Key considerations for the implementation of active assisted living systems to support older adult care
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University of Waterloo, Canada
CSA Group, Canada
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A18
Background and Objective: Active Assisted Living (AAL) refers to internet-connected systems designed to improve quality of life, aid in independence, and create healthier lifestyles. As the population of older adults grows, there is a pressing need for additional supports in their daily lives and for non-intrusive, continuous, adaptable, and reliable health monitoring tools. AAL has great potential to support these efforts, but additional work is required to address the feasibility of the integration of AAL into care. The objective of this project is to address core issues with AAL system implementation, including user concerns, data governance, and building requirements for smart living environments. Methods: To understand the concerns and opportunities regarding AAL, as well as to validate our data governance framework, 18 semi-structured group interviews were held with stakeholders representing different parts of an AAL ecosystem. Each group comprised of several participants from the same organization. These were categorized as (1) care organizations, (2) technology developers, (3) technology integrators, and (4) potential care recipients or patient advocacy groups. Furthermore, a review of 156 smart home technologies was conducted to understand what their technical requirements are and what issues may be faced by users trying to implement them. Results: There is a critical need to acknowledge the trade-off inherent in AAL use between the benefits of the technology, their encroachment on privacy, and their cost in terms of time and finances. This trade-off is influenced by several factors, including the care context and what resources care recipients have available to them. Conclusions: A greater consistency in oversight is needed, including clearer definition in roles and who can access and is responsible for acting on data from AAL systems. Further work is necessary to address these needs, as well as set standards for AAL technologies and explore the equity of AAL access.