A new pilot study led by researchers at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS has just began, in Porto.
GoLivePhone is a mobile app that acts as a real companion for older people. GoliveClip is a wearable that captures body movements and communicates with the GoLivePhone app. After several lab tests conducted at Fraunhofer AICOS, researchers want to get real world data about the use of these technologies. This study will enable researchers to understand the role of technology in assisting older people in their daily routines, for example, in terms of maintaining social relationship and helping them monitoring their physical activity.
The first group of participants from the user network COLABORAR initiated the study, by answearing questionnaires and performing some motor-physical tests. Then, they will participate in a workshop to get acquainted with the app and the wearable that then they will get home.
The study will run during a year and will bring important information about the use of technology by older people in the real world.
At Fraunhofer AICOS, many projects require validation and usability tests with real end-users, which must follow procedures related to organizational, ethical and legal issues in research involving human participants.
COLABORAR and the Fraunhofer AICOS’s Legal Department created a checklist to guide researchers and students. This checklist comprises ethics and legal procedures that must be followed, as well as aspects related to the organization of research activities involving users. This guide was based in good practices from the previous experience of COLABORAR of 7 years with tests with users. It aims to help Fraunhofer AICOS‘ researchers in conducting studies with participants, as it establishes standards of behaviour and standardizes procedures. Additionally, this guide will be useful to regulate the tests carried out by scientific partner institutions.
A longitudinal study on smartphone use by older adults in Porto, coordinated by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS‘ Human-Centered Design team, is being set-up. Participants were recruited by COLABORAR and are ready to begin this longitudinal study.
Using a qualitative research approach, researchers of the Human-Centered Design team of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS are starting a longitudinal study of over a one-year. This study aims to better understand how people use their smartphone and the possible changes in the patterns of its use over the time.
Participants will use a costumized senior-friendly smartphone app that enables them to perform common mobile tasks such as sending messages, make calls and taking photos. Emergency calls and help requests are also available. They can use the medication reminder app, as well as a navigational application. Smartphone-based monitoring of older adults is part of this study; for this purpose, activity level monitoring and fall detection apps are included. This monitoring is made possible through the use of a wearable device — the GoLiveClip. In addition, users can receive remote help from a caregiver who will use a web application.
The modules of the app won several prizes: Google, Vodafone, Zon and World Summit Award Mobile. All modules of the app were developed according to the needs of older adults and were tested by COLABORAR volunteers. Data collection will be made remotely in natural settings and every three months through in-person evaluations at Fraunhofer AICOS. This study will enable to understand how older adults use tools to prevent isolation, promote their autonomy, safety and quality of life.
COLABORAR recruited more than 50 older adults interested in participating in this study. They are enthusiasts about technology, although not all of them own a smartphone. This enables us to have individuals with different digital skills in the sample, making the sample more representative of the population of older adults.
We share some main activities and milestones of the year that has just finished. We send a thank you message to each volunteer in the network without whom we could not make our work, to Fraunhofer AICOS’ researchers, including the ones of the Human-Centred Design group who challenge COLABORAR with requests for increasingly ambitious activities and for the high standards of good practices on research with older adults.
It is already on December 12 that you can discover how older adults and technology are related.
Organized by COLABORAR, this will be an event open to older adults from the city of Porto to discover technology developed with and for older adults. Some of our latest projects related to innovations in m-health, active ageing, wellbeing and literacy will be showcased. User research and testing methodologies will be hilighted as an essential part of research and development. Researchers will be answering all questions posed by our visitors.
Don’t miss this opportunity! Registration is free, but limited to available spots. Register through: 220430347.
On November 8 one celebrate the World Usability Day 2018. Every year, the date has a theme aiming to foster discussions around the topic. This year the theme is “Design for Good or Evil”.
It is known that design has great impact on the usability of everything and many times it determines the usefulness and success of an object, service or app. In this context, and in a simplified manner, the ultimate goal of good design is making things easy to use. On the contrary, bad design deny users the possibility of doing the things they want to do; in extreme situations it can cause very serious consequences or even harms.
The COLABORAR team takes the chance to congratulate designers and engineers working in the Human-Centred Design team at Fraunhofer AICOS to build solutions – whether it is a mobile or web app or wearable sensors – easy to use and with potential to improve well-being and health of several persons.
Researchers have been working in a multidisciplinary team to build algorithms, game interfaces for TV and wearable sensors. The new project is called VITAAL and was just tested by the COLABORAR volunteers. They tried out the games and gave insights regarding the game interfaces.
We thank volunteers for colaborating in the project.
It was in a cozy place that the group discussed the most recent work and the aims of the strategic research area of Human-Centered Design within Fraunhofer. The next steps to continue to innovate in user studies were defined, priority areas selected and tasks distributed.
COGNISTIM is a mobile application combined with special glasses and it enables seniors to experience virtual reality through stimulation games. These games were designed to stimulate both physical and cognitive systems of older adults. We have a Master’s student from the University of Coimbra doing his master´s thesis within this project. The student developed the app and now he is testing it with COLABORAR volunteers.
We brought the equipment to a day-care centre and it was amazing to provide older adults with a totally new experience. These tests were great! We hope to introduce more seniors to virtual reality soon!
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