UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Robot-assisted home hazard assessment for fall prevention: a feasibility study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science

Publication Date


Document Type



Accidental Falls; Accidents, Home; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Feasibility Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Reproducibility of Results; Research Personnel; Risk Assessment; Robotics


Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Information Technology | Robotics


We examined the feasibility of using a remotely manoeuverable robot to make home hazard assessments for fall prevention. We employed use-case simulations to compare robot assessments with in-person assessments. We screened the homes of nine elderly patients (aged 65 years or more) for fall risks using the HEROS screening assessment. We also assessed the participants' perspectives of the remotely-operated robot in a survey. The nine patients had a median Short Blessed Test score of 8 (interquartile range, IQR 2-20) and a median Life-Space Assessment score of 46 (IQR 27-75). Compared to the in-person assessment (mean = 4.2 hazards identified per participant), significantly more home hazards were perceived in the robot video assessment (mean = 7.0). Only two checklist items (adequate bedroom lighting and a clear path from bed to bathroom) had more than 60% agreement between in-person and robot video assessment. Participants were enthusiastic about the robot and did not think it violated their privacy. The study found little agreement between the in-person and robot video hazard assessments. However, it identified several research questions about how to best use remotely-operated robots.

DOI of Published Version



J Telemed Telecare. 2014 Jan;20(1):3-10. doi: 10.1177/1357633X13517350. Epub 2013 Dec 18. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of telemedicine and telecare

PubMed ID