Ageing Summit 2018

The first edition of the Ageing Summit was held in Porto at Fundação de Serralves and was organized by Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto.

The issue of ageing was addressed from different points of view: challenges for society, public and social policies, innovation and active and healthy ageing. Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS‘s researcher Filipe Sousa was at the Ageing Summit ’18 to moderate the panel on “Ageing Societies: Innovation and Investment”. The intervening role of seniors and some examples of how society can listen to their opinions and take them into account in decision making was one of the topics highlighted.

COLABORAR attended the event, as these are topics of interest. We were happy to know that seniors are being perceived as an active part in decision-making related to ageing.

COLABORAR at the “Meetings with Innovation in Health”

COLABORAR attended the “Meetings with Innovation in Health” in April 4th. The event was held at the Hard Club, in the city of Porto and was organized by Health Cluster Portugal.

Many healthcare providers, medical devices manufacturers and R&D institutions attended the event. Some of them had a booth at the “Market for Open Innovation in Health”. The theme of the meeting was “New Research and Innovation Agendas for Future Health”. There were three thematic sessions: “Precision Medicine & Digital Health”, “Advanced Therapies & New Vaccines” and “Nanomedicine & Bioelectronics”. Speakers gave us an overview on areas of health that will be highlighted in the future.

The “Market for Open Innovation in Health” had the aim of promoting contacts between potential scientific, clinical, technological partners and companies.

We liked meeting with other researchers and getting to know about their scientifc projects in the field of technology and innovation for health.

It’s time for field studies

Researchers at Fraunhofer AICOS are working in a new application to be integrated in the SmartCompanion system.

We have in our team a student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. She is carrying out field work, namely interviews with older adults within her work of user research. The student will be using the insights to build a smartphone application and she is applying human-computer interaction principles in her work, specifically for the elders, since the user interfaces of this app should be simple and easy to read to the user.

We expect to test the prototype with volunteers in the network very soon!

FallSensing: fall risk assessment and exercises for fall prevention

We have more news about FallSensing. This project that aims to develop tools for fall risk assessment, falls monitoring and prevention had many advances through the past months.

Researchers and designers together created new games and couldn’t wait to test them! With the help of the volunteers in the user network COLABORAR, for sure. Therefore, we went to a living centre in Porto and organized some research activities. We started with the recruitment of participants, and then we applied tests and questionnaires to assess the fall risk of each user. Then, we scheduled tests with users at the centre. Both fall risk assessment and exercises for prevention were accompanied by a physiterapist. Researchers took notes of some details related to usability issues while seniors were playing the games. Researchers were also paying attention to questions related to comfort of body sensors that older adults were using to capture movements during the game, enabling the evaluation of their performance.

The feedback from users was great, as they said they enjoyed playing in group with their friends. The laughts also indicate that they had a good time playing the FallSensing games. The team could not be as happy with the success of FallSensing!

Visits to the centres

As usually, we are making visits to the centres, wishing an excellent 2018 to the very supportive people who collaborate with us in many Fraunhofer‘s projects. We offer some tokens as well, along with the COLABORAR postcard.

Wishing all of you a happy new year. Here is to another year of great tests, questionnaires, user research and usability issues.

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays everyone!

As end-of-year approaches, the COLABORAR team is making performance reviews and planning for the next year. We evaluate the last year work and accomplishments, hilighting the support for  Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS‘ research projects by recruiting users for research activities; COLABORAR also provided a guide to research ethics and a manual on how to conduct research activities with users, thus contributing for the uniformization of procedures and promoting guidance and reccomendations of good practices. We set goals for the next year as well. We plan improvements in the software COLABORAR is using to manage the projects and we will conduct a new survey with users in the network. And lots of tests and other research activities!

Happy Holidays from the COLABORAR team to you.

Celebrating the 6th anniversary of COLABORAR with volunteers


It was an afternoon for celebrating the success of COLABORAR.

Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS hosted an event to mark 6 years of the project. We invited a group of volunteers from the user network COLABORAR and gave thanks for their participation. Symbolically, we were thanking all volunteers who participated in research activities throuth the last years. We hilighted the importance of their feedback on our projects and showed them the apps developed. Most importantly, we took this time for talking with them: different generations united for research and technology.

