An IT tool to improve seniors' autonomy and promote active ageing

Led by Barcelona Digital Technology Centre, the European R&D&I project SAAPHO (Secure Active Ageing: Participation and Health for the Old) has developed an ICT tool in prototype phase that will help seniors to monitor their health and the security of their home and avoid social exclusion by means of digital technologies. The final aim of the project is to improve seniors' quality of life and boost their autonomy. Starting this week, the prototype will be tested by more than 40 people at the Ageing Institute in Barcelona (Spain) and at the Union of Senior Organisations in Slovenia.

The platform developed as part of the project consists of a tablet to access services and simplified tools for that are adapted to their needs. For example, to help people in the third age to prevent health problems, the platform allows users to follow critical indicators such as artery pressure, monitor physical activity and check patients' historical health data, among other services.

Furthermore, the platform boosts seniors' home security because it is connected to their house with sensors that control factors like gas, fire, CO2, temperature, movement detection, etc. Thus, via the tablet, users can receive warnings and assistance in case of emergency.

Finally, the platform has social participation tools to promote more senior interaction with friends and family members through social networks and simplified email systems with more user-friendly design that will allow them to share photos, messages and emails, among other things, intuitively and simply.

Thus, the adheres to the three main points of the World Health Organisation's Active Ageing policy: , security and participation.

More information: Domenech, S., et al. Involving older people in the design of an innovative technological system promoting active aging: the SAAPHO Project, Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, JACCES, 2013 - 3(1): 13-27.

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