After the successful start of the tests in the households in Graz, Leibnitz and Deutschlandsberg, our participants exchange information on the various technical devices during monthly meetings. In the cozy setting with coffee and cake, the project staff clarifies open questions and discusses individual applications. Through this regular exchange with the participants, we get a lot of helpful input for the further course of our project.
The next meeting for Graz will take place on 28.11.2017 at “Tageszentrum Robert Stolz” in Theodor-Körner-Straße 67, 8010 Graz.
This year’s AAL Forum took place in Coimbra (Portugal) from 2 to 4 October. A series of interactive workshops were offered in the forum programme. The Austrian AAL regions organized one of the Workshops (“Pilot studies as enabler for the market introduction of AAL Solutions”) which dealt with a number of aspects that are important when preparing and performing a pilot region with a field trial.
Three regions were participating in the workshop. The Styrian region RegionAAL presented “Which (AAL) technologies to choose / to use?”, Smart VitAALity from Carinthia told about “Boundaries for planning pilot studies” and West-AAL from Tyrol and Vorarlberg showed “Study results as basis for follow-up activities”. In addition the study EvAALuation provided “Indicators for evaluating the impact of AAL solutions”. The second part of the workshop was dedicated to an interesting fishbowl discussion. Specific questions raised in the presentations were discussed with the audience to get a picture into which directions AAL test regions may head in the future.
The six Austrian AAL test regions organized a workshop at the eHealth Summit Austria 2017. The workshop with title „Assistive solutions put into practice – Experiences from the Austrian AAL pilot regions“ had two sessions (as extracted from the programme):
Presentation of the region projects with their lessons learnt WAALTeR: Planning phase – Challenges related to preparing the project proposal Smart VitAALity: Planning phase – Boundaries for planning pilot studies RegionAAL: Requirements specification and system design – involvement of users ZentrAAL: Pilot study – Preparation, organization and implementation moduLAAr: Pilot study – Technological and organizational challenges in the field West-AAL: Pilot study – Study results as basis for follow-up activities
open discussion in a fishbowl like style Which criteria play a crucial role for successfully implementing and deploying AAL and similar solutions? (from legal and ethical viewpoint, from a user perspective, from a technical viewpoint, from an organizational and financial viewpoint) Can experiences and best practices be transferred? (to other national and international pilot regions, to similar pilot projects in the health sector)
Maria Fellner (JOANNEUM RESEARCH / DIGITAL) represented RegionAAL.
“Premiere für die Gesundheitsmesse KroneFit: Gemeinsam mit dem Land Steiermark, dem Steirischen Hochschulraum, der Medizinischen Universität Graz und zahlreichen Partnern des Gesundheitswesens veranstaltet die Kronenzeitung Steiermark erstmals die Gesundheitsmesse KroneFit am 5. und 6. Mai 2017 in der Halle A auf der Grazer Messe.
Besonders spannend ist das Projekt „Active & Assisted Living” (AAL) der Forschungsgesellschaft JOANNEUM RESEARCH. Mit Hilfe intelligenter Technologien und Lösungen hilft AAL dabei, die Hindernisse und Mängel, die für ältere Menschen das Wohnen daheim schwierig machen zu überwinden und den Alltag zu Hause einfacher und sicherer zu gestalten. Dazu wurde mit „RegionAAL” eine in der Steiermark einzigartige Testregion für diese Technologien geschaffen, für die insgesamt 240 Haushalte in Graz, Deutschlandsberg und Leibnitz gesucht werden, die an diesem Versuch kostenlos teilnehmen möchten.”
(Homepage der Messe Graz, no English text available)
The project RegionAAL as well as the project partners were represented with stands and lectures and brought the ideas and projects closer to the interested audience. Perhaps it was even possible to win new participants for the large field trial.
Would you like to join our study and test the RegionAAL system? Participation in the trial is completely free! If you are interested, please contact
Project partner Elektrotechnik Resch commits the 25th anniversary in 2017 and invited to the 5th “Hausmesse” (open house), where the extensive product and service portfolio was presented to approximately 100 interested guests.