COLABORAR thanks all volunteers form the user network COLABORAR!

Celebrating the COLABORAR's 6th Anniversary


The researchers would like to thank the 1500 individuals who participated as users on the Fraunhofer’s tests and user research activities in the last 6 years. Their participation and critiques are essential to the quality of applications that has been developed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.

Thank you to all our COLABORAR Volunteers!

Celebrate World Usability Day!


What is World Usability Day?

World Usabiliy Day or Make Things Easier Day is an initiative celebrated worldwide annualy on the second Thursday of November, since 2005, this year on November 9. It aims to hilight the contribution of people who research, design, and evaluate the user experience of products and services.

This year’s theme is ” Inclusion through User Experience”.

“Inclusion is a complex condition, which in itself is not easy to harmonize, as individual and social diversity, for example in access to educational, health, work, and technology opportunities.Technology, nowadays is more, more powerful, and economically accessible, it is an undeniable factor of inclusion and growth, a carrier infrastructure of opportunities for participation and competence development in many areas. But if participation is a cultural property, what are the characteristics of the technologies that can best help it?” (Campus Luigi Einaudi – Italy)


In celebration of World Usability Day, many organizations hold events to mark the day. COLABORAR takes this opportunityto thank all the participants in usability studies of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, because users are essential to these studies. Additionaly, we would like to introduce you to the Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS’ Human-Computer Interaction research team members.


Ana Vasconcelos

Ana Vasconcelos is an Engineer in Informatics. She has worked in many projects related to User Interface Usability in the area of technology for Ambient Assisted Living for older adults. Her main focus has been mobile health and wellness solutions, adding contributions to successful mobile technology interventions.

Catarina Correia

Catarina Correia is a Communication Designer. She usually works in the visual identity, design of interaction or in projects’ communication. In the most cases, she works with mobile applications and wearable devices.

Eduardo Pereira

Eduardo Pereira is a User Experience and Interaction Designer. He works in projects related to serious games for therapeutic rehabilitation or technologies for Developing Countries.

Elsa Oliveira

Elsa Oliveira is a Communication Designer. She is involved in the creation of user interfaces in projects related to serious games for fall prevention and physical exercise for the elderly. She usually works in many projects’ aspects, since the initial concept to the final communication.

Francisco Nunes

Francisco Nunes is a an Engineer in Informatics. He is the responsible for the Human-Computer Interaction team and thus he supports researchers in many projects. His main research interest is especially in the field of Self-care technologies and Ambient Assisted Living for older adults.  He is also a regular international conference speaker.

Jorge Ribeiro

Jorge Ribeiro is an Interaction Designer. He has been involved in studies about user research and experience design targeted older adults, being therefore in constant contact with older adults from the user network COLABORAR.

Paulo Silva

Paulo Silva is a Mechanical Engineer. He works in the development of a prototype for the automatic detection of Malaria, ensuring its mechanical viability, and focus on usability studies with the aim of ensuring a universal use of the prototype. In addition to the product development focus, his interest areas are: innovation, CAD modelation and 3D printing.

Ricardo Peixoto

Ricardo Peixoto is a Mechanical Engineer and an Industrial Designer. He works with 3D object prototyping for various contexts and has a special interest in products designed to solve usability problems in the fine motor skills and manual dexterity of the elderly.

Sílvia Rêgo

Sílvia Rêgo is a Nurse and she is the main responsible of the user network COLABORAR. She coordinates tests with users, organizing test sessions, recruiting participants and sheduling tests. She is also involved in issues related to organizational procedures of usabiliy and validation tests, ethics in research and submisson of studies to ethics committees.

DctivPR web application for visualization of user’s physical activity information tested


Smart Companion, the android customization for smartphones targeting older adults, enables the collection of data related to physical activity. In order to provide an easy and effective way to analyze the data collected, a web application was developed.

Then, tests with possible end-users was carried out so to verify that the user easily catches relevant information from the application. Participants answered to a questionnaire about the habits of the predefined Smart Companion users.

This work was carried out in the scope of the master thesis entitled “DActivPR – Daily Activity Pattern Recognition Tool“.