New COLABORAR's website

Good news! We have a new logo and a new website!

Our website was updated, by redesigning some elements, such as fonts, colour schemes, images and sections. We maintained the usual news, network and about us sections. We added information related to services we can provide along with detailed information related to what we do. We want to offer other research centres and companies the possibility of including older adults’ needs in their projects, as well as the possibility of assessing and validating technologies under development with real users. We maintained the area for newsletter subscription and to join the network – you are wellcome, as an older adult volunteer or as a partner institution. We also kept the quotes from the volunteers in the network. To complete the rebrand, we made a new logo, that was already displayed in the COLABORAR Facebook page.

Visit us regularly and keep up to date with our activities in the research centre.

VITAAL tests

New interactive games for older adults are being developed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.

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.

 

 

Off-site work meeting

Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS Human-Centered Design group gathered for an off-site work meeting.

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.

We finished the meeting believing that we are in the right path to enhance this area within Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.

FallSensing's Clinical app tested

As part of the FallSensing project, researchers conducted a study with the aim of developing a multifactor solution for fall risk assessment. A customized therapeutic exercise prescription plan to prevent falls in the elderly was developed and tested by older adults.

This project is being developed by the Consortium formed by the Fraunhofer Portugal Research Centre for Assistive Communication and Information Solutions (Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS), Sensing Future Technologies, SA and the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, through ESTeSC – Escola Superior de Health Technology of Coimbra. The application can be viewed on a computer or monitor and is being developed by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. The therapeutic exercise plan is personalized to each older adult, according to he initial fall risk assessment and performance in exercises. The app is intended to be used in clinical context as a tool for physiotherapists. Therefore, a physiotherapist from the Consortium was at Fraunhofer AICOS during 15 sessions to apply the therapeutic plan to participants in the tests. Participants were COLABORAR’s volunteers and completed the plan, which included initial and final fall risk assessment and exercises for fall prevention.

A big thank you to COLABORAR’s volunteers.

Games for bladder incontinence prevention

We have just tested new serious interactive games. These games are focused on pelvic floor muscle training and aim at tackling urinary incontinence, as well as mobility and cognitive impairments.

The games are TV-based and inertial sensors are placed in specific parts of the body to monitor movement in real time. COLABORAR volunteers participated in the testing phase of this project, in which a masters’ student from Multimedia Communication added an important contribution and, on the other side, he used the work within this project as part of his masters’ thesis to submit to the university.

Thank you to all volunteers who participated!

Virtual reality for seniors

COGNISTIM is a new project under development at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.

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!

Active@Home: Platform for physical and cognitive training

A new platform for physical and cognitive training was developed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS within the project Active@Home.

Usability tests were carried out at the Living Lab to help researchers test user interfaces for TV and inertial sensors.  Participants were very committed and helped researchers find improvement points. 

We all had a good time playing the games and learning with older adults.

Tests with COLABORAR volunteers hilighted in the SmartCompanion presentation at Fraunhofer

In a presentation about SmartCompanion, the researcher Ana Vasconcelos, from Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, hilighted the tests in which the COLABORAR volunteers have participated.

SmartCompanion is an application for smartphone specially developed for older adults, but since it is so amazing, the youngers like using the app as well! The researcher showed the way results from tests and interviews with the COLABORAR volunteers were integrated in the project, since 2011. A lot has changed since the initial prototypes. Icons and interactions were changed over the time, following older adults’ preferences and needs.

We are proud to see the work presented this way. Our thank you to all participants for helping SmartCompanion to grow.

Interviewing nurses for a project related to pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers are a complex problem that requires attention from healthcare professionals and caregivers.

Technology may be able to optimize care for patients. With this aim, a new project is underway at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. This project is being developed by a Master’s student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Patients, informal caregivers, nurses and technical directors of institutions participated in interviews that will be valuable for understanding the complexities of this problem. COLABORAR gave a helping hand in the organization of interviews for this study.

The qualitative analsys of these interviews will enable the student and team to come up with a solution that will facilitate the care to patients with pressure ulcers.

 

 

We are preparing big surprises

Volunteers from the user network COLABORAR are collaborating with us in a project that aims to disseminate research activities we usually carry at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.

We are recording different moments of our work at the research centre: visits to day-care centres, tests at the Living Lab, interviews for qualitative analysis, etc. We are also interviewing participants and technical-directors of partner day-care centres.

We will reveal more details about this soon.