Demographic change is one of the greatest social, social and political challenges of the present and the future. AAL AUSTRIA takes on this challenge and connects actors from research, business, health and social services in order to address the impact of changing family, residential and living situations through intelligent technologies and social to cushion innovations.
Such solutions are grouped under the term AAL (Ambient Assisted Living). This is mainly about digitalization solutions that combine new technologies with the personal and social environment in order to improve the quality of life for people of all ages.
Comprehensive action at the political, scientific and economic level is required for the supra-regional and comprehensive implementation of AAL solutions. Against this background, the innovation platform AAL AUSTRIA was founded in April 2012 with the aim of networking the heterogeneous stakeholder landscape in the area of AAL in order to promote the development and expansion of an Austrian AAL community and the visibility of the AAL topic. at all levels of public perception.
However, AAL AUSTRIA not only acts as a networking platform, but also forms the mouthpiece for the various stakeholder groups.
AAL AUSTRIA aims to make AAL solutions and information known and accessible to a broad market and to network science and practice, among other things, by
- Development of recommendations and guidelines for the user- and market-oriented development of AAL solutions
- Organisation of knowledge transfer and exchange of experience events
- Communication of new insights and information via website and newsletter
- Cooperation with multipliers to improve the broad impact.
AAL AUSTRIA focuses at Austria, but actively looks beyond its borders and specifically follows European developments, which are communicated via the AAL AUSTRIA communication channels if relevant.
In addition, international keynote speakers are invited at their own events. Conversely, AAL AUSTRIA participates in relevant international events - such as the AAL conference in Germany or the European AAL Forum.
Areas of work / Topics
By using suitable AAL solutions and corresponding services, citizens should be able to live independently and independently in their own homes for a long time. In a first phase, the actors from research, business, services and politics must be made aware of the potentials and challenges of digitalization technologies to improve the quality of life at home.
AAL AUSTRIA focuses on this in this respect:
- AAL as a lifestyle theme - Promotion of the Austrian AAL test regions
- From practice to practice - exchange of experience with the use of AAL solutions
- AAL made in AUSTRIA - Promotion of market-ready Austrian AAL solutions
Many topics have to be worked out and discussed in larger rounds. Thematic individual workshops and events offer working groups (AK) the opportunity to develop positions with experts.
A few recent examples should illustrate this:
- Elaboration of the first position paper for an Austrian AAL Vision 2025 (AK Vision)
- Designing a low-threshold video "What is AAL?" (AK Vision)
- Development of a guide for the treatment of ethical issues in AAL projects (AK Ethics)
- Development of a database for the collection of Austrian AAL competences (AK competence network)
The inclusion of appropriate expertise is important in all this work, which focuses on older people. Through cooperations such as with the "Network Altern" of the Austrian Platform for Interdisciplinary Ageing (ÖPIA), AAL AUSTRIA ensures that the aspects of aging are broadly covered.
Success Stories / Lead Projects
AAL test regions: Together we are stronger
Eight AAL test regions have already been established in Austria, which evaluate a wide range of AAL solutions in a total of more than 500 households in practice. These include smart home applications in the sense of comfort and lifestyle elements as well as solutions to support care and care in the home environment.
These funded projects evaluate individual solutions and bundles of solutions in practical use over a period of usually three years. Compared to a control group, not only the actual use of the solutions is assessed, but also the social added value.
Since 2016, AAL AUSTRIA has been supporting the test regions in networking and exchanging experiences as well as in disseminating the project results in order to support the community in their further AAL developments.
Although different technologies and applications are used and the test regions are in different stages of development, the test regions can benefit from each other: How should users be recruited for test use. from an ethical point of view, what action parameters should be recorded and how to do it.
Sharing good practices improves the learning curve and increases the chances of success. Events with a high proportion of dialogue are therefore central to the exchange of experience. To this end, AAL AUSTRIA 2018, together with the test regions, has initiated the first Austrian AAL practice conference "From Practice to Practice". Due to the great success, another practical conference will take place in 2019.
Impact assessment as a success factor for age-appropriate assistance systems
The life situations of older people are very diverse nowadays. While some self-confidently use innovative technologies for an independent and healthy life, others still have great shyness and fears of being alienated.
Possible effects of new technologies were also the focus of a panel discussion moderated by AAL AUSTRIA as part of the Smart City Forum - "Active Ageing Finds City" on 27 October 2018 in the Vienna Planning Workshop. Older people, as well as social service providers, have now recognized the potential of AAL solutions, but their added value has so far been insufficiently verified, according to the tenor of the discussion.
The study of the effects of new technologies requires appropriate (efficiency) indicators and measurement instruments. The EvAALuation2 research project, led by the Center for Technology Experience of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, aims to support evaluations involving subjective, institutional and social perspectives through the provision of practical measuring instruments. The focus is on the fields of application for health, care as well as activity & human potential.
The effects of AAL solutions are currently being investigated within the framework of the AAL test regions WAALTeR (Vienna), Smart VitAALity (Carinthia) and fit4AAL (Salzburg/Vienna). For example, in the Vienna AAL test region WAALTeR, age-appropriate applications in the areas of communication, safety, health and mobility are combined into an integrated overall solution.
The aim is to support older people through technology in an active, self-determined life. An 18-month experimental field study with more than 150 participants is intended to empirically demonstrate influences of the technology on the quality of life of older people.
Extensive results on the use, acceptance and effects of AAL technologies were also achieved in the evaluation study carried out within the framework of the Salzburg AAL test region ZentrAAL.
The projects EvAALuation2, Smart VitAALity, fit4AAL, ZentrAAL and WAALTeR are funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology as part of the funding programme "ICT of the Future - benefit: Demographic Change as an Opportunity".