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Ethical Considerations of Home Monitoring Technology

By Blanchard, Janice; Promoting Independence for Older Persons With Disabilities: Selected Papers from the 2006 International Conference on Aging, Disability, and Independence, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 121-126
Publication Date: 2006

Article focuses on ethical considerations surrounding the use of home monitoring technology. The goal of home monitoring technology is to enhance the ability of older adults and people with disabilities to live independently, lower healthcare costs, and decrease caregiver burden. Technology includes low-tech aids such as personal emergency response systems, which consist of wearable, lightweight, waterproof necklaces or wristbands use to signal a response center at the touch of a button. At the moderate-tech level, motion detection centers can be used to track residents’ movements within a home. The sensors are usually connected to a processing center via the Internet. At the high-tech end, elaborate systems are constantly being developed. The Intel Corporation utilizes pressure sensors on chairs, camera networks, and tiny radio tags embedded in household items and clothing. A thorough discussion of privacy and safety issues surrounding the use of these technologies is included. The authors contend that every United States citizen has a general right to privacy, though what if they are monitored while engaging in behaviors such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, both of which can compromise health? Some argue that home monitoring technology is a violation of privacy, as boundaries in these technologies should be clearly defined.
Published by: IOS Press   (Website:

ISBN: 1-58603-587-8

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