Partnerships5

New FallSensing game tested with older adults

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On July 11th Fraunhofer AICOS hosted a group of older adults from a day-care center from Abiúl, near Pombal, in the center region of Portugal. Researchers from the FallSensing project were holding some tests for the new physical exercise game and COLABORAR invited Fundação Dr. José Lourenço Júnior to try out the game.

The activities at Fraunhofer included a visit to our facilities. They saw our work areas, with many computers.  Then they went to the Software Lab, the laboratory in which we usually perform tests with users. The view from the office delighted our guests, since we have open spaces with large windows and we can see some universities and research centers, as well as one of the biggest Portuguese hospitals.

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The new FallSensing game is an easy, fun, physical game for fall prevention and is suited to be played by groups of three. The exercises required to play the game are based on a certified fall prevention program. The seniors from the day-care center were divided into groups to play the game. We can tell, by the laughs, that our guests enjoyed the game very much. This is a fun activity for the elderly! Furthermore, researchers tested the platform that aims to implement fall prevention programs in individuals aged 50 or older. The well known Fraunhofer‘s cognitive games for tablets named “Cogniplay” were available for seniors, over tea, juice and some biscuits.

We are happy to be able to receive at Fraunhofer AICOS real end users giving important inputs to the study. And we are glad to provide older adults from Abiúl a different and happy day.

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Project DeMind: beginning of the pilot with older adults

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We are glad that the pilot for the project DeMind has just  begun! The pilot is taking place in Lisbon, at Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), a partner of COLABORAR.

This pilot aims to promote technology-based activities for seniors attending 6 day-care centres from SCML and is called “Tec-Conhecimento”. CogniPlay, the Fraunhofer AICOS‘ application for tablets of cognitive games, is available for the participants on this project. ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa is also a project’s partner. The consortium comprised by these 3 institutions aims to study the integration of activities supported by technology, particularly tablets, on the daily habits of older adults at day-care centers and seniors’ acceptance. At the same time, usability aspects of the interfaces are also being studied.

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The project began with a presentation of CogniPlay to the technical staff of the centers. This project lasts until July and we are looking forward for its results.

Note: Thank you SCML for the images.

COLABORAR workshop: gathering with institutions in the network

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The partner institutions of COLABORAR from Porto gathered at Fraunhofer AICOS to discuss a range of issues related to older adults and the partnership we have.

Held at our Software Lab, the meeting was meant to be an opportunity to show our facilities and gather with the staff and directors of the different institutions: day-care/living centres, services of home care and municipalities. We were joined by different professionals who work with older adults: social educators, social workers, sociocultural animators, sociologists and a nurse.

Despite spending much time at the centres, we had never had the chance of bringing professionals together at Fraunhofer. We also never had the chance before of listening to their perceptions on our work with seniors, as well on the positive and negative aspects of the partnership.

Some statistical data extracted from the COLABORAR questionnaires were presented. We also presented some of Fraunhofer’s projects already finished. We told our guests that they can always come to us to explain the needs they identify in the field, because they know seniors, their conditions and even the main problems they face. This meeting was also an opportunity for professionals to get to know each other and exchange contacts.

And finally, on the agenda were photos of the event and a video!

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Participation at Feira da Família – Gaia + Saudável

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This past weekend, Fraunhofer AICOS participated on “Feira da Família – Gaia + Saudável”. We were invited by CliniCuidados, a partner institution of COLABORAR, to display the ExerGames.  The event was organized by CCSaúde, having Câmara Muncipal de Gaia as the main sponsor, and took place at Centro Cívico de Gaia, in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Fraunhofer showcased the ExerGames, the serious games for fall prevention. The visitants of the fair had the opportunity of trying out the games and achieve awareness of how one can, in the comfort of their own home, work to reduce the risk of fall by exercising with the guidance of these interactive games. COLABORAR was also present and senior visitants were invited to join the user network.

This was an event for the entire family. Adults could make some health screening tests; seniors, on the other hand, got some advice related to the promotion of healthy habits and technical aids. For the kids, the fair was animated by spider men, giant mattresses, popcorn and candies. And the performance of Rancho Folclórico was a moment of happiness for everyone!

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Fraunhofer Portugal supported Hack for Good, a programming marathon

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Fraunhofer Portugal is amongst the organizations that supported the Hackathon named Hack for Good, organized by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This Hackathon aimed at fostering the development of innovative technological solutions and in this 1st edition the theme was “Ageing and active living”. The initiative had the purpose of generating solutions to address ageing-related challenges.

Fraunhofer Portugal helped to define the main topics for the event: Communication and Social Relations, Cognitive Stimulation, Knowledge Transfer and Shared Economy, Health and Welfare, Formal and Informal Caregivers, Nutrition, Mobility and Personal Finances. Furthermore, Fraunhofer Portugal produced instructions to support groups in designing inclusive solutions which take into account older people as users.

Ana Correia de Barros, from Fraunhofer Portugal, participated as a mentor and as a member of the pre-jury team during the two-day event, taking place on April 23 and 24, in Lisbon. At Fraunhofer Portugal we work in projects related to these topics and we already have a large experience in developing products and services for seniors. Therefore, Ana, as a mentor, helped participants to  understand the challenges related to ageing. As a pre-jury member, Ana helped to select the 10 finalist ideas, which were presented to the final jury.

From a total of circa 400 registrations, 157 participants were distributed into 36 small teams. Participants had different backgrounds, such as engineering, health and social professionals, design and management. This interdisciplinary nature is a plus and it was an excellent opportunity to get specialists in technology and ageing to work together. Additionally, seniors were present as well, giving important feedback about the idea.

There were also entertainment activities, workshops and networking moments for participants. In the end of the event, the 10 finalists pitched their ideas to the jury and three winners came out. These three awarded ideas were solutions to: support informal caregivers (1st prize), encourage self-monitoring of health and social interaction through gamification (2nd prize), and support to self-mannagement of medication (3rd prize).

At the closing sessions, we were delighted with two great announcements: all 36 teams will be invited to pitch their ideas and receive mentoring, and this Hack for Good is only the first of many to come! After such a successful first edition, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation wants to repeat the initiative.

What an excellent weekend! COLABORAR is glad that Fraunhofer Portugal was a partner of this development marathon to put technology at the service of seniors.

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