New Pharaon publication: Design and Evaluation of Personalized Services to Foster Active Aging: The Experience of Technology Pre-Validation in Italian Pilots

Assistive devices could promote independent living and support the active and healthy aging of an older population; however, several factors can badly influence the long-term use of new technologies. In this context, this paper presents a two-step methodology called “pre-validation” that aims to identify the factors that can bias the use of new services, thus minimizing the risk of an unsuccessful longer trial. The proposed pre-validation methodology is composed of two main phases that aim to assess the usability and the reliability of the technology assessed in a laboratory environment and the usability, acceptability, user experience, and reliability of the technology in real environments. The tested services include the socialization scenario, in which older adults are better connected to the community via technological solutions (i.e., socialization applications), and the monitoring scenario, which allows for the introduction of timely interventions (technologies involved include environmental monitoring sensors, a telepresence robot, wearable sensors, and a personalized dashboard). The obtained results underline an acceptable usability level (average System Usability Scale score > 65) for the tested technologies (i.e., socialization applications and a telepresence robot). Phase Two also underlines the good acceptability, user experience, and usability of the tested services. The statistical analysis underlines a correlation between the stress related to the use of technology, digital skills, and intention of use, among other factors. Qualitative feedback also remarks on a correlation between older adults with low digital skills and an anxiety about using technology. Positive correlation indexes were highlighted between the trust and usability scores. Eventually, future long-term trials with assistive technology should rely on motivated caregivers, be founded on a strong recruitment process, and should reassure older adults—especially the ones with low digital literacy—about the use of technology by proposing personalized training and mentoring, if necessary, to increase the trust.

Lorusso L, Mosmondor M, Grguric A, Toccafondi L, D’Onofrio G, Russo S, Lampe J, Pihl T, Mayer N, Vignani G, Lesterpt I, Vaamonde L, Giuliani F, Bonaccorsi M, La Viola C, Rovini E, Cavallo F, Fiorini L. Design and Evaluation of Personalized Services to Foster Active Aging: The Experience of Technology Pre-Validation in Italian Pilots. Sensors. 2023; 23(2):797.

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