Sensors in the care of persons with visual- or visual-and-intellectual disabilities: Use, needs, practical issues, and ethical concerns

Gerdien Woensdregt, Graziana D'Addabbo, Hans Scholten, Claudia Van Alfen, Paula Sterkenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sensor technology may improve the quality of life of persons with visual and/or intellectual disabilities. However, there is no general consensus on its utility and implementation. OBJECTIVE: In this exploratory study the aim was to provide an overview of sensors for persons with disabilities to address priorities and ethical concerns for future research. METHODS: Using a qualitative (Delphi) method, 17 interviews were carried out with 20 representatives in the field of visual- or visual-and-intellectual disabilities (in general: six experts in sensor technology, domotics, and eHealth, specific for persons with a visual or visual-and-intellectual disability: three client representatives; three caregivers; four care team managers; two developmental psychologists; one physician; and one paramedic; age ranges 25-61 years). Atlas.ti software was used to code data and major themes were identified using qualitative analyses. RESULTS: The most used sensors were for surveillance and health and the most desired were for behavior. Different sensors were considered most important for future implementation by the groups of participants, such as sensors for lighting, posture, and entertainment by client experts. Furthermore, the majority of participants agreed that sensors should be easy to use and understand and ethical issues (e.g. privacy, informed consent) should be considered. CONCLUSION: The current applications of sensor technology in clinical practice and future research needs were determined by interviewing experts, caregivers, and client experts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalTechnology and Disability
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • quality of life
  • sensor technology
  • Sensors
  • visual and or intellectual disability

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