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March 2017

Robots pick up the challenge of home care needs

Growing number of dedicated robots for the care sector to cover multiple tasks for carers and patients

The demands posed by a rapidly ageing global population are leading manufacturers of robots to develop technology for providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and impaired people in their own homes. 

March 2017

Smart home: a life-changing experience

IoT brings back some degrees of independence to those who require assistance in everyday life

While recent developments in home automation are bound to make anyone’s life easier, there are certain categories of the population for which it may be a life-changing experience: elderly and/or disabled people have very specific accessibility needs and can benefit fully from the technological advances associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the smart home.

March 2017

Obituary - Alastair Ramsay

IEC SyC AAL member passed away on 28 January 2017

It is with great sadness and regret that the IEC learnt of the passing of Alastair Ramsay, a member of the IEC Systems Committee Active Assisted Living (SyC AAL), on 28 January 2017, after a short battle with cancer.

March 2017

Expanded scope for SyC AAL

IEC work to help people remain active longer

To deal with Active Assisted Living (AAL) issues, the IEC has established a Systems Committee, IEC SyC AAL. This SyC has the role of promoting safety, security, privacy and cross-vendor interoperability in the use of AAL systems and services, and of fostering standardization which boosts their usability and accessibility. Its role and scope are constantly being expanded.

March 2017

Relying on AAL for a better life

Systems provide assistance to ageing population aspiring to stay longer independent in their own homes

Keeping individuals in need of certain levels of assistance active and living at home as independently and as long as possible is emerging as a major issue in many countries. This drives a significant growth in many alarm, access and remote alert systems. Standardization work from a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and their Subcommittees (SCs) makes possible the development and widespread introduction of such systems.

March 2017

Independence means everything

Assistive technologies help tackle the challenges posed by ageing and disabilities

What immediately comes to mind when evoking active assisted living (AAL) is that it is essential in helping senior citizens keep as good a quality of life as possible. The focus is obviously on the elderly in industrialized countries where the population is ageing rapidly. But AAL represents more than that – it is meant for all people who suffer from illnesses or physical, mental and social disabilities. The general concept is to ensure that they live their life independently and comfortably in their own environment for as long as they can manage.

January 2017

Hearing lots of voices?

AI takes connected devices to the next level

In our smart world, a huge number of devices are part of the Internet of Things (IoT), or becoming so, many of them integrated with our homes, cities, manufacturing or transport systems and infrastructures. Added to this, a growing number of connected consumer devices, appliances and systems are able to carry out many human daily tasks in the home or workplace, whether for healthcare or entertainment. Research by Gartner forecasts the number of connected things will reach 20,8 billion by 2020, of which 13,5 billion will be from the consumer sector.

2016
November 2016

IEC actively supports gender diversity

Embracing the female perspective in standardization

Gender equality is essential for achieving peace, defending rights, fostering economic growth, and promoting global well-being. In standardization, it is important to include female insights for everyone’s benefit.

October 2016

Cutting-edge technology reshapes the Paralympics

Innovative virtual reality techniques and 3D printing are making major contributions to the production of high-tech sports equipment for athletes with disabilities

Paralympians successfully overcome physical, visual and intellectual impairments, but their equipment can impact their performance.

October 2016

Smart Cities for the golden years

Smart City technologies have the potential to enable the disabled and elderly to remain independent for longer, and live healthy, mobile lives

The proportion of people aged over 60 will almost double from 12 to 22% between 2015 and 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In line with this, the WHO World Report on Disability states that currently more than one billion people live with some form of disability worldwide. The figure is expected to rise in the coming years as populations age.

October 2016

Rapid growth in home use of medical devices requires new standards

IEC work underpins fast growing support for home use of health and wellness devices

Why are home use medical and wellness devices drawing so much attention and growing at an explosive rate? It could be argued that this results from the nexus of the Internet of Things (IoT), the “super-aging” of societies around the world (which is directly tied to patients wanting to be comfortable in their home environments instead of in sterile impersonal clinical environments), the portability of devices, the growth of wearable technologies, the increasing costs of healthcare and the huge regulatory burden/costs of obtaining approval by national regulators. Also, there has been significant growth in the number of standards and regulations that apply to medical devices, especially around software, health informatics, privacy and security issues.

