The Assisted Living project: Responsible innovations for dignified lives at home for persons with mild cognitive impairment or dementia

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The aging population is a grand challenge to which innovation and technology development must contribute. However, this contribution must be developed in a responsible process with society and not be pushed on society. The transdisciplinary Assisted Living project conducts research within ICT, health science, social science and ethics. The overall aim of the project is to advance responsible research and innovation (RRI) in the field of welfare technology.

The Assisted Living project will engage in development of technological solutions to needs defined by persons with mild cognitive impairment or dementia (MCI/D) in an RRI process specifically adapted to the capacities of such user groups. The project is designed to be both an important contribution in the process of assisted living technologies (ALT) innovation in Norway and to enrich and inform RRI in both concept and practice. It will mobilise a large number of actors in the Oslo region in learning processes concerning how to develop welfare technologies in a responsible way. It will lead to ICT welfare technology research and innovation adapted to a context of increased focus on grand challenges and RRI, with corresponding better specifications for next generation solutions.

The main objectives of the Assisted Living project are: a) to map how stakeholders and experts perceive the state-of-the-art of responsible welfare technologies, focusing on ALT, in Norway and internationally; b) develop ALT solutions for users with MCI/D, through an RRI approach; c) judge by an integrated Health Technology Assessment approach whether technologies introduced through an RRI process score better than currently implemented welfare technologies; and d) create a wider dialogue on responsible welfare technologies for the future.

The overall societal aim is to increase quality of life for persons with MCI/D and make it possible to live at home with dignity. The project will produce knowledge on workable, responsible ALT solutions to problems faced by persons with MCI/D and their relatives, with active involvement of other interested parties.

The project is co-ordinated by Dr. Ellen-Marie Forsberg in the HiOA Research Group on Responsible Innovation with colleagues from the Faculty of Health and the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design as partners from HiOA. At HiOA, students at all levels will contribute to the project, including three devoted PhD’s. Sensio and The Norwegian Board of Technology are also partners in the project. Sensio is a leading supplier of home automation assisted living technology solutions in Norway. Further, the project benefits from co-operation with The University of Exeter, The University of Bristol, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway’s SAMANSVAR programme. It will start ultimo 2015 and conclude by the end of 2019.