PAL was a research project funded both by TSB and by EPSRC as part of TSB’s Assisted Living platforms program. The project started on 1 July 2009 and ended in March 2012. The initial partners were University of Essex, BT, University of Cambridge and Ericsson UK. After the withdrawal of the initial industrial partners in 2010, the project gained three new partners: HW Communications, MAC Ltd. and Thales (UK).
The main focus of the project was to look at how future healthcare services impact current and future communication infrastructures (see here dissemination poster from 2010).
Current assisted living scenarios are mostly working only in certain environments and are not able to provide a continuous support to users. One of the main reasons for this disconnected operation mode is the existence of different communication infrastructures. In our project we considered how a future system able to provide a seamless and continuous experience in assisted living scenarios should look and what current and future solutions are required.
In order to create user-centred solutions, we started from various assisted living scenarios, including self-monitoring and self-management as well as social support networks (i.e., professionals and other caretakers), and identified the requirements that such future healthcare services place on the networking infrastructures. During the duration of the project we involved a number of health-related organizations and end users that provided us with a better understanding of user requirements as well as helping us test some of the solutions we built.
Our ultimate goal was to create solutions that support people anytime and anywhere by employing appropriate interface and interaction paradigms, regardless of the underlying networking and software technologies.
We believed that future assisted living solutions should:
* Actively involve end users through self-monitoring and self-management
* Address also prevention not only treatment
* Allow for usage anytime/anywhere over multiple devices, infrastructures and interaction paradigms
* Integrate support networks of various types (e.g., professional, family, friends, charities, support groups)
* Enable social inclusion
* Be easy to use, taking into account various user abilities
* Adapt to people, not the other way around
Prof. Jean Bacon, Jatinder Singh (Cambridge University), Dr. Ken Guild, Prof. Vic Callaghan, Raul Almeida, Laura Carrea (University of Essex), Dirk Trossen (BT Research), Steven Campbell, Mike Walmsley, Mike Almond (Ericsson), Peter Gould (MAC Ltd.), Souroush Honary (HW Communications), Glyn Jones, Sarah Pennington, Sarah Clarke, Adrian Waller (Thales)