The presentation of the company with its wide range of services (electrical engineering and installations, energy and photovoltaics, security technology, computer and network technology, lighting technology, specialist trade and service as well as MIELE cooking demonstrations called “Abende der Sinne”) , was followed by a presentation of the project RegionAAL, as well as a tribute to long-term employees.
Introductory presentations “The need(s) of private care companies (SME) – what are their expectations on AAL?” (Mike Dorst, Dorst en partners), “Experiences from an AAL technology provider – Barriers and Success Factors to market entrance” (Raquel Sousa, IncreaseTime) , “How can pilots be of help?” (Lukas Roedl, AIT) and “Experiences from the AAL Pilot Region Salzburg” (Cornelia Schneider, Salzburg Research) were followed by discussions modeled after World Café principles. About 20 participants worked on the questions below and concluded with some answers:
Is it still a matter of technology? What is missing?
there is no good overview on a quite large number of interesting offers
usability is often still an issue when approaching market
integrated solutions are necessary
clients would like to see personalized solutions based on their real needs
How can (economically driven) bottom-up approaches look like? What are the stimulators?
evidence regarding functionality and efficacy is required by care organisations
end users expect reliable solutions
single points of contact are necessary on regional level for achieving information
SME want to be involved from the very beginning of projects
How can we achieve representative samples in piloting projects and who is going to pay for that?
the aim of pilots or test regions would be more statistical relevance than representativeness
research questions determine the number of required test persons or households (30, 50, 70, 100…)
funded AAL research projects can be more concerned with qualitative assessments; quantitative aspects are an interest of companies, as they want to make business with the products and services later on
Kurt Majcen, coordinator of RegionAAL, was again invited to deliver a session at Graz University about Active and Assisted Living (AAL) as part of the course “Interdisziplinäre Ringvorlesung Alter(n)“. On June 14th 2016 he presented the topics of AAL and RegionAAL to an interested audience. The title of the lecture was “RegionAAL – the AAL testregion in Styria”.
A lively discussion of a really wide range of topics (e.g. expected interest of older adults in the new technologies, motivation opportunities in the recruitment process for both the test and the control group, user interfaces today and in the future) followed the presentation. This brought forth new ideas and practical considerations for both the listeners and the lecturer.
The party of engaged students was quite limited this time. This was probably due to the parallel event of the Austrian football team playing in the Euro 2016 and the inclement weather.
A comment from the audience proved that this type of activity was deemed valuable nevertheless: “This session was a real benefit!”
All represented regions told about their different experiences. The deviations between the regions were used as starting points for discussions. Especially the discussion about lifestyle brought new ideas concerning the value chain. Another hot topic was the recruiting process and problems that were encountered at the various stages including how to motivate people for the control groups (and keep them motivated throughout the project life cycle). The discussion proved valuable for all participants as ideas and possible solutions were exchanged.
The first part of the project explored for which technologies is evidence on effectiveness and acceptance in our potential user group already available. For some of these issues, existing products were gathered which support the elderly.
However, we wanted to find out what our potential users say to the application of such existing technologies. Exemplary technologies were therefore presented in two workshops at our partners in Kirschallee and Geriatric Health Center Graz – partly in the form of pictures and partly as real products which the interested participants could take into their hands and closely observe.
Our team received a lot of useful feedback and questions about how the products are used in practice. It was also important to us during the workshop to get some of our questions answered, so that we can better target the needs of our potential test participants during the integration- and installation phase. These questions include:
What do you find good in the presented devices and facilities?
Do you have any concerns about the presented devices and facilities?
Can you imagine wearing such devices in everyday life, or using them in your apartment?
We were obviously also asked when the testing will start and how to participate. At this point, we had to somewhat disappoint the participants because things are still under preparation.
But the longest journey so far had been that of Gerd Hartinger from the Geriatric Health Centers of the city of Graz. His mission to Shanghai, China to present our project took place between 3rd and 8th April 2016 with a group of about 20 persons from organisations such as the KFU, FH Joanneum, provincial government of Drexler, various media etc.