Usability, accessibility and ambient-assisted living: a systematic literature review

  • Alexandra QueirósEmail author
  • Anabela Silva
  • Joaquim Alvarelhão
  • Nelson Pacheco Rocha
  • António Teixeira
Long paper


Ambient-assisted living (AAL) is, nowadays, an important research and development area, foreseen as an important instrument to face the demographic aging. The acceptance of the AAL paradigm is closely related to the quality of the available systems, namely in terms of intelligent functions for the user interaction. In that context, usability and accessibility are crucial issues to consider. This paper presents a systematic literature review of AAL technologies, products and services with the objective of establishing the current position regarding user interaction and how are end users involved in the AAL development and evaluation processes. For this purpose, a systematic review of the literature on AAL was undertaken. A total of 1,048 articles were analyzed, 111 of which were mainly related to user interaction and 132 of which described practical AAL systems applied in a specified context and with a well-defined aim. Those articles classified as user interaction and systems were further characterized in terms of objectives, target users, users’ involvement, usability and accessibility issues, settings to be applied, technologies used and development stages. The results show the need to improve the integration and interoperability of the existing technologies and to promote user-centric developments with a strong involvement of end users, namely in what concerns usability and accessibility issues.


Ambient-assisted living User interaction Usability Accessibility Systematic literature review 



This study was carried out within the project Primary Healthcare ALL Services—AAL4ALL supported by COMPETE—Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade and the European Union (Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional, FEDER, under Quadro de Referência Estratégica Nacional, QREN).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Queirós
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anabela Silva
    • 1
  • Joaquim Alvarelhão
    • 1
  • Nelson Pacheco Rocha
    • 2
  • António Teixeira
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Sciences SchoolUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Health Sciences Department, IEETAUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics Department, IEETAUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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