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Accepted Paper:

Exploring expectations and concerns regarding home-care robots among older people in Japan  
Mayuko Tsujimura (Shiga University of Medical Science) Naonori Kodate (University College Dublin) Sayuri Suwa (Chiba University) Wenwei Yu (Chiba University) Helli Kitinoja (Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences) Hiroo Ide (The University of Tokyo) Mina Ishimaru (Chiba University) Atsuko Shimamura (Toho University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper reports the findings from a tri-country questionnaire study that was carried out to examine potential home-care robot users’ perceptions toward development and implementation of such robots in Japan, Ireland, and Finland. The paper’s focus will be placed on older people’s views in Japan.

Paper long abstract:

What expectations and fears do older people have with regard home-care robots? The aim of this research was to understand older people’s perceptions in Japan toward home-care robots. The questionnaire explored older people’s views, and the data analysis was carried out to evaluate whether any differences exist between 1) those aged 65-74 years old and those aged 75 years and above, and 2) those who are currently providing care and those who are not.

In total, 176 responses were received. Of those, 64.2% were from women, 54.5% were from those aged 75 years and over, 48.9% were from those providing care at present and 25.0% from those living alone.

The analysis suggests that

1) When comparing the group aged 65-74 with that aged 75 and over, more in the former group are “familiar with robots” and are "willing to use home-care robots". Also, more people in the younger cohort agreed that “the decision regarding the use of home-care robots should be made based on the convenience of the family”.

2) Those who are currently providing care place more value on “law and regulations" and “how the product is socially recognised”. Among the desired functions, carers would have expectations for ‘companionship’, ‘monitoring of physical condition’, and ‘relaying messages to family and support personnel’.

These findings are illuminating with regard to home-care robots, as older people are not a uniform group, and their needs should be reflected in development, research and deployment.

This work was supported by the Pfizer Health Research Foundation.

Panel P09b
AI in Health and Care: Development, Governance, and Ethics in East Asia
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -