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Environmental impacts of digital services for health and wellbeing in the home
The project will investigate the impacts, both positive and negative, of services and technology like digital assistants, automated lighting and heat controls, and surveillance tech. Dr. Cian O'Donovan and Dr. Melanie Smallman will lead the research at UCL STS with a particular focus on care homes and sheltered housing. They'll be working with partners at the University of Sussex, Manchester, Imperial and Anglia Ruskin, funded by the EPSRC, the UK's Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. In order to address the challenge of embedding environmental sustainability through digital technologies and services in the home, and in the context of social care, the project studies: (i) the built environment (i.e. predominantly analogue social care systems and services); (ii) how users interact with these digital interventions; (iii) the roles and experiences of professional eHealth intermediaries in providing health services in the home; and (iv) evaluate the environmental impacts of these technologies and services throughout their lifecycle, in terms of their carbon and water footprints, the extent to which they lead to depletion of resources, etc).
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