Dr Louise Reid

Project Title: Homes that care: How are Health Smart Homes envisioned in Scotland?

Developments in eHealth, Telecare and Telehealth in Scotland are primarily and understandably focused on service delivery and experience, or on the technology itself. The importance of home as a place of meaning does not currently feature as a key consideration in these developments yet is potentially significant in influencing the householder’s acceptance, engagement and satisfaction with healthcare technologies. Critically examining how ‘health smart homes’ (HSH) are imagined and experienced in Scotland, my ongoing research project is comparing perspectives of different stakeholders involved in the imagining, planning and experience of HSH’s.

There are two phases to the work: phase 1, involving interviews with 25-30 professionals involved in the provision of HSH, and; phase 2: understanding how HSH’s are experienced, particularly how healthcare technologies are influencing the way people interact with and live in their homes by visiting 20-30 people at home. Exploring what these perspectives are, how and why they differ, and what that means for HSH’s, will be useful in shaping academic and policy understandings of healthcare technologies, their impacts on homes, and on the way that people live in them.

The significance of the proposed research principally lies in the opportunity to encourage greater critical awareness of the impact of HSH’s on meanings and expectations of home to improve the future design of healthcare technologies and their rollout. Indeed, the Scottish Government’s 2018 Digital Health & Care Strategy surrounds six domains (e.g. information governance, service transformation, workforce capability), none of which explicitly concern everyday domestic experiences. By working with stakeholders throughout the project there is therefore considerable potential to shape future healthcare technologies and how they are embedded at home.

Awarded: Research Incentive Grant

Field: Human Geography

University: University of St Andrews

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