2018 in review

What a great year 2018 was!

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.

We are ready for a 2019 full of new challenges!

Off-site work meeting

Starting off 2019 with an off-site work meeting with the Human-Centred Design team.

All the members of the team gathered to talk about the strategic agenda for the new year. Tasks were distributed and suggestions were discussed. We are preparing many surprises for 2019!

Tea and chocolate cake made the meeting more pleasurable. What a nice way to start off the year!

Season's Greetings

Wishing you Happy Holidays and prosperity to the New Year.

We hope you all have an unforgettable time this holiday! Looking forward to see you soon!

 

Technology show

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.

COLABORAR anniversary celebrations

COLABORAR just turned seven!

What better way to celebrate the anniversary than a social event? Researchers from the Human-Centered Design and volunteers gathered at the Auditorium to commemorate the 7th anniversary and chat about technology. We showcased some of Fraunhofer AICOS’ projects on mobile health and wellbeing and we also presented a project in the area of education and literacy for children. We wanted to show the importance of involving users in our work to develop solutions for diverse societal challenges. Most importantly, we wanted to share our joy in celebrating the project anniversary.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many hundreds of dedicated older adults who have participated over the years: they have made over 2800 research sessions possible and have been irreplaceable in making the project what it is today! Cheers to the next 7 years!

The COLABORAR team.

7 year COLABORAR anniversary

We will be marking the 7th milestone anniversary of COLABORAR on November 26.

This celebration will be held at the Fraunhofer AICOS’ Auditorium. This year we planned a celebratory event  full of interaction moments between researchers and volunteers, but we will keep specific details under wraps.

For now, we only want to share with you the biggest achievements: more than 2800 research sessions with volunteers, 1100 participants and 70 projects supported. We are proud and, above all, grateful to every volunteer who contributed to research and innovation on technology to Propose Futures and Impact Lives of older adults.

Stay tuned for more news!

Information session about falls

FallSensing project researchers were at a living centre to talk about falls at senior age.

The seniors of the living center participated in the testing of this project, making an important contribution. In this session, near the end of the project, we talked about fall risk factors and how the technology can help the elderly to stay active through physical exercises for balance training and muscle strength. We answered questions that seniors posed about falls and everyone talked about their experiences of falls  previously experienced. In general, the elderly have suffered at least one fall or at least know someone who has fallen. They are therefore sensitized to this problem and have been curious to learn more about ways to avoid falls. We took a tablet and showed the FallSensing application to let them know how technology can help. We have explained that, on the one hand, FallSensing‘s sensors help assess the risk of falls and that the application developed along with sensors can be an appealing way for people to take physical exercise specifically for falls prevention. In addition, we distributed leaflets with fall prevention information that were developed by FallSensing researchers. We also introduced the digital fall book of the Portuguese National Health Service (“Serviço Nacional de Saúde”).

The session was very successful in that it was very interactive and everyone learned a little more about avoiding falls. Researchers, on the other hand, found that this issue continues to worry older people, as well as their caregivers who are receptive to new ways to prevent falls.

New newsletter

We are happy to announce the launch of our updated email newsletter! This dynamic newsletter aims to bring you the most relevant news regarding our research activities in a practical manner. We hope your experience reading our newsletter will be improved, by giving you more visual content and the option to read more if you want to.

Interested in having updates on masters’ theses topics developed at Fraunhofer, external or internal projects of technological solutions for seniors under development or research activities delivered straight to your email inbox? Sign up to our newsletter here.

 

World Usability Day 2018

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.

 

Active@Home: new games tested by volunteers

Promotion of physical activity at home and fall prevention are the aims of the Active@Home project.

Active@Home is under development at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, along with Unie KBO, Comfort Keepers Portugal, ETH Zurich and MIRALab SARL. Interactive games for motor-cognitive training were developed. These games enable older adults to do exercises in a joyful and entertaining manner.

A session of tests took place at Fraunhofer. COLABORAR organised the session and counted with the participation of older adults in the network.  They executed exercises of dance and Tai-chi while using motion sensors in the body to monitor their movements.

Participants had fun and gave valuable insights that we used for technology assessment.