Personalized web applications to improve quality of life and remote care for older adults
In Europe, as in other developed countries, there is an increasing number of older adults. While this demographic trend is generally regarded as a positive signal of improved living conditions, there is at the same time a need of providing adequate support to the increasing number of ageing people in order to prevent and cope with the increased risk of developing health diseases in later life. In addition, increased life expectancy combined with declining birth rates have caused many to worry about the cost and sustainability of supporting this growing ageing population in the future. In this scenario, the main goal of the international PersonAAL project is to extend the time older people can live in their home environment by increasing their autonomy and assisting them in carrying out activities of daily living by means of intelligent and intuitive web applications enabling users to receive personalized and context-dependent assistance directly in their own homes, with the goal to improve quality of life and decrease healthcare delivery cost.
The project, coordinated by Santer Reply S.p.A., a leading Consulting, Systems Integration and Application Management company, involves Partners from four European Countries: Human Interface in Information Systems Laboratory at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy, Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, FP and Plux Wireless Biosignals AS, Portugal, Hospital Organiser AS and Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Norway, Arpage AG and terzStiftung, Switzerland.
PersonAAL is co-funded by the Active and Assisted Living Joint Program (AAL JP), a research programme promoted by the European Commission, and by the Ministry Of Education, University and Research (Italy), the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal), the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (Switzerland), and the Research Council of Norway.
The advanced technological platform developed in the project will support regular monitoring and control of elderlies’ activities by exploiting a number of different sensors, devices and modalities. It will provide innovative interactive and proactive solutions anticipating elderly needs, and dynamically adapt and accommodate individual user requirements to changes in different contexts of use. By using a combination of multiple modalities and devices appropriate for the current context of use, our system will support a natural interaction with older people: the selection of the most suitable combination of modalities and devices will be done by analyzing the current context, user’s characteristics, and current task.
We plan to apply and integrate these concepts in a set of care applications in order to validate the results in a realistic setting to demonstrate the adaptability and versatility of the approach. The applications considered will be Remote assistance, Personal Medical Diary and Rehabilitation service.
In order to improve usability and motivation, and to ensure an extensive and effective use of the developed applications, senior citizens (our primary end-users) will be involved from the beginning of the project through focus groups or interviews in order to collect their requirements and early feedbacks about how to exploit context-dependent, interactive services.
The project formally started October 1st, 2015, and will conclude September 30th, 2018 (36 months duration).