Questions about informed consent related to the use of haptic suits as assistive technologies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Questions about informed consent related to the use of haptic suits as assistive technologies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Fiachra O’Brolcháin, Aviva Cohen
International Journal of Applied Ethics, 31 May 2019; 30
Open Access
Abstract

Technological innovation is witnessing the convergence of haptic technologies with real-time 3D virtual environments and / or augmented reality technologies. Among the diverse applications of these innovations is their use as assistive technologies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or people with cognitive deficits, such as dementia.

This article focuses on the issue of informed consent in relation to research and the use of these technologies (hereafter referred to simply as haptic suits). Informed consent is a standard requirement in the ethics of research, as well as in care settings, so it will be necessary for tests with haptic suits in general and, when used as assistive technology. Given the emphasis on the participation of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the research and design of assistive technologies for their use, the issue of informed consent is compelling.

Editor’s note: This is a Spanish language publication. In reviewing available definitions for haptic technologies we found the following: “the science of applying touch sensation and control to interact with computer developed applications”.

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