In the light of demographic change, Active and Assisted Living (AAL) technologies promise to support older adults in their everyday lives and promote a self-determined lifestyle. However, empirical evidence for their effectiveness is fragmented and mixed. Thus, literature has called for more rigorous studies including randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to investigate the effectiveness of AAL technologies. In this paper, we present findings from a longitudinal RCT over 12 months (N = 150) evaluating an AAL technology that aims to support older adults self-determination, social participation, and perceived safety. Results do not indicate significant effects on the measured outcomes. Based on complementary methods employed in the study (tracking of usage behavior, quantitative self-reports on user experience, qualitative interviews) and our practical experiences with the implementation of the WAALTeR project we critically reflect on this finding and explore possible explanations. This reflection reveals systematic challenges that exist not only in relation to the present study but also in relation to the evaluation of AAL technologies more generally. Based on these insights, we offer implications and directions for future research that aim to better understand and overcome challenges in evaluating the effectiveness of AAL technologies.
- Experience Measurement