COLABORAR recruits participants for a longitudinal study

A longitudinal study on smartphone use by older adults in Porto, coordinated by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS‘ Human-Centered Design team, is being set-up. Participants were recruited by COLABORAR and are ready to begin this longitudinal study.

Using a qualitative research approach, researchers of the Human-Centered Design team of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS are starting a longitudinal study of over a one-year. This study aims to better understand how people use their smartphone and the possible changes in the patterns of its use over the time.

Participants will use a costumized senior-friendly smartphone app that enables them to perform common mobile tasks such as sending messages, make calls and taking photos. Emergency calls and help requests are also available. They can use the medication reminder app, as well as a navigational application. Smartphone-based monitoring of older adults is part of this study; for this purpose, activity level monitoring and fall detection apps are included. This monitoring is made possible through the use of a wearable device — the GoLiveClip. In addition, users can receive remote help from a caregiver who will use a web application.

The modules of the app won several prizes: Google, Vodafone, Zon and World Summit Award Mobile. All modules of the app were developed according to the needs of older adults and were tested by COLABORAR volunteers. Data collection will be made remotely in natural settings and every three months through in-person evaluations at Fraunhofer AICOS. This study will enable to understand how older adults use tools to prevent isolation, promote their autonomy, safety and quality of life.

COLABORAR recruited more than 50 older adults interested in participating in this study. They are enthusiasts about technology, although not all of them own a smartphone. This enables us to have individuals with different digital skills in the sample, making the sample more representative of the population of older adults.

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.