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.
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.
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.
COLABORAR organized the test sessions for the FallSensing project. This project results from a consortium between Fraunhofer Portugal, Sensing Future Technologies and ESTeSC – Coimbra Health School and focus on the evaluation of multiple fall risk factors and the implementation of fall prevention programs for individuals aged 50 years old or older, given that this is the population most affected by falls.
Participants arrived early and motivated to test the prototype. Researchers tested the exercises for fall risk screening and a physiotherapist from ESTeSC joined us and conducted the tests with the clinical app. Following the instructions of the app, each participant were evaluated for their fall risk factors and then, according to their risks, the application provided a personalized exercise plan for fall prevention. Participants used inertial sensors in their legs during the exercises, so to their body movements were monitored.
This app has the potential to help people over 50 stay strong and reduce their risk for falls. We hope that in the near future it will be available!
You can see more information about FallSensing here: http://fallsensing.com/project.
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.
COLABORAR provided users to test the sensors used to detect the movements of the arm. This sensors are being used in the scope of the thesis SmartReminders, under development at Fraunhofer AICOS, with the purpose of monitoring daily activities such as eating or drinking.
The first tests were conducted with a sample of 20 seniors at a day-care centre. Participants had the sensors in their wrists while taking their meals.
Thank you all participants! You always receive us warmly at the centre!
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.
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.
Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS has been developing interactive games for fall prevention (project FallSensing) and we have just made the first tests with older adults at a Day Care Centre in Porto.
We took equipment to the centre and introduced the game. Then, we let participants try out the game and have fun! Researchers and the designer working on this project performed some observations and were happy to see how seniors organized to participate and how they interacted with each other, building teams and socialize around the new game.
We will be back soon to the centre to test new games!
Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS‘ researcher António Santos was in the TV programme Mundo Local, for the Portuguese channel Porto Canal.
He explained the project Active@Home, the platform of home-based physical exercise for older adults. Mrs. Cecília Mendonça, user network COLABORAR volunteer, was present in the studio as well, and was interviewed regarding their participation in the tests.
During the news piece, a demo recorded inside our Living Lab was also displayed.
We guess that many people wants to try the exercises of Active@Home.
Fraunhofer AICOS’ SmartBEAT was tested by a group of users from our user network COLABORAR.
The user-friendly interfaces were used by seniors and pre-seniors at the Living Lab. Researchers conducted observation evaluations of participants. The tasks included performing measures of vital signs, responding to questionnaires and managing timely reminders of medication.
This study was very important, as researchers could understand if there are any issue to improve in what concerns to usability and user experience.
You can get more information about SmartBEAT here: