The promises of Active Assisted Living (AAL) are manifold: it claims that technology will relieve economic burdens and develop new markets, and that European citizens will enjoy better, healthier and more active ageing.
(2) Research Aim/question(s)
We ask whether these promises are merely extrinsic attributions, or if these hopes can actually be fulfilled by the introduction of AAL. To do so we identify and examine the attributions (i.e. hopes and expectations) projected onto the development of AAL applications by project teams; these attributions are likely to be operationalised throughout the project, and materialise in the technological answers the project team elaborates.
We analyse all AAL project descriptions financed by the European AAL joint programme and presented as success stories on the official AAL webpage in 2016 and 2017. The rationale behind the analysis of this sort of text is that this is where project teams present their ideas, thoughts and results in a very brief summary to the outside world and interested public. Using a combination of social network analysis and qualitative content analysis, we examined the text corpora of these 10 success stories and try to identify attributions, which we also call inherent assumptions about ageing.
The attributions to ageing we found were in many respects contradictory. Most of them involve a rather paternalistic view of older adults. The majority of the descriptions analysed make no reference whatsoever to the role of the user.
Generating a relational dataset, we highlight possible consequences for future technology development (innovation side) and adoption (diffusion), as well as implications for technology as a way of dealing with demographic change. We conclude that market-oriented technology research and development programmes like the AAL-JP should consider being more reflective about the attributions to ageing they (necessarily) apply. One way of doing this would be to invite applicants to consciously question and express how a given technology affects older adults in more than merely economic and technological ways.
Hrsg.: Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung (ITA) der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW) & AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Innovation Systems Department
Projektleitung der Studie: Michael Nentwich (ITA) und Petra Schaper-Rinkel (AIT)
Koordination des Projekts F&TA: Michael Nentwich (ITA) und Josef Fröhlich (AIT)
Dieser Bericht basiert auf den Ergebnissen von Arbeitspaket 6 des EU-FP7-Projekts PACITA.
The overall goal of this activity is a thorough analysis of the scenarios generated within a preceding activity to identify relevant aspects as to future planning along the four dimensions of ethical, legal, social/psychological, legal and technical issues. The three technologies as relevant to the scenarios are augmentation technology, wireless technology and identification technology.
-> Consequently, the demand for care and social services will rise. Meanwhile, disposable resourceswill decrease: social and healthcare budgets are shrinking as is the number of skilled personnel.
-> Great hope is projected on technology to support solutions for these challenges. But how do we need to shape technology in order to really support the elderly and meet their needs?
-> Der Bedarf an Gesundheits- und Sozialleistungen wird als Folge steigen. Die dafür verfügbaren Ressourcen werden gleichzeitig knapper: Sozial- und Gesundheitsbudgets schrumpfen ebenso wie die Zahl qualifizierter Arbeitskräfte.
-> In der Auseinandersetzung mit diesen Herausforderungen gilt Technik als große Hoffnungsträgerin. Wie müssen wir Technik aber gestalten, damit sie älteren Menschen tatsächlich nützt und ihren Bedürfnissen gerecht wird?