Aiming to create technology with practical utility, Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS (FhP-AICOS) has partnered with Associação do Porto de Paralisia Cerebral (APPC) to develop a digital solution that promotes the autonomy of people living with cerebral palsy.
Access My Call (known internally as Campainhas) was the result of an obstacle felt at the residential units of APPC. Due to the physical constrains associated with cerebral palsy, the residents had a difficult time when calling for assistance. To solve this problem and give residents a better sense of safety and, therefore, autonomy, by improving the provision of personal assistance and associated waiting time, APPC trusted FhP-AICOS’ knowledge to propose a suitable and accurate solution.
The solution that is now being tested, consists of a mobile application accessible by phone, tablet or computer, and, in some cases, indirectly through wireless buttons, through which the residents can ask for assistance. The call will be immediately received by care providers in their smartphones.
FhP-AICOS’ experience in Human-Centred Design was essential for the technology’s development as it needed to fit a very specific context. On one hand, the context of the residents (when do they need assistance, the urgency of the requests, their difficulties in asking for assistance), and on the other, the care providers (what are their chores, where are they happening, how long until they provide assistance to a resident, etc).