Ambient Assistive Technology Considered Harmful

  • Yngve Dahl
  • Babak Farshchian
  • Anders Kofod-Petersen
  • Silje Bøthun
  • Kristine Holbø
  • Jarl Kåre Reitan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8011)


Ambient assistive technology (AAT) is envisioned as a powerful tool for facing the growing demands the demographic change toward an aging society puts on care. While AAT is often expected to increase the quality of life of older people, this paper holds that relevant interventions often embody values that can contradict such visions, and in some cases even be harmful to care receivers. We argue that the strong focus AAT puts on illness and risk management reflects a medical model of care, which often disregards the psychosocial challenges that impairments and disabilities associated with old age can rise. We suggest that design of AAT could benefit from using the social model of care as design inspiration and value foundation. Such an approach puts focus on the person rather than the illness. The paper ends by providing a short description of work in which the social model of care is adopted as a basis for design of AAT.


Ambient assistive technology Disability Elderly care Ethics Human values User-centered design Value sensitive design 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yngve Dahl
    • 1
  • Babak Farshchian
    • 1
  • Anders Kofod-Petersen
    • 1
  • Silje Bøthun
    • 2
  • Kristine Holbø
    • 2
  • Jarl Kåre Reitan
    • 2
  1. 1.SINTEF ICTTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.SINTEF Technology and SocietyTrondheimNorway

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