October 2016

Sensor networks, wearable printed electronics and AAL

Wearable printed electronics will play a central role in Active Assisted Living

Sensors provide information about objects, or people and their environment. Networks of sensors in the shape of wearable electronics and integrated into the living environment will support Active Assisted Living (AAL) into the future. Sensors and printed electronics will be increasingly integrated into smart wearable devices to facilitate the implementation of AAL.

October 2016

Improving access to multimedia content for those with disabilities

Access to multimedia and ICT services for people suffering from impairment is improving

Multimedia content, particularly on TV, and information technology and communication (ICT) services have become central to our lives. Access to these for people suffering from visual or hearing impairment is very important and is an internationally-recognized right. The IEC, together with other organizations, works to develop International Standards that allow this access, which is also central to what is known as Active Assisted Living (AAL).

October 2016

IEC work supports cross-sector AAL

IEC plays a growing role helping those seeking to remain active to access a variety of services

To deal with Active Assisted Living (AAL) issues, the IEC has established a Systems Committee, IEC SyC AAL. This SyC has the role of promoting safety, security, privacy and cross-vendor interoperability in the use of AAL systems and services, and of fostering standardization which boosts their usability and accessibility. 

October 2016

Smart assistance

IEC takes systems approach for standardization in Active Assisted Living

One of the emerging trends of the 21st century is the ageing of the world population. 

October 2016

Alarm systems useful for AAL too

Alarm transmission systems are used for many applications, including Active Assisted Living

Premises equipped with alarm and access control systems are often essential for people using facilities suited for Active Assisted Living (AAL). Some of these premises must be supervised and as such require special alarm systems. A series of International Standards addressing requirements for these systems is being developed. Two Standards in the series have been published recently.

August 2016

Share your work

We need your stories

Take the 169 countries in the IEC family, the 20 000 technical experts who work in standards development, the many Certification Bodies (CBs) and Test Laboratories (TLs) in the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and add to the mix the rapid pace at which technologies are evolving today and you have hundreds, if not thousands of stories that can be told within the IEC community. 

March 2016

New openings for surgical robots

Surgical robots, first introduced some 30 years ago are proving increasingly useful for many applications

Robotic‑assisted surgery involves a surgeon using a computer‑assisted electromechanical device to carry out complex and technically demanding medical procedures on a patient. The value of surgical robotic tools lies in their role as machines that extend the capabilities and precision of the surgeon, rather than ones that replace human skills. 

2015
December 2015

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Standards help tackle the challenges of certain disabilities

Around 15% of the world population, or more than one billion people, live with some form of disability, according to the World Bank. There is a great need to provide access to essential services so these people can live healthy, active and independent lives. This will also prove beneficial to society as a whole. Additionally the percentage of the world's population aged over 60 years is forecast to reach 22% in 2050, making it imperative to create more age-friendly environments which provide solutions for disabilities.

December 2015

Active Assisted Living: from strategy to reality

IEC SyC AAL up and running

Assuring quality of life for ageing populations is a global issue that in future may impact countries’ health and social systems to the point of jeopardizing their financial stability. Solutions that allow the elderly to stay active, independent and living at home for as long as possible are essential. Central to this work is the new IEC System Committee on Active Assisted Living (SyC AAL).

November 2015

Keeping smart homes safe and secure

Security is one of the key drivers for connected homes, after smart energy

Connected safety and security systems and devices with remote monitoring capabilities are expanding their share of the global smart home market. A survey in the UK in July 2015 identified security as the second most important of five key drivers for the connected home, after smart energy. The BI Intelligence research company estimates that by 2019 home security systems will account for 38% of the connected home market.

October 2015

Share your work

We need your stories

With 166 countries in the IEC family, more than 15 000 technical experts who work in standards development, hundreds of CBs (Certification Bodies) and TLs (Test Laboratories) in the IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems, there is no shortage of stories to be told within the IEC community. In 2016, as in previous years, the e-tech editorial team will be reaching out to you to get your story.

2014
December 2014

SMB meeting in Tokyo

SMB Chairman shares board's key decisions

IEC e-tech talked to James E. Matthews III, IEC Vice-President and Chairman of the SMB (Standardization Management Board) during the General Meeting in Tokyo, Japan. Matthews shared key decisions and why they are needed to ensure IEC relevance in the future.