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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.