Usability is an important aspect of the requirement based design of assistance systems. Since requirement based assistance systems for ambient assisted living (AAL) will provide new technologies and services under an integrated approach the usability of systems is (also) closely linked with the common understanding of products and applications among manufacturers, service providers and users.

AAL is based on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in objects of everyday life. Highly integrated and at the same time distributed applications with a high level of communication skills are needed to make the ambient and processing intelligence of such systems which is necessary for many AAL services and products available to the user. The necessary data (vital data, environmental data) are collected by means of body sensor units or locally distributed sensor systems. The scope of information and communication technologies employed ranges from intelligent data processing to automatic decision finding.

An evaluation according to common standards of the services and products offered helps providers and customers to find the solution that best fits the specific case.

This VDE application guide describes criteria that are suitable for promoting the quality of AAL products and services and associated service concepts. It thus serves as a guideline with respect to quality criteria that are important in the special context of AAL. Here the focus lies on the quality criteria for safety, performance, usability and ergonomics.