Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 1181–1195 | Cite as

DigiSwitch: A Device to Allow Older Adults to Monitor and Direct the Collection and Transmission of Health Information Collected at Home

  • Kelly E. CaineEmail author
  • Celine Y. Zimmerman
  • Zachary Schall-Zimmerman
  • William R. Hazlewood
  • L. Jean Camp
  • Katherine H. Connelly
  • Lesa L. Huber
  • Kalpana Shankar
Original Paper


Home monitoring represents an appealing alternative for older adults considering out-of-home long term care and an avenue for informal caregivers and health care providers to gain decision-critical information about an older adults’ health and well-being. However, privacy concerns about having 24/7 monitoring, especially video monitoring, in the home environment have been cited as a major barrier in the design of home monitoring systems. In this paper we describe the design and evaluation of “DigiSwitch”, a medical system designed to allow older adults to view information as it is collected about them and temporarily cease transmission of data for privacy reasons. Results from a series of iterative user studies suggest that control over the transmission of monitoring data from the home is helpful for maintaining user privacy. The studies demonstrate that older adults are able to use the DigiSwitch system to monitor and direct the collection and transmission of health information in their homes, providing these participants with a way to simultaneously maintain privacy and benefit from home monitoring technology.


Aging in place Home monitoring Home Older adult Privacy 



Portions of this material were presented at the 1st Annual Meeting of the ACM Special Interest Group on International Health Informatics (with proceedings). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under award number 0705676. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© bbySpringer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly E. Caine
    • 1
    Email author
  • Celine Y. Zimmerman
    • 1
  • Zachary Schall-Zimmerman
    • 1
  • William R. Hazlewood
    • 1
  • L. Jean Camp
    • 1
  • Katherine H. Connelly
    • 1
  • Lesa L. Huber
    • 1
  • Kalpana Shankar
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Informatics and ComputingIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Information and Library ScienceUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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