Introduction: The recent advances in consumer electronics paved the way for new approaches to neurophysiological evaluation at home. More specifically, the computing capabilities of state-of-the-art television sets and media centres may facilitate the introduction of computer-assisted evaluation at home. This approach would help to overcome the drawbacks of traditional pen-and-paper evaluations administered in clinical facilities, as they could be performed in a more comfortable environment, the subject’s home, and they would be more flexible to design complex environments for the evaluation of neuropsychological constructs that are difficult to evaluate through traditional testing. The objective of this work was to obtain some initial evidence about the technical acceptance by senior adults of serious games played at home on the TV set for their cognitive evaluation, and therefore about the convenience of further investigating such approach to cognitive evaluation.
Materials and methods: We developed a collection of games to be deployed on a smart TV environment. These games were tried by a group of senior adults at their homes. Surveys were performed to study the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of such technical setting as an instrument for their cognitive evaluation, that is, its technical acceptance. An additional survey was performed 36 months after pilot testing to have an indication about the long-term perceptions about perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use.
Results: More than 90% of participating subjects perceive cognitive games on TV as useful or very useful, and this result correlates with the number of participants perceiving them as easily usable or very easy to use. Besides, these perceptions are fairly stable in time.
Limitations: Although participating users were carefully selected to obtain a representative sample of the Galician population, which in turn is comparable to the population of most rural areas in Europe, a larger and more diverse user sample may be needed to obtain significant results for a wider population profile.
Conclusion: The study confirmed the technical acceptance, that is, the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, of the home technical setting introduced as a means of cognitive evaluation. Nevertheless, more research is needed in order to implement serious games in a way that medical community accepts them as a valid, reliable way to perform cognitive evaluations at home.