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PROGRESSIVE STANDARDS AROUND ICT FOR ACTIVE AND HEALTHY AGEING

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PROGRESSIVE (PROGRESSIVE STANDARDS AROUND ICT FOR ACTIVE AND HEALTHY AGEING)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2017-10-01 do 2019-01-31

The main objective of the PROGRESSIVE project is the development of a sustainable framework, backed up by guidelines that will improve the contribution of standards for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the context of Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA). The project responds to three main challenges:

Challenge 1: Demographic Change
Improved health and longevity means an increasing number of older people in Europe. This is a challenge because older people have often left the workplace, and may be marginalised. Some older people experience difficulties relating to their physical or cognitive status that can impair their ability to participate as fully as they would wish.
The PROGRESSIVE project sees part of its role as changing mindsets so that the consciousness of the National Standards Bodies (NSBs), among others, is raised – with a view to the future form of standards taking account of the needs of older people as active citizens and consumers rather than dependents.

Challenge 2: The Rapid Development of ICT
The digital world poses a particular challenge for some older people because they may not have worked in digitally rich environments and not have had opportunities to develop digital skills. Others may be hampered because of poor accessibility (or unaffordability) of some ICT based products and services.
The PROGRESSIVE project recognises potential benefits to older people of being digitally literate. But the context is one where as well as encouragement being given to older people there is a responsibility of designers to ensure that ICT products and services are accessible and usable.

Challenge 3: The Changing Position of Standards
Standards underpin the configuration of our products and services. They provide important safeguards. Their development in the arena of older people, however, often takes place in a way that does not adequately reflect an AHA perspective.
The PROGRESSIVE project recognises the part that is played by standards and sees their safeguarding role as increasing. Nevertheless, the contribution of standards can be hampered because of the insufficient recognition of the importance of AHA. The challenge is about changing mindsets, but it is also about practical measures to ensure that the voice of older people is heard in the standards development process.

PROGRESSIVE’s approach to standards development is highly principled. Ethical reference points relate to the language of the project and ethical tenets that have been identified. Terms and phrases that are ageist or redolent of old age stereotypes are not used. With regard to ethical tenets for the ICT and AHA, ten main ones have been identified:

• Accessibility and Usability
• Affordability
• Autonomy and Empowerment
• Beneficence / Non-maleficence
• Care, Protection and Support
• Empowerment
• Equity / Equality and Justice
• Inclusion, Non-discrimination and Social Impact
• Interoperability
• Privacy, Safety and Security.

The project also recognised, from the outset, four domains - age friendly communities; reformed and empowering services; accessible, affordable and supportive homes; and active, healthy and empowered older people.
With these domains in mind, the project set out parameters by which good practice in standards and the standardisation process around ICT for AHA could be identified. Furthermore, it developed an interactive platform to provide information on relevant standards and which represents a ‘shop window’ for project outcomes. Regular, well-received newsletters and successful events (including two project workshops) raised the profile of the project and supported its outreach to a wide community of relevant stakeholders.
PROGRESSIVE has set new benchmarks for good practice when it comes to standards for ICT and AHA. Raising awareness of the issues, the project provided a platform for discussion and debate amongst a broad range of stakeholders from policy makers to standards bodies (internationally and nationally), crucially facilitating the engagement of older people. The work has included the development of a website offering a newsletter and, amongst other features, access to information on over 250 relevant standards.
Developing a framework to help identify and nurture good practice, PROGRESSIVE set out ethical tenets. These benefited from the work of the former EU-funded project, ICT for ALL and that of the World Health Organization regarding age-friendly cities. These tenets then underpinned co-production of guidelines that can be widely applied, as well as guidance on standards specifically related to interoperability, age-friendly communities and smart homes.
By acknowledging older people as assets and active contributors within what is dubbed the ‘silver economy’, PROGRESSIVE contributes to European policy perspectives which support greater inclusion and social integration, while promoting innovation and commercial activity linked to AHA.
The project’s work on good practice guidelines, particularly regarding co-production, is being considered for adoption by the three European standards bodies: CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. Additionally, awareness-raising about the issues is continuing through the STAIR platform STAIR-AHA and the activities of associated EU projects such as REACH and Homes4Life.
The project has adopted a ‘state of the art’ thinking to ensure that developments in ICT for AHA are accompanied by appropriate safeguards. In the face of changing positions on standards, it is aiming to get older adults and their representatives more involved in the standards development process, and to ensure that the standards themselves increasingly respond to the AHA agenda.
The project does not, therefore, grasp at technological solutions in an unthinking manner, since to do this would be to subordinate the importance of AHA to the market forces that are the main drivers of technological development. Rather there is recognition of the importance of standards to help ensure the development and adoption of necessary safeguards in our rapidly developing world of new technologies. In this context PROGRESSIVE will help put in place the preconditions for standards that promote products and services that are, for instance, accessible, affordable, inclusive, safe and interoperable. These preconditions will include increased awareness among NSBs and other stakeholders of the rights, needs and choices of older people; and, it is envisaged, will reflect the increasingly widespread adoption of processes and procedures that involve, wherever appropriate, the participation of older people or older people’s organisations in the standardisation process.
Several additional steps are following the formal completion of the PROGRESSIVE project. These include maintaining and updating the website (including through the publication of periodic newsletters) and publishing or otherwise disseminating further information arising out of key deliverables. Various community members have also specifically asked for permission to use some of the project outputs (e.g. D2.1 Ethical Framework, D9.1 Co-production Guide) in their own work and within technical committees.
Crucially important, furthermore, is the ongoing work of the STAIR-AHA platform that calls for reforms to be made by standards bodies to their processes and procedures in order to recognise the key ethical tenets established by the PROGRESSIVE project.
PROGRESSIVE Project Team - general image