Key factors in the engineering process for systems for aging in place contributing to low usability and success

Jean Denise Hallewell Haslwanter, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Klaus Miesenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Digital systems for independent aging, support and care are not being adopted as hoped. The purpose of this paper is to examine the results of three studies to derive key factors during the development and engineering process of care and support systems for older people that can impact acceptance and uptake to provide support to future projects. Design/methodology/approach: The paper analyzed the results of three qualitative studies, including two detailed case studies and a further study with 35 participants, to derive key factors. Methods for deriving factors are based on thematic analysis to identify common factors across cases and participants. Findings: The findings point to a broad set of interconnected factors that give developers of these types of systems specific recommendations. These highlight what makes these projects complex and identify implications for the development process. Furthermore, they show way the needed user-centered and iterative methods may be in conflict with funding processes. Originality/value: While others have reported on single projects or looked at acceptance, these studies were the first to explore aspects of the development process that may contribute to the lack of success to date of these types of systems. The results here support more successful outcomes in the future, both by helping people involved in the development of these systems to avoid some of the issues others face and providing input to improve the performance of the engineering process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Enabling Technologies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018


  • software development
  • older people
  • telecare
  • ambient assisted living
  • aging in place
  • qualitative study
  • human-computer interaction
  • Software development
  • AAL
  • Human–computer interaction
  • Aging in place
  • Qualitative study
  • Older people


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