The primary objective of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technology is to provide aid and assistance to individuals, particularly the elderly, in maintaining their independence and residing in their own homes and their known environment for an extended duration. AAL technology is becoming increasingly important due to the continuous decrease of birth-rate and increasing life expectancy, leading to a shrinking proportion of younger population in developed countries. This research proposes a cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) for AAL that enables service providers to deliver services without the need for the user to invest in expensive technical equipment in advance, thus reducing high start-up costs. This hurdle, as identified by both peer groups and service solution vendors, stands as a pivotal challenge demanding resolution. The PaaS for AAL focuses on adaptation and personalization, as user acceptance of AAL services depends heavily on their situational needs. To provide customization, the PaaS for AAL can dynamically adapt its functionality and presentation of information based on the context of the environment or user, such as the medical state of the user and the condition at home. To store and retrieve information about the user, an ontology-backed database is implemented, and information about the environment is provided through interoperability with existing smart home appliances, directly attached sensors, and external web services. One of the key concerns of potential AAL users according to a field test during the research is privacy-related. A PaaS for AAL places regulatory demands on protecting the user’s privacy and personal information. Consequently, another part of this work focuses on the question of how general data sharing is possible based on the respective context of the user while protecting their privacy: By implementing monitoring, access control, and enforcement of privacy preserving data access, the platform for AAL is further enhanced. The extension of the introduced privacy policy language with context awareness is a significant step towards providing more robust privacy protection in AAL use cases. With a concluding evaluation survey, it can be shown that it allows for more granular control over data access and ensures that sensitive user data is only accessible when necessary and under appropriate conditions.

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.