Research

INNODRIVER – WE CARE AGEING

WE CARE AGEING – WEarable devices to CARE for AGEING people is the project presented by ComfTech, in collaboration with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences of the Università di Brescia, the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico “Carlo Besta” and the Laboratory of Clinical Psychology of the Università Cattolica di Milano, within the INNODRIVER call funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The progressive ageing of the population is one of the great challenges for the future of our society, which has to face problems such as the increase in chronic and disabling diseases, and the consequent costs, and the possible social exclusion and isolation of the elderly. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), including the latest smart technologies, social media applications, wearable technologies, monitoring systems, etc., will play an increasingly important role in this direction, contributing to improve the quality of life in various respects and to optimise the decision-making environments of the elderly.
The project WE CARE AGEING – WEarable devices to CARE for AGEING people aims at testing wearable sensor technology by Comftech S.r.l., in the field of ageing. The collaboration with the Faculty of Psychology of the Università Cattolica will be crucial in order to best combine the technological offerings with the requirements of senior users, as the many years of experience of a research team in the field of psychology will make it possible to collect the needs of senior users and interlocutors, profiling their needs.
At the same time, the correct functioning of the system and the reliability of the data will be verified in the user’s daily life, both during physical activity and during normal activities at home. This activity will be carried out with the collaboration of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences of the Università di Brescia.
Finally, the usefulness of the system for the correct analysis of sleep will be assessed in collaboration with the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico “Carlo Besta”, recognised as a centre of national and international excellence in the field of neuroscience. In fact, sleep is considered a fundamental component not only for well-being, but more specifically for health, and it is important to educate oneself to manage it at every stage of life.

The target group of the project is elderly men and women who want and/or need to use a system to monitor their physiological parameters. This system will allow accurate and personalised analyses and will enable users to receive notifications and suggestions to maintain a correct lifestyle according to their psychophysical state.
The same tool also allows data to be shared with the caregiver, even remotely, in complete security, thus providing peace of mind to family members.
An example of the potential of WE CARE AGEING services is expressed by the versatility of some application scenarios:

  • The active elderly person in the midst of active aging. In this scenario, the wearable device plays a reassuring role in confirming the subject’s good health. Data on vital parameters are provided at low frequency and WE CARE AGEING does not intervene with any stimulus as the subject is already able to act with healthy and positive behaviours. The technology disappears and performs a soft, silent and reassuring monitoring. Instead, the social component and involvement in active groups remain predominant;
  • The elderly person with chronic pathologies who needs incentives for a healthier lifestyle. In this scenario, the wearable device plays a role in monitoring and stimulating people to perform actions that are functional to a healthier lifestyle, since the subject suffers from pathologies (cardiovascular, metabolic, pneumological, osteoarticular, etc.) that require changes in dysfunctional habits. Data on vital parameters is provided on an average frequency and WE CARE AGEING intervenes with targeted stimuli as the subject is not always able to act with healthy and positive behaviour. Technology is present in the person’s psychological space and carries out careful and stimulating monitoring, involving coaches and the local community;
  • The elderly person with significant frailty who needs continuous monitoring and assistance. In this scenario, the wearable device plays a role of continuous monitoring and a strong stimulus to carry out actions functional to a healthier lifestyle as the person suffers from pathologies (cardiovascular, metabolic, pneumological, osteoarticular, etc.) at a serious level, where important frailties emerge often under the control of a care figure present with a certain constancy (dedicated family member, carer, personal assistant, etc.). Data on vital parameters are provided with high frequency. WE CARE AGEING constantly interfaces with the social-health network to report vital risk situations and with personal assistants with a reassuring-soothing effect on them. In this case, technology plays the role of virtual coach-technological aide to existing care and assistance systems, reducing the anxiety of continuous monitoring.

Each scenario is adjusted to the actual needs of the person in their actual life-history moment so as to avoid the perception of intrusive technology where not required, or to ensure more important monitoring-assistance where needed.

The project/intervention has been co-financed from the POR FESR 2014-2020 resources.

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