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Background: Assistive technologies for people with dementia and their relatives have the potential to ensure, improve, and facilitate home care and thereby enhance the health of the people caring or being cared for. The number and diversity of technologies and research have continuously increased over the past few decades. As a result, the research field has become complex.

Objective: The goal of this scoping review was to provide an overview of the research on technology-assisted home care for people with dementia and their relatives in order to guide further research and technology development.

Methods: A scoping review was conducted following a published framework and by searching 4 databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and CENTRAL) for studies published between 2013 and 2018. We included qualitative and quantitative studies in English or German focusing on technologies that support people with dementia or their informal carers in the home care setting. Studies that targeted exclusively people with mild cognitive impairment, delirium, or health professionals were excluded as well as studies that solely consisted of assessments without implication for the people with dementia or their relatives and prototype developments. We mapped the research field regarding study design, study aim, setting, sample size, technology type, and technology aim, and we report relative and absolute frequencies.

Results: From an initial 5328 records, we included 175 studies. We identified a variety of technology types including computers, telephones, smartphones, televisions, gaming consoles, monitoring devices, ambient assisted living, and robots. Assistive technologies were most commonly used by people with dementia (77/175, 44.0%), followed by relatives (68/175, 38.9%), and both target groups (30/175, 17.1%). Their most frequent goals were to enable or improve care, provide therapy, or positively influence symptoms of people with dementia (eg, disorientation). The greatest proportions of studies were case studies and case series (72/175, 41.1%) and randomized controlled trials (44/175, 25.1%). The majority of studies reported small sample sizes of between 1 and 50 participants (122/175, 69.7%). Furthermore, most of the studies analyzed the effectiveness (85/233, 36.5%) of the technology, while others targeted feasibility or usability or were explorative.

Conclusions: This review demonstrated the variety of technologies that support people with dementia and their relatives in the home care setting. Whereas this diversity provides the opportunity for needs-oriented technical solutions that fit individual care arrangements, it complicates the choice of the right technology. Therefore, research on the users’ informational needs is required. Moreover, there is a need for larger studies on the technologies’ effectiveness that could contribute to a higher acceptance and thus to a transition of technologies from research into the daily lives of people with dementia and their relatives.