A lot of attention has been dedicated to the promotion of social innovation, technologies and businesses based on ICT and targeted at ensuring that products, systems and services offer effective support to older adults in their everyday life. This was clearly observed at the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health (ICT4AWE). The event was a meeting point for researchers and practitioners interested in methodologies and applications building on ICT to support older adults living a healthy, independent, active and participative live in their preferred environment. The ICT4AWE 2017 took place in Portugal, in the beautiful Porto city, on April 28th and 29th, joining researchers with a variety of backgrounds and coming from all continents. The conference was organized and sponsored by the Institute for Systems and Technologies on Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC).
A meeting point for researchers and practitioners on ICT for Ageing Well
The ICT4AWE was a space for exchanging information and best practices, as well as for discussing challenging technical problems that must be addressed in the field of ICT for ageing well. Therefore, it attracted the attention from researchers, developers and practitioners in this field.
Four main topic areas covered the subjects discussed under this conference:
- Ambient Assisted Living: including work developed under the topics of Ambient Intelligence, Smart environments and housing, internet of things for AAL, ubiquitous computing, vital signs and wireless body networks, among other topics under this area.
- Telemedicine and e-Health: where e-health and education, electronic health records, mobile collaboration technologies, tele-rehabilitation, diagnostic support, emergency and alerts handling, among other issues were debated.
- Monitoring, Accessibility and Human Computer Interaction: approaching topics such as systems usability, personalized interfaces, inclusive design, assistive technology and adaptive systems, pervasive technologies, web and mobile interaction among many others.
- Independent Living: comprising debates on smart devices, service and social robotics, healthcare robotics, sensor networks, Service e-Marketplaces, among many others.
A total of 10 full papers, 17 short papers and two keynote lectures gave live to debates and addressed contemporary challenges under those areas.
ActiveAdvice: A multi-perspective View on AAL Stakeholders’ Needs
Members of the ActiveAdvice consortium participated in the ICT4AWE conference, presenting the preliminary results from the stakeholder studies and deduction of group-specific requirements carried in the first phase of the project.
The integration of stakeholders at a very early stage of the ActiveAdvice project was a precondition, and should result in better choices in the design process and system development concerning the software solution. A first step in that direction was carrying, in the consortium countries, interviews with the three main groups of interest for the project:
- Older Adults and their relatives and/or informal caregivers (AAL2C)
- Businesses representatives of enterprises in the business field of AAL (AAL2B)
- Representatives from governmental bodies defining policies and providing services in the field of health and care (AAL2G).
Those interviews gave valuable inputs on the stakeholders’ attitudes towards the AAL products themselves, the web communication within a community and the web services which will be provided in ActiveAdvice. Parallels as well as contradictions were found concerning stakeholders’ needs. However, even conflicting needs of different groups can be integrated into the requirements analysis and the inclusion of these different perspectives is worthwhile!
How ActiveAdvice concept sounds for older adults, business and government representatives?
All interviewed groups anticipated and recognized positive effects of a European advisory platform. Among the most valued potential benefits of the ActiveAdvice platform were highlighted the following:
- To offer personalized feedback and advice
- To access feedback from end-users
- To stimulate older adults to use ICT solutions
- To raise awareness on AAL solutions
- To offer information on the AAL market, namely data on suppliers and services
- To promote experience exchange between organizations
- To help informing policies concerning care provision to older adults
Especially on the topic of personalized feedback and advice, ActiveAdvice will provide added value as there are only few examples to learn from and it is not yet common to provide personalized feedback and advice. Also, by taking into account the entire stakeholder’s ecosystem, ActiveAdvice has the chance to create value for a broader audience and raise public awareness on AAL.
The ActiveAdvice project will soon be able to support information and advice gathering about the best Ambient/Active Assisted Living solutions for improving older adult’s quality of life. Stay linked to our blog and subscribe our newsletter for more information!