The Active Assisted Living Landscape in Canada – Insights for Standards, Policies, and Governance

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Independent living for aging populations continues to be a significant concern for governments and health care systems around the world.

Every Canadian has a friend or loved one who is aging or is dealing with mobility issues, mental health issues, or a chronic disease. To support independent living for aging populations, researchers and innovators have been exploring the use of wearables, sensors, and mobile health technologies to improve their quality of life.

One possible solution to promote independent living and enable aging and vulnerable populations to maintain a high quality of life is the use of Active Assisted Living (AAL) technology. AAL technologies are concepts, products, and services that combine new technologies and the social environment to improve quality of life in all stages of life.A wide range of such technologies are available on the market to support people in their daily lives.

This report describes the standards and policy guidelines being used in the creation of AAL technologies in Canada. It highlights the gaps between what is currently available for innovators and what is necessary for AAL technology.

The gaps discovered were related to non-technical areas of technology development (e.g., user-centred design, privacy, purposeful design), as well as the integration between the existing technologies. The gaps identified were grouped into five themes:

  • the user and purpose;
  • accessibility;
  • interoperability;
  • data sharing; and
  • privacy and security.

Each theme identifies opportunities where standards and guidelines can make a significant contribution to AAL development.

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