PROGRESSIVE was present at ICT 2018, the annual flagship ICT research & innovation event of the EU, in Vienna, and presented a workshop on “Smart and Age Friendly Communities: Making Standards Count for Older People.”
Standards for ICT products and services that support active and healthy ageing (AHA) can contribute to better usability, quality and safety. Through its work on standardisation, the PROGRESSIVE project aims to influence the approach taken by manufacturers, researchers and policy makers so that standards meet end users’ preferences.
Standards have often at best overlooked the needs of some older people, and at worst considered their preferences as being of less worth or relevance. Neither approach can be justified today when the ‘dynamic’ that relates to the inclusion and empowerment of older people is gaining momentum.
Smart environments can support older people in maintaining an independent lifestyle. Yet the smart appliances and services need to be interoperable, secure, usable and accessible to be adopted by (older) people and thus taken up by the market. Standards can be great drivers for achieving needs like interoperability, security, usability and accessibility – which are increasingly recognised in EU policies as important factors to increase product and service quality and safety.
Participants at the ICT 2018 workshop were united in their believe that EU standards bodies should take extra steps to engage more with older people to ensure better and more inclusive product and service design (underpinned by suitable and adapted standards)!
This will also be the message at the upcoming PROGRESSIVE final event in Brussels on January 31st. Join us there!