The development of a feature matrix for the design of assistive technology products for young older people

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations
EditorsAndree Woodcock, Louise Moody, Deana McDonagh, Ajita Jain, Lakhmi C. Jain
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-26292-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-26291-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems Reference Library
ISSN (Print)1868-4394
ISSN (Electronic)1868-4408


  • Assistive technology
  • Design
  • Design requirements
  • Ergonomics
  • Young older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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