On 15 and 16 May the University of Alicante held the kick-off meeting for the European project entitled “Privacy-aware and acceptable lifelogging services for older and frail people” (PAAL project, in short), which aims to develop lifelogging services for older and frail people (i.e. capturing data about a person’s lifestyle to deduce their health and independence levels). The project has an emphasis on privacy, as well as user and social acceptance. The PAAL project is part of the “More Years, Better Lives” (MYBL) joint programming initiative (JPI) promoted by the European Comission, which is related to the research and development of services to face demographic changes happening in European and other developed countries.
The consortium is composed of University of Alicante (Spain), as coordinator, RTWH Aachen University (Germany), Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy), University of Toronto (Canada), and Stockholm University (Sweden). Three partners in the project have a technical background in the field of technologies for active and healthy ageing (Alicante, Marche, and Toronto) and will therefore provide solutions in this field. RTWH Aachen University will investigate the social perception of these technologies and will carry out validation and testing with users and focus groups. Stockholm University will provide the legal framework that govern all activities involved in the inception, development, and deployment of technological solutions arising from the project.
Several topics were discussed during the meeting. Apart from organizational aspects of the project, that is set to go on for three years, and will end in early spring 2021, there was also an initial discussion among the partners, chaired by the researchers from RTWH Aachen University, and a first data acquisition on the social perception, prejudices, and other visions that exist in each participating country in regards to ageing (its economic and social effects) as well as the perception about older people and the place in society that senior citizens take. This first collection of data will allow for the compilation of questionnaires aimed at different target groups and which will improve the knowledge of acceptance and perceived usefulness of technologies to be developed during the course of the project.
In the next few months, several results from the first stages of the project will be published. Namely, the ethics and legal framework regarding personal data, user and third-party privacy preservation. Also, a dissemination plan for future outcomes of the project. In parallel, data acquisition will start. The data obtained at this stage will be used to develop ‘machine learning’-based methods for the recognition of activities of daily living of elderly people. This automatic recognition will allow for the compilation of personal diaries or activity logs, that will be used by healthcare professionals and caregivers to determine the overall health and autonomy level of users, among others.
More information about the project can be retrieved at http://paal-project.eu