Information on the service
SOCIABLE will integrate and pilot in several European countries (Greece, Italy, Norway, and Spain) an integrated service empowering the elderly to improve their mental ability, while at the same time boosting their social interaction. The service will overall target several individuals with mild dementia, as well as cognitive problems. It will be offered to end-users (aged individuals) at specialized care centres, but also within their home environment.
Overall , the successful conclusion of the proposed pilots will stimulate the uptake of innovative ICT based services and products in the area of ICT Assisted Cognitive Training and Social Interaction, which can enable a wide range of business opportunities.
The service will be technically integrated, supported and maintained by the technology providers of the consortium. It will be provided by the care service providers of the consortium (in each one of the participating countries). The services will be jointly owned by the consortium (during the pilot operation). In the medium and longer term it is envisaged that the service will be owned/offered by specific partners or even a joint venture established by several members of the consortium.
During the pilot phase of the project (short term i.e. within 2-3 years after project start) the project will be piloted with a minimum of 350 users (as analyzed in the section number of users below). Access and inclusion of the users to the SOCIABLE pilot, will be ensured via the municipalities, hospitals and other care service providers of the SOCIABLE consortium. Specifically, the consortium includes the following pilots sites that will actively involve users under realistic settings:
Aged users may experience the system in both care centres as well as their homes.
Elderly users with mild dementia and cognitive problems will make use of the SOCIABLE services in their homes or in care centres. In those places appropriate surface computing devices comprising surface tables and Tablet PCs offering ergonomic mixed reality user interfaces will be provided. Elderly users will leverage these devices for:
At the same time health professionals will also leverage SOCIABLE services in order to monitor and manage the health record of the elderly, while at the same time designing cognitive training sessions and social interactions.
Sustaining the service
The consortium has developed a preliminary business plan for exploitation and sustaining the service. This foresees that:
The consortium includes members that are pertinent to all the above variations, in particular public authorities that operate care/leisure centres (e.g., Municipalities), private entities that will operate care centres and charge fees (e.g., Hygeia Hospital).
Note that the SOCIABLE business model and plan will gradually become more specific during the project evolution.
As already outlined the services will be offered by care service providers or a joint venture to be created by the consortium. End-users or public authorities will then have to pay these care service providers or the joint venture.
The SOCIABLE service will leverage both legacy and emerging ICT technologies, in particular:
The project’s ICT infrastructure for ageing well will be based on state-of-the-art platforms for surface computing, including commercial multi-touch tables (notably the Microsoft Surface table). A variety of surface computing tables and devices are already commercially available, while several research prototypes have been also developed in the scope of research projects. SOCIABLE will select a commercial surface computing platform in order to better serve its pilot objectives and exploitation targets.
The SOCIABLE ICT platform will leverage technical components and sample applications from the background commercial technological platform. The service will comprise additional content regarding cognitive training games. Part of the content will be reused in the scope of applications that will be developed over commercial surface infrastructures (i.e. the Microsoft Surface Platform). The consortium includes specialized game developers and providers (i.e. AIJU), application developers and integrators (i.e. SLG and CEDAF) as well as medical experts in the field (e.g., HYGEIA, AUSL, PREVI), who will provide the content and develop required tailored training games.
Additional Localization work regarding the content of the platform will be conducted in Norway, Greece, Italy and Spain by local partners.
The SOCIABLE service will build upon commercial features and sample applications of the selected platform (i.e. the Microsoft Surface Platform), which offers a variety of sample applications utilizing advanced visualization and interaction interfaces. A non-exhaustive list of sample developments (source code available), which include games is available HERE
In general the Microsoft Surface Platform comes with a rich set of sample applications and utility libraries, which will be customized to the needs of the SOCIABLE cognitive training games. The SOCIABLE platform will substantially contribute to an enrichment of the elderly leisure time, while monitoring and enhancing cognitive abilities amongst elderly users.