Would you want to be cared for by a Care Robot? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office of Japan recengtly conducted a survey looking at care robots.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 11th of August 2013 3,000 members of the public with Japanese nationality were randomly selected. 1,842 of them (61.4%) chose to answer the questionnaire at face-to-face interviews. Further demographic breakdown was not provided.

Before you get the idea of robo-nurses into your head, as can be seen in the preamble to Q4 it is more just technology to assist the carer and the cared-for rather than the science-fiction image of autonomous androids tending to their human wards.

Research results

Q1: Have you or members of your family had experience of performing nursing care at home? (Sample size=1,842)

Yes, myself (to SQ) 26.3%
Yes, other family members (to SQ) 11.5%
No 62.1%
No answer 0.1%

Q1SQ: Which aspect of nursing care at home were particularly arduous? (Sample size=696, multiple answer)

Toilet (on toilet, changing nappies, etc) 62.5%
Bathing (getting into bath, washing, etc) 58.3%
Meal times (perparation, feeding) 49.1%
Transferring (from wheelchair to toilet, bath, bed, etc) 48.3%
Getting up (from bed, out of chairs, etc) 47.7%
Moving (walking around the house) 37.8
Dementia care 28.9%
Watching over (perventing wandering off, falling out of bed, etc) 28.2%
Going out (shopping escort, etc) 19.4%
Rehabilitation training 16.1%
Other 0.6%
Nothing in particular 2.4%
Don’t know 0.6%

Q2: Do you know about “Care Robots”? (Sample size=1,842)

Know what they are 31.9%
Just heard the term 41.9%
Don’t know them 26.1%
Don’t know if I know 0.1%

Q3: What do you think are the attractions of a Care Robot? (Sample size=1,842, multiple answer)

The physical and mental toll on the carer will be reduced 63.9%
The carer need not pay full attention to their ward 41.5%
The things the cared-for person can do by themselves will increase 35.8%
Will help prevent the physical and mental decline of the cared-for person 21.0%
The costs of care will decrease 19.9%
It will be even safer than human carers 15.4%
Can receive leading-edge care 13.7%
Other 0.8%
Nothing in particular 7.0%
Don’t know 4.7%

Next, the respondents were shown information describing the five fields that in November 2012 the government declared were important fields for care-related robotic technology. These were:

  1. When lifting the cared-for person, a wearable device to reduce the strain on the carer’s back, etc
  2. When transferring the cared-for person from bed to wheelchair, equipment to assist the process
  3. When going out, a battery-assisted “Silver Car”, Granny cart
  4. Self-purging toilet for living rooms
  5. Sensor system to assist in looking out for a card-for person

Q4: Would you want to use a Care Robot at your own home when caring for someone else? (Sample size=1,842)

Yes 24.7%
Perhaps 35.1%
Perhaps not 19.3%
No 14.6%
Don’t know 6.4%

Q5: Would you want to be cared for by a Care Robot? (Sample size=1,842)

Yes 35.1%
Perhaps 30.0%
Perhaps not 14.9%
No 14.3%
Don’t know 5.6%

Q6: When choosing a Care Robot, what do you think would be especially important? (Sample size=1,842, multiple answer)

Easy to operate 74.4%
Cheap price 68.6%
Has a safety certificate 54.6%
Covered by national health insurance scheme 53.6%
Comes with a guarantee against injury from careless use 46.1%
Easy to clean, easy to replace parts, otherwise simple on-going maintenance 45.2%
Don’t take up much space 39.7%
Endorsed by local, national government 35.5%
Good reviews from others 18.2%
Company has large market share 16.0%
Made by a well-known company 8.0%
Good design 6.7%
Often see adverts for it 6.6%
Other 0.5%
Nothing in particular 3.5%
Don’t know 3.0%

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