Ambient Assisted Living systems in real life situations: Experiences from the SOPRANO project.

eCare & Ageing


Authors:I. Bierhoff, S. Müller, S. Sproll, S. Delaney, P. Byrne, C. Huijnen

Reference:In: 'Technology for Active Aging'. IOS Press.

The challenge of an aging population requires innovative approaches to meet the needs of increasing numbers of older people within society (Sixsmith & Sixsmith, 2008). In particular, there is a need to move from a health and social agenda that emphasizes dependency to one that promotes active aging and creates supportive environments to enable healthy aging in the settings where older people live (Sixsmith et al., 2010). Emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as pervasive computing and ubiquitous computing, have considerable potential for enhancing the lives of many older people throughout the world and helping them to age in place (Sixsmith & Sixsmith, 2008). Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) refers to ICT systems, products, and services that integrate sensors, actuators, smart interfaces, artificial intelligence, and communications networks to provide more supportive environments for frail and disabled older people (Mokhtari, Khalil, Bauchet, Zhang, & Nugent, 2009; van den Broek, Cavallo, & Wehrmann, 2010). AAL has been an important emerging area of research over recent years involving collaboration between domain experts (health sciences, rehabilitation, gerontology, and social sciences) and technical experts (engineering, computing science, robotics). Research and development within AAL has aimed to develop applications and systems to facilitate independence (van den Broek et al., 2010), such as activity monitoring to detect potential emergencies, reminder devices for supporting and encouraging mobility and activities of daily living, monitoring activity patterns as indicators of change in cognitive and physical status, and smart interfaces to help people control their everyday environment. The European research project SOPRANO (Service-oriented Programmable Smart Environments for Older Europeans) developed supportive environments for older people based on the concept of AAL.