A viable solution for maintaining an active life for elderly is what proposes the pan-European Brain @ Home project, coordinated by SIMAVI’s team of specialists.
The ageing process is a complex one, without a direct link between the physical and mental skills, meaning that help one person needs has to be adjusted in a unique manner to his/her individual requirements.
However, how can we transform the challenges that elderly are facing into opportunities for them and for the entire society, too?
This question is already finding concrete answers and is a persistent concern of the world's governments, because by 2050, over 22% of the world’s population will be over 60 years old. This phenomenon is already a fact in some developed countries such as Germany, Italy or Sweden.
This is not just feasible, but also handy, with help of intelligent solutions, made available especially to those senior citizens whose social and health condition can increase their (action) independence, and by default, their quality of life.
Despite the traditional concept that the use of modern technologies is very low among the population of very senior age, there is a huge volume of data acknowledging that senior persons have high capacity to absorb technologies adjusted to their needs, and that they are extremely interested in the self-management of the symptoms of chronic diseases they are ailing of.
Thus, given they are receiving help and useful tools through programs dedicated and adjusted to their needs, the elderly can considerably improve their physical and mental health condition.
Such a program is Brain @ home, a European project co-funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, started a few years ago coordinated by SIMAVI team of specialists in collaboration with 5 partners from 3 countries: Casa di Cura Privata del Policlinico (Italy), MediaHospital (Italy), Pannon Business Network Association (Hungary), InfomatiX (Hungary) and University of Bucharest (Romania).
In this project, the Romanian team developed an IT-based platform by means of which the elderly shall have access to a motivating, interesting and exciting environment, which will help them train their brain and get involved in physical activities in a safe space, their own house/ home.
Seniors have at their disposal a hardware system composed of portable devices dedicated to stimulating the mental training. With these devices, they connect to a gaming type of platform with role in social training. All interactive games and applications are stored in cloud. The score one user marks in a game can be compared with that of other users.
Setting up a virtual community for the elderly and their caregivers, families and friends, has proved very important - especially during the pandemic, Here they share and disseminate knowledge and unique aspects on travel and interesting places.
With the help of partners, we have implemented a system storing medical results and allowing users, caregivers, physicians/ GPs access (web-based, on the mobile phone etc.) to this data and evolutions.
The main benefit of this project is improving the quality of life for the participants in the program, and the solution developed by the SIMAVI team proposes the improvement of the physical, cognitive and social functions that the elderly progressively lose during the natural aging process. This aspect is monitored mainly in people who face a lack of functional skills, the platform also having a role of early detection of the risk of cognitive decline and signaling the need for a clinical examination.
“Brain @ Home is a project targeting a hot topic at European level, providing solutions for an ever growing social category. In today’s world, technologies make social inclusion possible for all citizens, going beyond barriers created by time and space. The quality of life is the most important aspect making a difference for an elderly. And Brain @ Home is a solution for its improvement“, states Monica Florea, manager of European Projects department within Software Imagination & Vision (SIMAVI).