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AAL4ALL: elderly test technology in Ambient Assisted Living

Around 100 users (seniors and caregivers) have used and tested daily, during two months, technological solutions developed by Fraunhofer Portugal, intended to simplify the lives of thousands of elderly. The trial, which took place in Porto, Évora, Aveiro and Covilhã is a result of the AAL4ALL (Ambient Assisted Living for all), a project funded by QREN in 6.8 million euros. This project has brought together 31 entities with the objective of developing and implementing technology and services to support the elderly with regards to health care and well-being.

Over the four years of the project (2011-2015), hundreds of tests were developed and dozens of innovative solutions were created. These solutions involve, for instance, fall detection of the elderly/user with an SMS alert sent by the smartphone to the caregiver; reminder to take medication; monitoring physical activity; count of the number of steps and of the distance traveled; expended kilocalories; among others. Fraunhofer Portugal is responsible for the development of some prototypes and technical coordination of AAL4ALL project, which culminates now with the implementation of these pilots in various regions.

The trial, running for four months, consists of the daily use of smartphones and some applications developed specifically to assist the elderly. The pilot also includes tests with caregivers, that is, the people responsible for each elderly (usually their relatives, e.g. sons). In Évora, the tests are being supervised by the GNR (Republican National Guard) to better implement the program ‘idoso em segurança’, i.e. it allows to understand who needs immediate help, minimizing unnecessary travel and focusing attention on the users who most need assistance.

Smart Companion, GoLiveWear, DepSigns, Cogniplay and COLABORAR (a network of over 400 senior) are some of the projects developed by Fraunhofer Portugal within the AAL4ALL project. The goal of the AAL4ALL project is the development of an ecosystem of products and services in assisted environment - Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) - with a business model associated and validated through a large-scale pilot. The competitive advantage of 'first mover', together with the standardization of these products and services, will enable the AAL solutions to be exported to other countries, in particular the European area. At this time the result of the project Smart Companion, developed under the AAL4ALL, is already being marketed in Europe under the brand GoLivePhone®.