A study performed by SINTEF for the Norwegian Association of Local Regional Authorities found that nurses and care-sector employees would welcome sensor and robot technology to help them in nursing homes and home care for the elderly. The survey found that cleaning, moving, and lifting patients are potential applications for care and nursing robots, and that the development and introduction of new technology should occur in such a way that the level of support they provide will be maintained or improved.
During the survey, many of the participants were initially skeptical of using robots in elder care, but over the course of the interviews they started to imagine and mention scenarios in which robots could be of use. "It is worth noting that the staff still prefer themselves to perform tasks that currently require personal contact," says SINTEF Technology and Society project leader Kristine Holbo. "However, they would like routine tasks such as dealing with dirty clothes to be handled by a robot."
Holbo cautions that the survey only interviewed elder-care personnel, and not the people the robots and sensors would be attending to. "We need to be sure that any devices that we introduce are functional, and have to avoid 'pushing' technology onto the users," she says.
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