This research looks at how smart home assistive technologies (AT) may be best used in both the aged care and disability sectors to reduce the need for support services. It includes an assessment of ease of use, quality-of-life and cost benefit analysis, and contributes to the development of policy options that could facilitate effective adoption of smart home AT in Australia.
Smart home AT may be seen as ‘any product, instrument, equipment or technical system used by a disabled person, especially produced or generally available, preventing, compensating, monitoring, relieving or neutralising disability. It may support a range of ongoing benefits, including extended independent living, smart home energy efficiency, safety and security, physical and mental activity and healthcare monitoring.
While this research identified great benefits for AT it also revealed a sustained gap in piloting and development of smart home AT government policy.
The lack of clear policy frameworks and insufficient coordination has resulted in an ad-hoc and piecemeal implementation practice with many who could potentially benefit not having the skill, knowledge or financial ability to invest. In this context, the frameworks to promote the deployment of smart home AT are lacking or are confusing. There is a critical lack of clarity about the role of funders, housing designers, housing providers and individuals associated with smart home AT.