Year: 2017 Source: Journal of Medical Internet Research. (2017). 19(5): e256: 1-9. doi:10.2196/jmir.7520 SIEC No: 20170309

Older Indigenous adults encounter multiple challenges as their age intersects with health inequities. Research
suggests that a majority of older Indigenous adults prefer to age in place, and they will need culturally safe assistive technologies
to do so.
Objective: The aim of this critical review was to examine literature concerning use, adaptation, and development of assistive
technologies for health purposes by Indigenous peoples.
Methods: Working within Indigenous research methodologies and from a decolonizing approach, searches of peer-reviewed
academic and gray literature dated to February 2016 were conducted using keywords related to assistive technology and Indigenous
peoples. Sources were reviewed and coded thematically.
Results: Of the 34 sources captured, only 2 concerned technology specifically for older Indigenous adults. Studies detailing
technology with Indigenous populations of all ages originated primarily from Canada (n=12), Australia (n=10), and the United
States (n=9) and were coded to four themes: meaningful user involvement and community-based processes in development, the
digital divide, Indigenous innovation in technology, and health technology needs as holistic and interdependent.
Conclusions: A key finding is the necessity of meaningful user involvement in technology development, especially in communities
struggling with the digital divide. In spite of, or perhaps because of this divide, Indigenous communities are enthusiastically
adapting mobile technologies to suit their needs in creative, culturally specific ways. This enthusiasm and creativity, coupled
with the extensive experience many Indigenous communities have with telehealth technologies, presents opportunity for meaningful,
culturally safe development processes.