The SENIOR-TV project is the first project that Future Worlds Center has won with a plain 5 out of 5 score. The Research Promotion Foundation congratulated the organization for this rare distinction. It is coordinated by the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute (CNTI), (Cyprus) with partners the IMATIA Innovation (Spain), Gluk Advice (Netherlands), Compexin SA - CPX (Romania), (Dom upokojencev Nova Gorica - DUNG (Slovenia), Development Centre of Information and Communication Technologies Savinja Žalec, Ltd – RC-IKTS (Slovenia), Ana Aslan Foundation – ANA (Romania) and Strovolos Municial Multi-Functional Foundation - SMMFF (Cyprus) .
Background and Overview
SENIOR-TV uses leading-edge technologies in the fields of interactive TV, analysing the latest trends, and having as a starting point a well-tested system, SAM-TV, which is based on non- proprietary, open technologies. As control peripherals, apart from the traditional remote control, it uses smartphones, tablets, WiiMotes and Kinect—with the possibility of integrating devices suitable to people with physical disabilities. It establishes as conditio sine qua non the low cost of the devices needed at each home. 600 euros has been determined as the maximum expenditure for each home. This envisages the possibility of using Smart TVs (meeting the technical requirements in Section 2) as an ideal option for the future. Please note that the cost of devices if the successful SAM-TV project was under 200 euros per home. It fosters informal care services, some of which were already present in SAM-TV (rehabilitation games, content targeted at older adults and caregivers, and social networks); combining them with formal care services; and linking them to the prevention of physical and cognitive deterioration, to the early detection of age-related diseases, and to the treatment of chronic illnesses. SENIOR-TV will be a holistic system that integrates, for the first time, formal and informal social care services.
It situates older adults in the centre of the design—thanks to the participation of people from the associations involved in the consortium from the early stages of the design—and, in particular, their well-being and happiness. To that end, some services will be present from the first version of SENIOR-TV: TV clients for social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), access to daily sources of information (newspapers, events in the neighbourhood, weather, etc.), sources of entertainment and informal training (Wikipedia, YouTube, TV channels on rehabilitation); all those services will be accessible through very simple interfaces (see examples of screenshots from SAM-TV in the section before). SENIOR-TV is a system that “resides” at home, in the living room at the homes of older adults, a place that is very familiar, using a domestic appliance that has always been with them, and that now gets “smart” in order to promote their activity, avoid their physical and cognitive deterioration, and keeping them in contact with their loving ones for as long as possible.
SENIOR-TV project will design and implement a multichannel intelligent platform for offering formal and informal caregiving services to older adults that live at their own homes, with special attention being paid at active prevention, and fostering a high-quality, long, and healthy life. Results, as illustrated here bellow, clearly reflect a trend: in homes of older adults, the intelligent TV must become the central ICT hub.
The specific objectives of the project are:
1. To use Smart TV in combination with Smartphones and tablets, as main interfaces; and to use other secondary peripherals (e.g. Wii, Kinect) for certain services.
2. To identify the best technological opportunity for offering a caregiving system targeted at older adults during the first six months of the project. We will conduct research on the systems that were identified in Section 2.1, always having as a reference the technological platform SAM-TV, whose success was proven.
3. To design formal and informal caregiving services targeted at older adults that live at their own home. From the very beginning, end user associations that are part of the consortium will be involved in the identification of needs, establishing priorities for an iterative development. Secondary and tertiary end users that have demonstrated its commitment14 to the proposal will form an integral part of the design process, facilitating its participation online in all cases where it is not possible to participate in person—the presence of partners from the same country pretends to promote their involvement.
4. To design services aimed at helping older adults to keep in touch with friends, family, caregivers, and other members of the community. Thanks to the use of very simple interfaces in a familiar platform—the TV—the still existing digital gap between older adults and relatives and young caregivers will shrink (e.g. the communication via Facebook or Twitter could take place from a TV in the side of the older adult and from a smartphone in the side of their grandchildren or caregiver).
5. To take into account the cultural and administrative diversity Southeast Europe, in terms of systems of care for the elderly. The participation of end-user associations from countries like Cyprus, Slovenia and Romania with the involvement of research institutions and companies with experience in this sector guarantees this fact.
6. We will carry out pilot tests of the developed systems with a minimum number of 300 different users, distributed among the three countries in three different cycles, one for each year of the project. Each cycle is composed of a set of iterations, thus allowing for rotating the same devices (HTPCs, TVs, or any other element identified at the beginning of the project) among different homes in each country, and enabling an efficient use of the material for which financing is being requested in this proposal. The objective of structuring the project in several cycles is to facilitate the gathering of feedback in order to refine services, guarantee an efficient integration of all the services of SENIOR-TV, and identify particular elements of each country that may influence the final design of a holistic system.
7. To develop a business plan that allows for the companies involved in consortium to start marketing the product SENIOR-TV no later than one year after the finalisation of the project. All the end-user organisations involved in the consortium will take part actively in the development of the business plan—including secondary and tertiary end-user organisations. Likewise, we will use the feedback gathered during the third cycles of testing pilots and direct opinion from older adults. This line of action will start from the first month of the project.
The SENIOR-TV project not only foresees the immediate exploitation and valorisation of its ideas, products and results, but it also puts in place mechanisms and process to secure that the project’s impact will continue beyond its funded life time.
The main dissemination channels used by the dissemination plan are:
- World Wide Web
- Publications in relevant forums, blogs & journals
- Media coverage (newspapers, newsletters, radio stations, professional publications)
- Events (Workshops/Conferences/Exhibitions)
- Partners’ existing networks of dissemination
- Off line promotion actions (brochures/leaflets, etc.)
- Consortium internal exploitation channels
- Special interest groups of end users
- Participation to EC concentration activities
The consortium is centred on end-users and business partners that will exploit the final results. The 80% of partners have those profiles. Four end-user associations with direct access to end-users and contact with tertiary end-users are involved in the consortium. In the footnote in page 7 the access to the commitment letters of the end-users that are involved already. The four private partners have a proven track record in the AAL environment, including both e-health and social care. Their commitment to SENIOR-TV goes beyond the end of the project, since their intention is to market the platform not later than one year after the end of the project. Finally, the coordinator has a vast experience in this field (more than 70 projects).