The Development of a Feature Matrix for the Design of Assistive Technology Products for Young Older People

  • Andree WoodcockEmail author
  • Jane Osmond
  • Nikki Holliday
Part of the Intelligent Systems Reference Library book series (ISRL, volume 167)


This chapter describes findings from the COnsumer MODels for Assisted Living (COMODAL) project, which aimed to develop a consumer market for Assistive Technology Products (ATPs) for Young Older People (YOPs: 50–70-year olds). The project used mixed methods to explore various aspects of the ATP consumer market, together with a feature matrix for the design of ATPs, guidance on user needs and expectations from an ATP consumer market, and suggested business models. The methodologies used included literature and product reviews, market analyses, interviews, focus groups, and co-creation workshops. The triangulated findings found that currently there are significantly high rates of non-use and abandonment of ATPs, due to numerous factors including poor aesthetic appeal and ease of use, stigma, and concerns about loss of face to face care. YOPs have an appetite for the use (and private purchase) of products and services to support their independence and health, but such products must focus on the whole person and their higher-level needs, wishes and aspirations, not just a particular disability—something which the product analysis found lacking in many existing products. One of the ways the project addressed this was through the development of a product matrix to support designers and businesses to more widely consider the evolving needs of YOPs with regards ATPs. The business models provided further guidance on the implementation of such products into the consumer market. The results will be of use to businesses wishing to grow or diversify into the ATP consumer market—a key opportunity at a time when publicly funded provision of such technologies is decreasing. Ultimately, ATPs must not only assist independent living, but should also support enhanced quality of life whilst meeting higher level needs and desires.


Assistive technology Ergonomics Design Young older adults Design requirements 



This chapter describes findings from the Consumer MODels for Assisted Living project, led by Coventry University in partnership with AgeUK and Grandparents Plus, as part of the Assisted Living Innovation Platform and funded by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities, Faculty of Arts and HumanitiesCoventry UniversityCoventryUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and Life SciencesCoventry UniversityCoventryUK

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