Supporting medication intake of the elderly with robot technology: Poster and demonstration

Cnossen, F., Sweers, N. & Shantia, A., 2016.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

Medication intake can prove a complicated task for the elderly. Since roughly 50% of all prescribed medication is taken incorrectly (MacLaughlin, et al., 2005), simplification of this task might have beneficial effects on this group’s general health and society’s healthcare costs. In response, Assistobot Corporation has commissioned the present study alongside its development of an assistive robot for the elderly, called RITA (the Reliable Interactive Table Assistant). The aim of this study was twofold: Firstly to develop a robot interface to assist the elderly with their medication intake. Secondly, to investigate whether the target group is willing to accept medication intake assistance from a robot. In order to fully map the process involved and so prepare for the initial stages of development, caregivers were interviewed about the medication intake task. The responses were analyzed and served to guide the development of the robot interface. The caregivers indicated that it was important for them to check whether the elderly actually took their medication. Wireframes were created before the actual interface was developed. A focus group was asked to provide feedback on the clarity of the design, and whether it met their requirements. Our test group found that the font size should be increased for optimal utility. The interface was developed in HTML5 and tested in a user study which consisted of a usability test and the post-study Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ) (Lewis, 1992). The questionnaire was extended with an acceptance questionnaire to investigate whether elderly would accept a robot to assist them with their medication intake. This questionnaire was based on the ALMERE-model (Heerink, Krose, Evers, & Wielinga, 2010) (Xu, et al., 2014). The usability test showed that the majority of participants in this study (17 out of 19) were able to take their medication with assistance of the interface. However, they found it difficult to work certain interface settings, such as those concerning the notifications interval or their pharmacy's contact details. Furthermore, on a five-point Likert scale, the PSSUQ resulted in a mean score of 3.9 (between 'Neutral' and 'Agree'); the Robot Acceptance Questionnaire scored a 3.5. Along with the results of the usability test, the questionnaire findings indicate that the interface could be used by the elderly for assistance with the medication intake task and that they are willing to accept assistance of a robot with this task in the future. Heerink, M., Krose, B., Evers, V., & Wielinga, B. (2010). Assessing acceptance of assistive social agent technology by older adults: the Almere model. International Journal of Social Robotics, 361-375. MacLaughlin, E. J., Raehl, C. L., Treadway, A. K., Sterling, T. L., Zoller, D. P., & Bond, C. A. (2005). Assessing medication adherence in the elderly. Drugs & Aging, 231-255. Lewis, J. R. (1992). Psychometric evaluation of the post-study system usability questionnaire: The PSSUQ. Proceedings of the human factors society, 1259-1263. Xu, Q., Ng, J., Tan, O., Huang, Z., Tay, B., & Park, T. (2014). Methodological Issues in Scenario-Based Evaluation of Human-Robot interaction. International journal of social robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSupporting health by technology VII - Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 27-May-201627-May-2016


ConferenceSupporting health by technology VII


Supporting health by technology VII


Groningen, Netherlands

Event: Conference



Download statistics

No data available

ID: 35101138