Authors: Boulos, Maged N. Kamel | Anastasiou, Athanasios | Bekiaris, Evangelos | Panou, Mary
Today, GPS (Global Positioning System) devices are no longer an emerging technology, but are rather much like the transistor radio and the electronic calculator were in the 1970s in terms of popularity. GPS devices have been used, and are being used, for all sorts of serious and leisure applications, including in-car navigation systems. This paper examines ‘how GPS and related geo-enabled technologies are helping, or can potentially help, older people and persons with disabilities live more independently’. The paper uses a number of examples, some of which are projects funded by the European Commission that the authors have recently been
…directly involved in (namely CAALYX and ASK-IT), to answer the above question from a practical implementation viewpoint. Remotely collected clinical data during times of medical emergencies and accidents can become useless without knowing the exact address of the distressed person to be able to dispatch timely and appropriate help to him/her where he/she happens to be. Moreover, the person might be unconscious or disoriented, requiring a fully autonomous system to raise the alert and relay his/her geographic location. Geo-enabled technologies and services can also contribute significantly to converting complex urban areas that are inaccessible by persons with disability to more accessible and friendly environments for older people and those with special needs. Issues such as geo-positioning problems (technology limitations), individual location privacy, and usability and user acceptance of the technology are briefly discussed, as well as some emerging trends and future directions in the field.
Keywords: Ambient assisted living, assistive technologies, disability, Europe, independent living, internet, geo-positioning technologies, global positioning system, location-aware services, older people, telehealthcare
Citation: Technology and Disability,
vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 7-17, 2011
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