At Fraunhofer AICOS, many projects require validation and usability tests with real end-users, which must follow procedures related to organizational, ethical and legal issues in research involving human participants.
COLABORAR and the Fraunhofer AICOS’s Legal Department created a checklist to guide researchers and students. This checklist comprises ethics and legal procedures that must be followed, as well as aspects related to the organization of research activities involving users. This guide was based in good practices from the previous experience of COLABORAR of 7 years with tests with users. It aims to help Fraunhofer AICOS‘ researchers in conducting studies with participants, as it establishes standards of behaviour and standardizes procedures. Additionally, this guide will be useful to regulate the tests carried out by scientific partner institutions.
In this conference, insights of the area of research that results from the intersection between design and health were presented. The research of the hD student Martina Caic’s focuses on customer experiences in value networks, with a main interest in robotic and ambient assisted living technologies. Martina has been at Fraunhofer AICOS as a visiting researcher and she made several observations of the sessions of physical exercise at a Portuguese day-care centre for older adults that is part of the user network COLABORAR over a period of three months. COLABORAR organized the field work for the student.
The article is entitled “Exergames for healthy ageing: Inclusion through design” and explores the technology appropriateness of the Fraunhofer AICOSs platform of physical exercise games for seniors designated Exergames. Martina’s work demonstrates the key factors for improving the chance of user uptake and acceptance of technology in this particular case study. The evolution of participants’ willingness to engage with the platform is documented as well. Martina also hilights the importance of engaging the elderly in their own care, since the exergame platform is intended to promote physical activity to older adults through entertaining video games. The full research paper is part of the proceedings of the conference and can be accessed here.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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