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At the end of April, the equipment for the test households was delivered and stored for the intensive phase of the installation and configuration in Graz.
The many tablets, smartwatches, cases, memory cards and smaller accessories now await in their safe storage, to be brought to the test houses (together with the automatic stove safety switch and the light installation) for the study phase.
For pre-tests and the training of the caregivers, some sets have already been completed and handed over.
Would you like to try out a set and help us answer some questions? Participation in the study 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.
The course of action for evaluating the acceptance and influence of the proposed technologies as well as prototypes of the adapted products were shown to representatives of the national funding body and external evaluators.
Coordinator Kurt Majcen has organized and chaired the workshop “How can regions get AAL operational?” for the AAL Forum 2016 in St. Gallen (Switzerland).
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!”
Presentation (1,7 MB) (in German)
Maria Fellner and Kurt Majcen (both from DIGITAL) organised the workshop “Musterregionen ZentrAAL, WestAAL und RegionAAL – Lifestyle Products 4 AAL” as part of the session “AAL als Lifestyle – Kreative Ideen für einen generationsübergreifenden Zugang” at IMAGINE16 (June 7th to 9th 2016). Among the participants were representatives from two other Austrian test regions (West-AAL and ZentrAAL). The workshop had two main topics:
- Recruiting of participants within test regions
- Lifestyle products in AAL (projects)
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.
RegionAAL has already been presented several times, for example, at the annual meeting of the Styrian Patient Safety Initiative at the Styrian Health Foundation which took place on 13th April 2016 with ca. 100 participants in Graz, or at the human technology cluster of the industry forum “Market opportunities in medical technologies and health in Switzerland“.
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.
Following the team’s arrival at Salzburg and a short refreshment
break, the group was warmly welcomed by Cornelia Schneider and Victoria Willner (both from Salzburg Research) and we discussed some topics that are particularly interesting for us, including:
- Requirements and users
- Selection of technical components
- Study planning
On the same day, the RegionAAL team continued its journey to Innsbruck, where they had a chance to visit the beautiful old town and finish the day with a nice dinner. Not only did it provide the opportunity to reflect on the visit to ZentrAAL, but also for the development of further ideas for the project.
RegionAAL at West-AAL
The visit to West-AAL took place on 20 January 2016. The team was greeted by Felix Piazzolo and Luka Cotelj (both from the University of Innsbruck) in the senior residence Veldidenapark. The test region West-AAL operates one year longer than ZentrAAL; hence, beside the above mentioned issues, advice could be sought on other topics due to the experience of the team at West-AAL:
- Rolling out technologies that are planned to be installed
- Equipment and construction of a model apartment
These visits were certainly a very valuable experience for team RegionAAL, and they could take on a lot of experience for their own project. Presumably, the next AAL test region will also request an appointment to visit us in a year’s time … 🙂