The question I’m working on is how technology can be used in caring for older people to support them in living independently.

Annie-mie Sponselee, alumnus

During my studies I learned a lot about the roles of behavior, perception and psychology in the development and introduction of new technologies.

“I started in 2005 with a doctoral research program at Fontys University of Applied Sciences. The question I’m working on is how technology can be used in caring for older people to support them in living independently. The development of home automation, or domotics, in home care arises out of a number of societal changes. On the one hand the numbers of older people (65+) are increasing rapidly, while at the same time there are fewer young people to care for them. And on the other hand care itself is changing, because people want to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible, and to organize their own care services. It’s hoped that the use of technology will take some of the pressure off care providers and support older people in living independently.

For my research I placed this question into a societal context, which is something I learned to do during my studies. That means you consider all the players who are involved in these developments. For example care providers, clients and installers, but also developers like Philips, healthcare insurance companies and the government, all of whom have to think about the changes that are taking place in the funding of care costs.

I was particularly interested during my studies in the end-users; in my present work these are the older people who need care services. While I was studying I learned a lot about the roles of behavior, perception and psychology in the development and introduction of new technologies. That means I can now advise both care providers and technical people about the right technology choices and how they can best implement new technologies.”