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Published: 2020-08-19

Domestication of a robotic medication-dispensing service among older people in Finnish Lapland

Media Education Hub, Faculty of Education, University of Lapland
Media Education Hub, Faculty of Education University of Lapland
ehealth robotic medication-dispenser domestication older people sparsely populated area digital competence


This paper presents a case study on a robotic medication-dispensing service used in the everyday lives of older people in Finnish Lapland through the concept of domestication. The study took an ethnographic approach. A total of 11 service users, practical nurses, and other health-care professionals participated; the service users averaged age 81 years (M= 81.4, SD = 5.4). The data comprised semistructured interviews complemented by observations and photographs at service users’ homes. We concluded that the domestication of the service was successful, although the service users sometimes felt that it limited their lives. The service users stated that learning and subsequently using the service was easy with social network support. The participants indicated their reasons for hesitation in using the service related primarily to concerns in trying new technology, the technical features of the robot, and cognitive or physical difficulties. The service supports “aging in place,” which is in line with the Finnish care policy.


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How to Cite

Airola, E., & Rasi, P. . (2020). Domestication of a robotic medication-dispensing service among older people in Finnish Lapland. Human Technology, 16(2), 117–138. Retrieved from