Can Quantified Self Be a Facilitating Technology to Help Older Adults Stay Longer in Their Home?

  • Christel De MaeyerEmail author
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Readers of this chapter are taken through a journey by the author, who narrates a real-life story of a lady called Maria who is 75-year old and lives with her husband Albert, 81-years. The narration describes the lives of Maria and Albert, detailing their enjoyment of physical activity, and their children. Yet, one-day Maria is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and through the narration the author describes the experience that Maria and her family experience. Fast forwarding, to the year 2030, the author continues her narration describing how technology may fit into Maria’s life and that of her family; including the use of wearable devices and sensors integrated into the home where Maria lives, and enabling her family to track in real-time Maria’s sleep patterns and overall health. Additionally, this chapter discusses the fields of ageing in place, the quantified self (QS), and based on existing work in this field, the author explores a taxonomy for the QS, referencing and drawing on the work of Deborah Lupton. Further exploration and discussion in the areas of appropriation, affordance, rights, and risks of QS are provided with the author exploring how digital technologies fit within the healthcare system.


Quantified self Fall detection Surveillance Sensors 



I would like to dedicate this chapter to my mom who died in 2016 with severe Alzheimer’s disease. I used BodyMedia technology to monitor how she was sleeping and how much physical activity she was undertaking. Unfortunately, the latter was not working well, since she was not really making steps but more shuffled on her feet across the floor, and the system counted distinctive toe strikes to measure steps.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Graphical Digital MediaArtevelde University College GhentGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Industrial DesignEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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