Published On: April 2018
Technology has significantly impacted human lives positively and will continue to ease the living independently, securely and safely, with the rise in adoption of smart homes, wherein every action performed by a human is associated of some form of technology. We can control lights, play music, control temperature, and even check who is outside the door without any significant effort. Although, the technology is constantly improving and is experiencing higher demand of adoption in major developed countries, the ambient assisted living also develops along with the smart homes. Ambient assisted living can also be considered as an integral part of smart homes, specially designed, and modified to meet the needs, and demands of the elderly population willing to live independently.
Ambient assisted living, or simply, AAL can be defined as a system that delivers customized aid and assistance to the elderly population. The economy of major developed countries is increasing rapidly with growing number of jobs of every person. Also, the population of old people is also increasing. According to the report, over the last 50 years, the older population across the world has tripled - and it is expected that this rate will continue over the next 50-years. This is as a result of living habits of people, across the globe, eating habits and health conditions. With the growing old population, there is a growing risk of health issues. The scenario now-a-day is worse than it was a couple of days earlier. Even the newborn requires health monitoring from the moment of birth.
Do smart homes play a key role in ambient living?
Advancements in smart home technology are increasing like a nuclear reaction. Once the technology reaches its maturity, it will become difficult to neglect this technology. Many enterprises are in procession of entering smart homes technology market, delivering their products and services, owing to smart living assisted living, and growing need for medical attention for old population. These enterprises aim at extending their existing business strategy, due to a wide opportunity in the smart homes market. Smart homes play an essential role in ambient assisted living market, as it serves as a parent for ambient assisted living. It provides a platform wherein the customization can be done to serve old population requiring any medical attention or simply ease the living of elderly.
Smart homes have been widely responsible for the increased security and safety of individuals in homes. Most of the services and solutions in smart homes comply with adoption for security systems. In the United Kingdom, nearly 47% of the smart home adopters value safety & security more than anything else. This has a major impact on the old population who are more concerned about security and safety. There are various initiatives by governments in different countries related to ease of living, proper healthcare services, and emergency response services. Additionally, the growing demand for managed care for old age population is one of the factor people in developed countries are adopting smart home technologies.
Ambient Assisted Living includes interoperable concepts, products, and services that combine the new developing technologies to improve the quality of life for people in all stages of life. There are various developments, emerging companies, and initiatives by the government that mark the high growth of the market.
Challenges for implementation
There are two aspects of everything that includes challenges for implementation. One of the major challenges taking shape in the adoption of smart homes and ambient assisted living is the lack of awareness among the people in developing countries. This is backed-up by the lack of standards and compatibility issues that ultimately affects the adoption of ambient assisted living. Poor connectivity and communication system is another major challenge that people face in the adoption of smart home technology and ambient assisted living.
Considering the enterprise viewpoint, the lack of infrastructure, budgetary constraints, and transportation are some of the issues that slow down the market growth and development related to it in most of the rural areas. Because of the high prices of high-speed broadband, it becomes inaccessible among the rural communities, especially those relying solely on agricultural products. The lack of connectivity, also majorly affects the awareness among the consumers. The internet nowadays has become a strong and convenient channel for the exchange of information, yet due to a poor communication network, and the high cost of internet, most of the countries are unaware of ambient assisted living. A survey conducted by PwC, among 1000 respondents in urban areas, revealed only 81% awareness of smart homes. However, only 26% are ready to adopt the smart home technology. The ambient assisted living technology is new and will require a minimum of five years to develop completely, be widely available across the different regions.