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Technologies 2018, 6(1), 13; doi:10.3390/technologies6010013

Assistant without Master? Some Conceptual Implications of Assistive Robotics in Health Care

Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 3640, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
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Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assistive Robotics)
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Abstract

The subject of “technical assistants” in inpatient care is currently being widely discussed in scientific and public circles. In many cases, though, it has become apparent that the umbrella term “assistive technologies”, also in the context of robotics, is very contrived. Against this background, the authors of this article reflect on the meaning of “assistance” in socio-technical systems, and critically review its relevance. To understand and demonstrate “assistive” functions, it is essential to establish a frame of reference. The re-evaluation of an empirical study of people with dementia in inpatient care has revealed the functional character of technical assistance systems. The results, however, show that the theoretical debate on the social and organisational function of “assistance” in these technical fields is still lacking. Therefore, the reflections in this paper may also provide some starting points for this debate. View Full-Text
Keywords: technical assistants; care setting; concept of assistance; need analysis; frame of reference; functionalities technical assistants; care setting; concept of assistance; need analysis; frame of reference; functionalities
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Krings, B.-J.; Weinberger, N. Assistant without Master? Some Conceptual Implications of Assistive Robotics in Health Care. Technologies 2018, 6, 13.

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