AAL Advantages And Disadvantages

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2. BACKGROUD AAL has emerged as an initiative of the European Union aimed at responding to the growing needs of the elderly population, which is one of the greatest concerns in terms of the sustainability of health and social care systems (AAL Joint Programe, 2010). The European Commission and several Member States have established, in July 2008, a joint program of research and development that aimed to promote AAL products and services as a possible answer to the challenges related to the population ageing (AAL Joint Programe, 2010). AAL is related to digital environments with ubiquitous and no obstructive intelligence organized to support a wide range of products and aiming to extend the time that elderly people can remain active in their…show more content…
AAL has several generic and specific challenges that difficult its implementation and generalization. Nowadays, the use of AAL products and services by its end users (primary stakeholders) is limited. In fact, in terms of potential end users, there are barriers that must be overcome, including general reluctance to use technology, lack of clear evidence about the real benefits of AAL products and services, or inability to select the appropriate technologies (Kleinberger, Becker, Ras, Holzinger & Müller, 2007). The main barriers related to the use of AAL technologies by elderly people are related to psychological factors, prejudices, habits and education. Often elderly people reject solutions which entail changes in their habits and lifestyle since they are not aware that these changes could represent an improvement of their quality of life (i.e. perception of their position in life within the context of the surrounding culture and value system) (WHO, 2002). One way to overcome these problems is to promote awareness among potential end users about the benefits that AAL products and services can…show more content…
Finally yet importantly, a transversal challenge is related to the development of appropriate methods and instruments to ensure the involvement of end users (Memon, Wagner, Pedersen, Beevi, & Hansen, 2014; Calvaresi et al., 2016). In fact, the specialists promoting new solutions are often responsible for the conceptualization, design and development of products and services, from a preliminary identification of end users requirements, and are the ones that decide which features and services to integrate and how the end users will interact with them. Only at a later stage, when the prototypes are already developed, end users are involved in the evaluations, which means that the initial assumptions were not based on their needs, experiences or mental models (Martins, Queirós, Cerqueira, Rocha & Teixeira, 2012). The user-centered design (Bevan, 1998) aims to overcome these difficulties and includes a set of structured procedures to be implemented from the early stages of the development process and that focus on the characteristics, needs and requirements of the end users. This allows the potential end users to influence the development of the products and services, so that these can be used in an efficient way (eg, optimization of the time required to perform a given task), do not require long learning effort (eg, the operations may be learned by observation) or provide a high degree of

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