inter-group themes were identified. Inter-group themes included: concerns about safety, features and functionality, trusting technology, households and family, and access (cost, internet, knowledge, and literacy). Intra-group themes included: Cantonese (access, radiation, user friendly, installation, technology knowledge required), Mandarin (access, emergency concerns, user friendly, locus of control, technology knowledge required, language), Vietnamese (limited technical knowledge, smart home capacity, availability, access, safety, cost, my home), and Korean (limited technical knowledge, functionality, household makeup, privacy, threats, availability and cost, my culture). Conclusions: Immigrants showed interest in adopting smart home technology for aging-in-place. The impact on family engagement and community expectations when using a technology that monitors individuals’ daily in-home routines and activities must be acknowledged.



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