Future care: rethinking technology enhanced aged care environments

Jennifer Loy (Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Natalie Haskell (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

Journal of Enabling Technologies

ISSN: 2398-6263

Publication date: 18 June 2018



Cutting-edge hospital and residential care architecture and interior design aim to address the emotional and practical needs of patients, staff and visitors. Yet, whilst improving on past practice, current approaches to design still rarely recognise or respond to individuals. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of design-led research into digital technology across disciplines for the personalisation of healthcare environments and is informed by the authors’ ongoing hospital-based research.


This review is based on a design anthropology framework providing insight into designing for changing the experience for older patients in current healthcare contexts and future focused strategies, integrating digital technologies and human-centred design across scale and disciplines. It is informed by ongoing hospital studies based on design-led research methodology, drawing on design anthropology and ethnographical methods.


Technology enhanced, human-centred, assistive devices and environments implemented into healthcare across scale are developing but integration is needed for meaningful experiences.

Research limitations/implications

This review is a positioning paper for design-led research into digital technology across scale and medium.

Practical implications

This paper provides the basis for practical research including the ongoing hospital-based research of the authors.

Social implications

This approach potentially enhances emotional experiences of connected healthcare.


Future care scenarios are proposed, with technology and human experience as key drivers. Individualised and personalised solutions better cater for diversity. Within this context, it is strategic to question and test new ways of crafting the older persons care experience. This paper brings new direction to this discussion.



Loy, J. and Haskell, N. (2018), "Future care: rethinking technology enhanced aged care environments", Journal of Enabling Technologies, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 91-100. https://doi.org/10.1108/JET-12-2017-0054

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