Use cases are central to standards for active assisted living

The IEC System for active assisted living (IEC SyC AAL) Working Group 1 on user focus, defines use cases that take into account the needs of the user, including end users or an organization relevant to the SyC AAL. It also develops user requirements for each use case, which consider aspects, such as liability, safety, functionality, security and privacy.

Use cases provide a practical context for considerations of interoperability and standards based on user experience. They also provide a context for utilizing existing standards and identifying gaps and the need for further standardization work.

“During the pandemic, with restrictions on social contact and an increase in the development of products and services for use in homes, everyone, not just the elderly and care-dependent people benefit from connected home solutions and an optimal home environment that AAL systems can create, to ensure the quality of daily support, independence and social interaction,” said Ulrike Haltrich, Chair of IEC SyC AAL.

Levels of assistance

IEC SyC AAL has defined five use case categories, which are directly linked to the different levels of assistance and cover the following:

Prevention and management of chronic long-term conditions, for / to:

  • Prevention, early detection and efficient management of chronic long-term conditions.
  • Provide AAL solutions for persons with identified risk factors and/or chronic conditions.
  • Improve medical prescriptions and adherence to treatment by providing accurate information to the professional.
  • Enable the wellbeing of people with chronic conditions and their communities (family, caregivers, neighbourhood, service providers, care system, etc.).

Social interaction:

  • Enables people of all ages to be active, content and socially-connected in society, from both a societal and personal perspective, effectively contributing to their health, overall quality of life and to social inclusion.
  • Denotes all systems for social connections and networking as well as the possibility for knowledge transfer.

Mobility:

  • Enables people's mobility (orientation and navigation) in terms of moving in the home and domestic environment.
  • Transportation and travel activities.
  • Encompasses all systems that are useful for mobile processes, e.g. mobility aid, safety and security on the move, transport or information of outdoor conditions.

Health and wellness for:

  • Better management of health and wellness. 
  • Preventing functional decline and frailty.
  • Enabling assisted living and support sustainable care models.

(Self-)management of daily life activities at home:

  • Enables assisted living and sustain persons to continue managing their daily activities in their home.
  • Allows people to live independently for longer, with as little (professional) help as possible and with choice and control over the decisions, equipment and assistance.
  • Denotes all techniques and systems which help and support the user during daily life (like a managing system, a calendar or reminder or other support systems).
  • Denotes all technical support including fall detection and prevention, ambient sensors or actuators, alarm systems and localization.
  • Supports care givers to give assistance.

IEC SyC AAL collected 45 use cases that fall in the five categories, according to IEC Technical Specification 63134:2020. Forty of the cases fall in two or more categories, and some, such as personal health check, enable social interaction with care providers and building-integrated notification systems, are relevant to four out of the five categories.