The master students who choose to develop their theses at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS this year, have just presented their work.
Fraunhofer organized a workshop in which each student made a presentation about the work carried out within the theme of the master thesis. Then, students discussed the work with researchers. Later, Fraunhofer welcomed students in a demonstration session. The prototypes are ready and students proudly showed the solutions they developed during the semestre, along with a flyer for each project.
COLABORAR congratulates all students and is happy to see them succeed in constructing solutions for a better future.
These past weeks we went to the centre in order to collect information about the use of the ExerGames. Participants in the tests answered to questionnaires about their experience with the games, their opinions and preferences.
Along with the observations carried out, these information is very valuable from the point of view of a researcher, as it will enable us to understand the aspects older adults like the most about ExerGames: the user interface, doing exercise, a good hobby, amongst others. Researchers want to know if users think the system is easy to use and if they are aware of the benefits of doing exercise for fall prevention.
A master thesis is being developed to study these aspects and evaluate the impact of information and communication technologies on older adults´well-being, contributing, therefore, to seniors’ autonomy.
Older adults of a day care center in Porto are using Fraunhofer AICOS’ interactive games for physical exercise.
The software is available for seniors at Centro Social de Soutelo so that they can try out the games and have fun doing exercises specifically developed for their age and needs regarding physical exercises. These exercises promote muscular strength, balance, mobility and flexibility in a playful way. Besides these benefits, seniors are getting to know the application of new technologies in real life; in this case, they can see their movements being tracked by the sensors in the smartphone and the indication of their performance in the game. Therefore, they can gain the sense of being integrated in nowadays digital society. At the same time, attention is required to play the game, which is positive for older adults.
With the aim of understanding the role of technology on the active aging and well being of older adults, through the promotion of autonomy and security, a study is being carried out. Volunteers are participating in the study and giving important insights on their perceptions and opinions regarding their experience of using ExerGames. Simultaneously, we are studying de factors that contribute to the motivation of seniors to participate in activities with interactive games.
These studies are very useful to researchers and we like seeing older adults have fun while playing the ExerGames.
You can watch below the Fraunhofer’s video of the Workshop of Master Students 2016, in which are displayed the best moments of this event. The workshop was organized so that master students could present their work. In this video, you can also discover what last year’s master students have to say about the experience of developing their theses at Fraunhofer AICOS.
Following tradition, students presented their theses developed at Fraunhofer Portugal.
Each year, Fraunhofer AICOS receives final year students – mostly from Engineering programmes – and offers them the opportunity of being integrated in a research team. Thus, they are allowed to develop their work, within a theme of their choice, with the guidance of experienced scientists. Moreover, considering that Fraunhofer AICOS makes research with practical utility with close relationship to industry, chances are that their work will contribute for improvements on the quality of life of many people, especially older adults, disabled people and caregivers (formal and informal).
The themes of the theses were diverse, focusing on: Fall and Activity Monitoring, Chronic Diseases and Well-being Management, Assistive Environments and Information and Communication Technologies for Development.
We congratulate them all for the good work they did!
The topic was presented at pHealth2016, the “13th International Conference on Wearable, Micro & Nano Technologies for Personalized Health”, in Greece, from the 29th to the 31st of May. The accelerometer-based system for knee data acquisition and data feature extraction enables the detection and assessment of knee Osteoarthritis, which is a condition that affects many seniors. The differentiation between a pathological and a non-pathological knee is made using some sensors, which is an innovation in the diagnosis of Osteoarthritis, as it is a non-invasive method.
The system was tested by some senior volunteers who are part of the user network COLABORAR. The project continued under development at Fraunhofer AICOS and then several patients of a hospital in Porto were assessed with the system. The results from the validation tests show good efficiency in the differentiation of knees with Osteoarthritis and non-affected knees. We cannot but share the wonderful news, as we believe the people who collaborate in the tests will be happy to hear about the success of the project. We thank you again for your help!
Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS welcomed a group of Master Degree students who will develop their theses in our research centre.
Each year, Fraunhofer offers this opportunity, by integrating students in its R&D projects. A welcome workshop was prepared for them, in which the main procedures related to Human Resources compliance and Equipment management were explained. Then, Fraunhofer’s main R&D projects were presented, followed by important tips for the development of the theses; important resources and tools were also shared. This will help students organize their work and, on the other hand, learning how to use specific tools for project management will certainly be very useful in the near future, whether they stay at Fraunhofer or carry out their professional activities elsewhere.
And the workshop ended wonderfully with the presentation of COLABORAR. Students got to know that we can put them in touch with senior users. This will allow students to understand requirements and to later test their applications. They also learned that they can always call the Human-Computer Interaction team for guidance and validation of test protocols. We are glad that COLABORAR will support them in this phase of great significance. We are certain that they will enjoy working in the development of software for seniors and have their help in the process of human-centred design.
COLABORAR wishes them good work and hopes they enjoy this time with us and the network!
November 14th is World Diabetes Day. The day was created by the International Diabetes Federation to help increase Diabetes awareness. Diabetes is a disease that affects people worldwide and its complications are blindness, heart attack, kidney failure and limb amputation. Blindness and amputation are consequences of Diabetic Rethinopathy and Diabetic Neuropathy, respectively. Researchers from Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS are developing new solutions to improve the early detection of these Diabetes complications. COLABORAR wants to mark the date by highlighting those projects:
EyeFundusScope – “Mobile-based risk assessment of Diabetic Retinopathy by image processing” comprises an ophthalmoscopic adapter attached to a smartphone with an application that processes the images of the eye fundus captured by the optical adapter. The app allows the detection of micro-aneurysms, which are the first visible signs of Diabetic Rethinopathy, on an non-expert monitoring context, enabling an early pre-diagnosis;
NeuropathyDetect – “Detection of Peripheral Neuropathy in Diabetes patients” consists of using plantar pressure sensors and smartphone built-in accelerometers to collect gait data that is then analyzed by a mobile application. It enables to identify early signs of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in diabetic patients who therefore must adopt protective measures to prevent feet injuries and be followed-up by their medical doctor, in order to improve their treatment.
You can see a news piece by SIC Notícias on these two Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS’s projects below (in Portuguese).
Each year, Fraunhofer Portugal welcomes new students of Master courses in its research projects. This year, many students were challenged to design, develop and implement mobile technological solutions in the areas of health and well-being of older adults and also in the field of social and economic development. Fraunhofer AICOS provided the opportunity for students to enrich their projects with a user-centered design process and to test the prototypes of the solutions with different target groups: children, young adults, seniors and immigrants.
We have already presented you each of the Master Theses and now, we proudly announce their conclusion and share a common sense of job well done. All students were also interviewed about their work at Fraunhofer, so soon enough you will be able to check those interviews as well!
COLABORAR wishes a great success to all students who developed their theses at Fraunhofer Portugal and heartily thanks all the people involved in the tests, making them possible: seniors, children, young adults, immigrants, parents, teachers, collaborators and the people in charge at the institutions.
The Master Thesis “Gait analysis in patients recovering from total joint replacement using body fixed sensors” (SmartRecovery) aims to study the gait of patients after a Total Knee Replacement (TKR), by measuring body movements, body mechanics and the activity of the muscles.
Several tests were conducted with the experimental group, comprised by patients recovering from TKR, and the control group, comprised by senior volunteers of COLABORAR. The tests took place respectively at the hospital and at Fraunhofer. The tests with volunteers will enable to differentiate the gait of patients who underwent a Total Knee Replacement and highlight the changes of gait between them and the people who did not undergo surgery for TKR.