Smart homes and novel indicators to inform an evidence-based population health intervention for aging in place and design of a community health registry


The critical need for population-level interventions to support the health needs of the growing population of older adults is widely recognized1. In addition, there is a need for novel indicators to monitor wellness as a resource for living and a means for prediction and prevention of changes in community health status2. Smart homes, defined as residential infrastructure equipped with technology features that enable passive monitoring of residents to proactively support wellness, have the potential to support older adults for independence at the residence of their choice. However, a characterization of the current state of smart homes research as a population health intervention is lacking. In addition, there is a knowledge translation gap between the smart homes research and public health practice communities. The EBPH movement identifies three types of evidence along a continuum to inform population health interventions: Type 1 (something should be done), Type 2 (this should be done) and Type 3 (how it should be done)3. Type 2 evidence consists of a classification scheme for interventions (emerging, promising, effective and evidence-based)3. To illustrate typology use with an example: the need for population health interventions for aging populations is well known (Type 1 evidence), many studies show that smart home technologies can support aging in place (Type 2 evidence) but there are few, if any, examples of smart homes as population health interventions to support aging in place (Type 3 evidence). Our research questions for this systematic review are: 1) What categories of Type 2 evidence from the scientific literature uphold smart homes as an EBPH intervention? 2) What are the novel health indicators identified from smart home studies to inform design of a community health registry that supports prediction and prevention of negative changes in health status? 3) What stakeholders are reported in studies that contribute Type 2 evidence for smart homes as an EBPH intervention? 4) What gaps exist between Type 2 and Type 3 evidence for smart homes as an EBPH intervention?


This study aims to 1) characterize the state of smart homes research as a population health intervention to support aging in place through systematic review and classification of scientific literature using an evidence-based public health (EBPH) typology and 2) identify novel indicators of health captured by monitoring technologies to inform design of a community health registry.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2011

May 02, 2019

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