Shabnam FakhrHosseini Discusses the Smart Home Future at Samsung Digital Health Forum

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Research Scientist Shabnam FakhrHosseini gave a presentation on home health technology at Samsung Electronics’ quarterly SGR Digital Health Forum, which is organized around an annual theme of “care at home.” Her presentation included an introduction to the research domains of MIT AgeLab, the latest iteration of MIT AgeLab home taxonomy and levels of automation, the role of social robots in the context of senior care, and the exploration of several use cases and solutions involving home appliances or digital devices.

Dr. FakhrHosseini discussed the challenges and opportunities of longevity: rising numbers of older adults will mean a larger population of people in need of increased healthcare and assistance, which will (and already does) constitute a flourishing market for new products and services.

Smart home systems, for their potential to facilitate health, safety, convenience, and connection in the home, may become increasingly popular for some of the 90 percent of older adults who want to age in place. 51 percent of homeowners already have some form of smart home technology in their homes. Smart home systems today are what Dr. FakhrHosseini classifies as "level 3" homes in her taxonomy, capable of interfacing in complex ways with each other and with the home environment, as well as the human user.

Dr. FakhrHosseini discussed some guidelines for developing smart home systems. They should function locally without needing to connect to a cloud service. They should provide users with recommendations for action instead of simple notifications. They should be able to respond to voice commands, and to be able to understand more complex, “chainable” commands. And they should be able to support multiple profiles in order to function in a multi-person home.

Importantly, these technologies should be developed with an aim toward accomplishing more for their users than “simply surviving:” they can also support people higher-order needs and desires. They can be designed with the ends of being engaging, fun, and stimulating. Technology adoption models, including AgeLab Research Scientist Chaiwoo Lee’s, provide a holistic picture of what draws us to new products and services, ranging from their ability to solve problems in our lives, their cost, and the ways that they reflect our self-definition and aspirations.

  • Share
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Get Involved

Interested in this area of study? See how you can participate in AgeLab research or become a volunteer.


About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

More From the Blog

2020 OMEGA Summit Brings Together Students, Aging Professionals, Past Scholarship Winners

October 30, 2020

2020 Summer Interns Work on OMEGA, Lifestyle Leaders, C3 Project

August 26, 2020

2021 Spring Speaker Series Begins with Presentation from Dr. Catherine García on Social Determinants of Health

March 23, 2021