Ambient Assisted Living: Supporting the Aging Population

As the population continues to age, we must address the rise in disability. This concern has facilitated the development of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) systems, which are quickly evolving to meet demands for integrated solutions. AAL systems improve the quality of life of the elderly population at an affordable cost. However, due to diversity in systems engineering, there exists a lack of standardisation in AAL systems, calling for a reference model (RM) and a reference architecture (RA) to be established. AAL RM and RA strive to specify the AAL environment, develop specific solutions and advance communication between people in the field. It is therefore important that RM and RA are community and commercial-oriented.

Currently, in existing AAL models and architectures, standardisation, maintainability and concretization are largely overlooked. There are various proposed AAL models such as AmIRA, Continua, Feelgood, PERSONA, RAFAALS, MPOWER, SOPRANO, OpenAAL and UniversAAL. Yet there are various issues that arise with these models, such as not providing mechanisms for recovery in case of failures, no systems to deal with data flow and collection, as well as a lack of standardisation and interoperability. Thus, AAL is missing an RM and RA which can promote consensus building processes. Inlisol recognises these gaps in AAL system development and seeks to produce a successful solution: one which recognises the need for independency, facility and interoperability.

Overall, there are a multitude of scenarios which AAL should be able to respond to, hence it should be a personalizable construct which can adapt to its environment utilising sensors and perception devices. Nonetheless, as the nature of spaces varies considerably some environments will integrate an AAL infrastructure more successfully than others. This is why the implementation of AAL systems demands a strategy for optimisation. In tune with this, Inlisiol pilot production has taken the concerns of residents and the challenges of different living environments into account, with needs having been carefully mapped with nursing staff, management and residents (or their relatives).