One hundred seniors test technology by Fraunhofer AICOS

The Feira Tecnológica para Seniores (Technological Fair for Seniors) took place on the last 7th of December, at Mitra – Pólo de Inovação Social, Lisbon.

Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML) and Fraunhofer Portugal have established a partnership in order to promote older adults’ wellbeing and quality of life through technology. This event, co-organised by both institutions, allowed seniors associated with SCML to learn about and test new technologies for everyday life. The systems developed by Fraunhofer AICOS and demonstrated during the Technological Fair covered the areas of communication support, medication management, cognitive stimulation, skin care, physical activity, nutrition and fall prevention.

By developing simple to use, state of the art technology intended to support and monitor the health of elderly people, Fraunhofer Portugal intends to meet older adults and caregivers’ needs with highly useful solutions. Nevertheless, these new technologies must be tested in order to derive in truly simple to use solutions. The Technological Fair welcomed almost 100 seniors, along with directors and technicians working at SCML, who tested the technology and contributed with their inputs. Whilst the setting during the fair was not meant to include formal usability tests, it did create a friendly environment and, therefore, an opportunity for older adults and caregivers to speak their minds about the technology.

Researchers from Fraunhofer Portugal accompanied and helped seniors test the applications on tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles. Rita Valadas, Administrator of SCML's Social Welfare Direction, expressed her satisfaction with this partnership between SCML and Fraunhofer Portugal, underlining that this initiative "makes us want to go further and find solutions for everyday life". "I’m seeing very practical and helpful things to help us in our lives," said Idalina Costa, user and senior from the day care centre Coração de Jesus.