Technology with Disabled and Older People

r.shahwan's picture
Research Title: 
Toward Sustainable Business Models for Ambient-Assisted Living
Rani Shahwan
Feng Li
United Kingdome
Mon, 2011-03-28
Research Abstract: 

The UK like many other countries is facing a demographic challenge. This has raised many concerns about the capability of the current health and social care system in meeting the growing demand under potentially shrinking budgets and insufficient number of skilled resources. While many of older people (65 years or over) enjoy a healthier life and their need for care is limited, the provision of medical care and assistance tend to increase as people grow older. Thus, new solutions and alternatives of the current models of health and care delivery are required. Technology could provide solutions by enabling societies to respond to these socio-economic challenges.  Applications include assisting older people to have independent and active life for as long as possible, enhancing the quality of life, maintaining productivity at work, and delivery of remote care service in a home-based environment. Deploying these technologies could also help in providing innovative service interventions for conditions associated with older people such as falls, wandering, chronic illnesses, dementia and social exclusion.

Despite the huge market potential, ‘Ambient Assisted Living’ (AAL) is still on its infancy. Regardless of the AAL innovations success in the pilot stage and achieving the short term objectives in terms of quality and user acceptance, many of these innovations never research the real world. Lack of viable business model that encourages integration and cooperation of various stockholders, e.g. ICT experts, service providers, manufactures of assistive technologies, health care institutions and housing industry, is considered by many as the most important obstacle to wide deployment of the AAL.

This research aims to investigate the above mentioned issues from providers' perspective. Based on interviews with assisted-living technology providers in the North East of England, a case study method will be used to explore generic business models and assess their applicability for the new AAL innovations. Furthermore, factors that are required for the design and commercialisation of viable and sustainable business models in the AAL sector will be identified. For the new AAL solutions to succeed and achieve wide deployment, their value offering should be higher compared to current traditional services. Business model are important because they allow providers to capture value from arising from various sources.  The major contribution of this study includes providing practical guidelines for effective business model design in the field of AAL, identifying critical success factors for commercializing AAL as well as proposing an industry-specific business models.