ActiveAdvice aims to deliver a functional ICT environment through which Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) services for older adults and their relatives can be accessed. The ICT environment offers a holistic market overview, presenting regional, national and international AAL products and services in accordance with the needs of the end users, and combines it with a strong and integrated focus on the target market.
The project “ActiveAdvice. Decision Support Solutions for Independent Living Using an Intelligent AAL Products and Service Cloud”, funded by the European Commission and the AAL Joint Programme, aims to provide an overview of the confusing and segmented market of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) products and services. Over a duration of 28 months, ActiveAdvice intends to support the decision-making process with an ICT tool that is embedded in an active advising and decision-support network across Europe. This is supported by a comprehensive ICT-based environment, presenting a broad state-of-the-art collection on available AAL services and technologies offered at regional, national and international levels, which are stored in an Intelligent AAL Product & Service Cloud. A team of 25 researchers, practitioners and developers cooperates to achieve the project’s objectives.
Throughout the project, extensive end-user studies are carried out, building the basis for the design, development and implementation of services models for its customers. These are divided into three groups: consumers, i.e. older adults and their relatives (target group AAL2C), businesses (AAL2B) and governments and Non-Governmental Organisations supporting older people (AAL2G). Iterative user feedback and usability testing, as well as human advisor certification across all consortium countries, will ensure the quality of the ActiveAdvice environment while increasing the uptake of AAL and establishing a European network of Authorized Active Advisors.
An innovative approach to decision support
ActiveAdvice creates a novel ICT environment compromised of digital and human advisors, enhancing the information exchange and expert dialogue, as well as the technology and service uptake in the field of AAL. Through the creation of three service models tailored to the specific needs of the three target groups, older adults and their relatives, business, and governments and NGOs an increased rate of awareness for and implementation of AAL solutions is reached across Europe.
The twofold approach envisaged features digital advisory, delivered in the form of user ratings and expert reviews on solutions, as well as human advisory from the Authorized Active Advisors network, whose members provide local know-how and expertise in AAL products and services as well as funding options and public support. Based on the knowledge provided by ActiveAdvice, the AAL target audience is supported in an informed decision-making process on how to prolong and enhance their independent life through the employment of personalized ICT solutions.
As such, the project aims to
- RESEARCH: Explore information and advisory needs of stakeholders in the AAL landscape related to product and service selection;
- AGGREGATE: Collect and harvest AAL product catalogues and AAL service portfolios into an intelligent product and service cloud;
- IMPLEMENT: Develop and validate software service modules for information exchange and digital advisory on AAL products and services;
- CONNECT: Create a network of Authorized Active Advisors personally supporting AAL stakeholders in decision-making processes.
‘Human advisory’ as key to success
The selection of technical solutions to be installed in homes, public spaces and workplaces are still subject to human factors, especially issues with trust and personal reflection. In order to reduce major obstacles erasing from trust issues against new technologies and from feeling ashamed of the personal health situation, a network of human advisors is identified as a crucial success factor for ActiveAdvice. Besides building a network of experts, displayed as Authorized Active Advisors, using the ActiveAdvice solutions for their work, the possibility for everyone to engage in the ActiveAdvice community enables the exchange of experience and knowledge. This leads to a reduction of fears and reservations in the primary end users of AAL, enabling a faster uptake of products and services. Additionally, incentives for local businesses are created to become part of the international AAL ecosystem, enriching the market with innovative solutions for their customers.
The team behind ActiveAdvice
The ActiveAdvice Team consists of seven partners from six European countries, coordinated by SYNYO, who is leading the ongoing development of ActiveAdvice digital solutions. The university partners Zurich University of Applied Sciences and University of Porto deliver excellent research on stakeholder needs, decision support approaches and training curricula for human advisory. The SME partners Smart Homes, Cybermoore and Yellow Window provide essential knowledge on the local AAL solutions, user needs and solution validation. The consortium is rounded out by the City of Alkmaar, providing end user knowledge for all three target audiences of ActiveAdvice, while accompanying the testing of the ActiveAdvice solution and environment. In a collective effort, all partners will participate in the efficient dissemination of the project, the training of local Authorized Active Advisors and the creation of a sustainable exploitation of ActiveAdvice including a strong business model.
Active and Assisted Living, Ambient Assisted Living, AAL, decision-support, AAL market, smart ageing, older adults, older people, informal caregivers, ICT, Information and Communication Technologies