Improvements in medical care and public health have significantly increased life expectancy. Health trends among the elderly , combined with lower birth rates, means that an increasingly large percentage of the population will be over the age of sixty. These longer life expectancies, coupled with falling birth rates, increases the percentage of older retired people who will be dependent on younger working people. Forecasts suggest that the ratio of people over 65 who will be dependent on a younger working population is likely to double across Europe by 2050, creating what has often been described as a “demographic time bomb”

Previous Ageing Society initiatives based around the use of Information Communications Technologies (ICT), although focused on the notion of “independent living”, have largely been focused on either increasing the productivity of care workers or reducing the cost of or need for care, rather than taking a holistic approach around “well-being” and leveraging the potential of older people to continue contributing to society rather than being regarded as a cost.

An important European project, DOREMI,  designed to address one of the most significant societal challenges of the coming years, the Ageing Society, began on November 1st.  DOREMI is the acronym for “Decrease of cOgnitive decline, malnutRition and sedEntariness by elderly empowerment in lifestyle Management and social Inclusion.

The DOREMI project is an innovative initiative funded by the European Union under the Framework 7 (FP7) strategy and involves partners in five EU countries, Italy, UK, Austria, Belgium and Spain. It takes an innovative synergistic approach, which combines healthy nutrition, physical activity, cognitive stimuli and social interaction. The performances on active ageing lifestyle compliance, appropriately stimulated in creative and personalized ways through a set of serious games, will be unobtrusively monitored according to the usual daily life activities carried out by the elderly indoor at home or outdoor when on the move. Moreover, the intrinsic dynamic nature of the virtual gamified context offered by DOREMI will promote the active participation of the user to carry out real life actions as a result of appropriate stimuli or training made by the game. The same Game’s scenarios will act also as user friendly and appealing dashboard including personalized and game-like scoring systems according to the progress made in the daily monitored activities. The performances on real life social interaction will be monitored and assessed as a result of social game stimulation, networking and interpersonal communication scenarios where all the performances on the lifestyle compliance will be included in the serious game motivational context in order to further motivate the elder in performing additional activities. This is very appropriate in today’s environment where there is a tendency towards a more sedentary lifestyle and a shift away from traditional family structures in which elderly people lived with their family members but now tend to be placed in centres for independent living and care homes.

The DOREMI project, coordinated by the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), will involve a collaborative partnership of experts from different disciplines exploring the potential of various activities designed to motivate and empower pilot groups of older people within independent living homes in Italy and the UK.

The DOREMI ‘s partnership  includes  the Institute of Information Science and Technologies (ISTI CNR), the Department of Computer Science of University of Pisa, serious games experts imaginary, TSB Real Time Location Systems, Austrian Institute of Technology, Fundació per la Universitat  Oberta de Catalunya, De Montfort University and Age Platform Europe. The project solutions will be trialled by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust and the Accord Housing Association in the UK and SI4LIFE in Italy.

FRAVIDE fragile vision detection

Research and Innovation actions  - Work programme 2014 – 2015: 8. Health, demographic change and wellbeing PHC6:Evaluating existing screening and prevention programmes  


"Fragile  Vision" is the visual condition of a person  who has a degenerative disease of the visual system detected at an early or moderate stage, before the advanced stage. Such condition has to be irreversible with medical intervention.

Among the most common diseases are diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, which, according to the WHO, affect up to 10% of the population over 65 and more than 30% of the population over 75. People with "Fragile Vision" are characterized by a visual impairment defined by values of best corrected visual acuity located between 0,4 and 0,7 in the better eye and a residual binocular visual field valuated between 60% and 80%.

This project proposes to analyze, assess and compare existing screening systems and data for the diagnosis and prevention of degenerative visual system conditions, with the aim of creating new intervention model, mainly based on detection of functional data regarding visual loss and related consequences, useful for different pathologies.

That will activate, at a much earlier stage than at present, the necessary interventions required to improve and maintain the autonomous daily life of the subjects affected. The result can also reduce social and economic impact on National Health Services.

The project proposes to create specific indications to give greater support for active and independent life of patients with weak vision and preventing their worsening into visual handicap. Studies will also analyze available aids, compensatory instruments and existing rehabilitation activities. Best practices and a larger amount of information have to be shared at international level, in order to strengthen competencies of individuals and policies of communities in overcoming “Fragile Vision” condition.

Early intervention is the main goal of the research project, which will allow to evaluate and compare the effectiveness between starting rehabilitation at “Fragile Vision” stage or Low Vision stage on life quality of patients, moreover to estimate the different costs for National Health Services and Social Welfare Systems.

