Opportunities, ethical challenges, and value implications of pervasive sensing technology for supporting older adults in the work environment
Responding to the challenges of demographic change, a growing number of eHealth solutions are appearing on the market, aiming to enable age-friendly living and working environments. Pervasive sensing and monitoring of workers' health-, behavioural-, emotional- and cognitive status to support their health and workability enable the creation of adaptive work environments and the provision of personalised interventions. However, this technology also introduces new challenges that go beyond user acceptance and privacy concerns. Based on a conceptual investigation and lessons learnt within the SmartWork project (H2020-826343), this paper outlines opportunities and ethical challenges of pervasive sensing technology in the work environment that aims to support active and healthy ageing for office workers in a holistic way, including their values and preferences. Only by identifying those challenges, implicated values and value tensions is it possible to convert them into design opportunities and find innovative ways to address identified tensions. The article outlines steps taken within the project and closes with a reflection on the limits of technological responses to societal problems and the need for regulations and changes on a societal level.
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