In this position paper, we have used Alan Cooper’s persona technique to illustrate the utility of audio- and video-based AAL technologies. Therefore, two primary examples of potential audio- and video-based AAL users, Anna and Irakli, serve as reference points for describing salient ethical, legal and social challenges related to use of AAL. These challenges are presented on three levels: individual, societal, and regulatory. For each challenge, a set of policy recommendations is suggested.
The paper provides an introduction to the public discourse around the notion of smart healthy inclusive environments. First, the basic ideas are explained and related to citizen participation in the context of implementation of a “society for all ages” concept disseminated by the United Nations. Next, the text discusses selected initiatives of the European Commission in the field of intergenerational programming and policies as well as features of the COST Action NET4Age-Friendly: Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments. The following sections are focused (...) on studying and discussing examples of projects and methodologies that have been aimed at: empowering facilitators of smart healthy inclusive environments, empowering citizens to deal with health emergencies, and supporting older people’s voices. The conclusion covers selected recommendations for entities of public policy on ageing as well as potential directions for further research. (shrink)
The paper provides an introduction to the public discourse around the notion of smart healthy inclusive environments. First, the basic ideas are explained and related to citizen participation in the context of implementation of a "society for all ages" concept disseminated by the United Nations. Next, the text discusses selected initiatives of the European Commission in the field of intergenerational programming and policies as well as features of the COST Action NET4Age-Friendly: Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE). The following sections are (...) focused on studying and discussing examples of projects and methodologies that have been aimed at: empowering facilitators of smart healthy inclusive environments, empowering citizens to deal with health emergencies, and supporting older people's voices. The conclusion covers selected recommendations for entities of public policy on ageing (ageing policy) as well as potential directions for further research. (shrink)
Ambient assisted living technologies are increasingly presented and sold as essential smart additions to daily life and home environments that will radically transform the healthcare and wellness markets of the future. An ethical approach and a thorough understanding of all ethics in surveillance/monitoring architectures are therefore pressing. AAL poses many ethical challenges raising questions that will affect immediate acceptance and long-term usage. Furthermore, ethical issues emerge from social inequalities and their potential exacerbation by AAL, accentuating the existing access gap between (...) high-income countries and low and middle-income countries. Legal aspects mainly refer to the adherence to existing legal frameworks and cover issues related to product safety, data protection, cybersecurity, intellectual property, and access to data by public, private, and government bodies. Successful privacy-friendly AAL applications are needed, as the pressure to bring Internet of Things devices and ones equipped with artificial intelligence quickly to market cannot overlook the fact that the environments in which AAL will operate are mostly private. The social issues focus on the impact of AAL technologies before and after their adoption. Future AAL technologies need to consider all aspects of equality such as gender, race, age and social disadvantages and avoid increasing loneliness and isolation among, e.g. older and frail people. Finally, the current power asymmetries between the target and general populations should not be underestimated nor should the discrepant needs and motivations of the target group and those developing and deploying AAL systems. Whilst AAL technologies provide promising solutions for the health and social care challenges, they are not exempt from ethical, legal and social issues. A set of ELSI guidelines is needed to integrate these factors at the research and development stage. (shrink)
The objective of Working Group 4 of the COST Action NET4Age-Friendly is to examine existing policies, advocacy, and funding opportunities and to build up relations with policy makers and funding organisations. Also, to synthesize and improve existing knowledge and models to develop from effective business and evaluation models, as well as to guarantee quality and education, proper dissemination and ensure the future of the Action. The Working Group further aims to enable capacity building to improve interdisciplinary participation, to promote knowledge (...) exchange and to foster a cross-European interdisciplinary research capacity, to improve cooperation and co-creation with cross-sectors stakeholders and to introduce and educate students SHAFE implementation and sustainability. To enable the achievement of the objectives of Working Group 4, the Leader of the Working Group, the Chair and Vice-Chair, in close cooperation with the Science Communication Coordinator, developed a template to map the current state of SHAFE policies, funding opportunities and networking in the COST member countries of the Action. On invitation, the Working Group lead received contributions from 37 countries, in a total of 85 Action members. The contributions provide an overview of the diversity of SHAFE policies and opportunities in Europe and beyond. These were not edited or revised and are a result of the main areas of expertise and knowledge of the contributors; thus, gaps in areas or content are possible and these shall be further explored in the following works and reports of this WG. But this preliminary mapping is of huge importance to proceed with the WG activities. In the following chapters, an introduction on the need of SHAFE policies is presented, followed by a summary of the main approaches to be pursued for the next period of work. The deliverable finishes with the opportunities of capacity building, networking and funding that will be relevant to undertake within the frame of Working Group 4 and the total COST Action. The total of country contributions is presented in the annex of this deliverable. (shrink)
BackgroundInformation and communication technology solutions have the potential to support active and healthy aging and improve monitoring and treatment outcomes. To make such solutions acceptable, all stakeholders must be involved in the requirements elicitation process. Due to the COVID-19 situation, alternative approaches to commonly used face-to-face methods must often be used. One aim of the current article is to share a unique experience from the Pharaon project where due to the COVID-19 outbreak alternative elicitation methods were used. In addition, an (...) overview of common functional, quality, and emotional goals identified by six pilot sites is presented to complement the knowledge about the needs of older adults.MethodsOriginally planned face-to-face co-creation seminars were impossible to carry out, and all pilot sites chose alternative requirements elicitation methods that were most suitable in their situation. The elicited requirements were presented in the form of goal models. In one summary goal model, we provide an overview of common functional, quality, and emotional goals.ResultsDifferent elicitation methods were combined based on the digital literacy of the target group and their access to digital tools. Methods applied without digital technologies were phone interviews, reviews of literature and previous projects, while by means of digital technologies online interviews, online questionnaires, and virtual co-creation seminars were conducted. The combination of the methods allowed to involve all planned stakeholders. Virtual and semi-virtual co-creation seminars created collaborative environment comparable to face-to-face situations, while online participation helped to save the time of the participants. The most prevalent functional goals elicited were “Monitor health,” “Receive advice,” “Receive information.” “Easy to use/comfortable,” “personalized/tailored,” “automatic/smart” were identified as most prevalent quality goals. Most frequently occurring emotional goals were “involved,” “empowered,” and “informed.”ConclusionThere are alternative methods to face-to-face co-creation seminars, which effectively involve older adults and other stakeholders in the requirements elicitation process. Despite the used elicitation method, the requirements can be easily transformed into goal models to present the results in a uniform way. The common requirements across different pilots provided a strong foundation for representing detailed requirements and input for further software development processes. (shrink)