The project has been submitted at EU Commission in first stage evaluation, and involves 8 international partners

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ROBI3 independent living solution

ROBI3: A life-space Solution by integrating a personal trainer modular ROBot with an ambient Intelligent system towards the Independent living through Individualized monitoring and assistance of older adults in risk of cognitive impairments

Research and Innovation actions (RIA) Objective PHC 19 – 2014: Advancing active and healthy ageing with ICT: Service robotics within assisted living environments

ROBI3 will deliver a systemic life-space solution, forming an elderly-centric and specific ecosystem, that will combine a Personal Trainer Robot with social and Service Robotics, an Individualized Profiling and Ambient Intelligence System towards the independent living through individualized training exercises to promote physical activity, monitoring & early diagnosis, support and re-enablement of older adults that are in risk of cognitive impairment. ROBI3 innovative and personalized indoors system aims to improve the quality of life, reduce the isolation and social exclusion and enhance the independency of elderly, by combining:

  • A modular robot acting as a Personal Trainer to indoors training activities of elderly to prevent age-related impairments and moderate risk factors of cognitive impairment.
  • A systematic monitoring and information recording system resulting to a life-space solution implemented by several ambient sensors and an e-textile sensing system integrated to a Sensors Infrastructure.
  • An Ambient Intelligence system, embedded to the mobile robotic platform, moving the focus from personalized care to ubiquitous and ambient care.
  • Cognitive-assistive services and tools, integrated to the robot in order to assist older people to everyday social activities, improving the social inclusion and cognitive stimuli.

11 international partners involved in the submitted project.

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PATHOS independent living

PATHOS Prevention and care of Alzheimer’s disease Through ICT HOme-based Support & Services

PHC 20 – 2014: Advancing active and healthy ageing with ICT: ICT solutions for independent living with cognitive impairment

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia. It represents more than 50% of the prevalence of dementia cases in the European population.An increasing number of contemporary studies are focussing on the possible benefits of non-pharmacological approaches to cognitive impairment in patients with AD. As the disease progresses, the symptoms include cognitive impairment and also changes in behaviour, such as irritability and aggressiveness.

Behavioural disturbances represent the primary cause of institutionalization of AD patients since they dramatically increase the suffering of the patient and the caregiver’s burden with a significant impairment of quality of life for both. In addition to global cognitive impairment, neuropsychiatric disturbances can lead to a reduction in functionality and difficulty in the performance of Activities of Daily Living (ADL).

In this context, the project aims at tackling this issue by adopting an integrated approach, aimed at

•             Improving independence and well-being of the person affected by AD, along with enhancing the quality of life of their informal caregivers.

•             And consequently delaying the institutionalization of the person with Alzheimer’s disease,

•             Reducing social costs

The added value of the project lies in the effort of involving the whole system surrounding “people living with dementia”, (i.e. patients and their families) by providing them with the ICT tools and knowledge which enables and empowers them to face the disease and its consequences.

The PATHOS project relies on an intervention model based on providing tools and knowledge gathered together by a portal accessible by patients and caregivers (by means of a tablet provided by the consortium). In order to minimize costs, and to meet the needs of each local context, each of the partners involved in a Pilot Study will set up (or adapt) its own portal, however the project will provide a means for sharing knowledge and tools among the different portals (ICT Open Platform). This will bring an added value allowing the sharing of tools, information and knowledge, thus enhancing the set of resources available for patients and caregivers.  In order to access the Portals, and to use the provided ICT tools, caregivers and/or end-users will need technological devices such as tablets and/or smartphones, and will need to be able to use them.

The main objective of the portals will be to provide patients and caregivers with easy access to:

  • training (for formal and informal caregivers, and end-users as well)
  • support/tools for informal caregivers (basic information on the disease, on the pharmacological therapy , FAQ, call-center)
  • tools for prolonging and stimulating functional and cognitive capacity, as well as physical exercise
  • local maps describing the area where the patient lives in terms of:
◦     available services to support them and their caregivers;
◦     meeting and socialization
◦     friends and other patients (with easy access to communication channels) 

18 international partners coworking in the submitted project

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Health@Home is the 1st approved project by MIUR into Health area of Smart Cities National call. 5 SI4Life partners (Camelot Bio, Fondazione Don Gnocchi, IFM group, Softjam e Telerobot) joined to Gaslini Institute, San Martino Hospital, University of Genova and Sigla Group. Partner are now focusing on Executive Projects.
H@H aim is to develop a service system trough cloud technologies, to give to citizens: assistence, health monitoring and remote caregiving, rehabilitation, entratainment and home services. Project is developed through the ICT community and domotic devices supporting Health Services, linked by Telecom, main italian company into telecommunication field.