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consumer grade Ambient assisted living Product family for OLder adult based on indoor LOcation technologies

Profound demographic changes will result in the number of elderly people in Europe tripling to more than 63 million by 2060. EU researchers with the APOLLO project have developed an interactive monitoring programme to help the older citizen stay safe at home.

In Europe by 2060, the average life expectancy will be almost 85, a hike of 8 years from 2008. Such a radical increase could render current care and assistance schemes unsustainable. Perhaps more pertinent is the high cost of residential care systems like nursing homes in countries such as Germany, France and Italy. These costs are expected to rise due to demand from the increased ageing population numbers.

Putting this in context, the average French pension is EUR 1 200 per month, but the cost of accommodation only in a public nursing home is EUR 1 430 every month. This is of course higher still for private facilities. The need for residential care exacts a high social and monetary cost as it requires the families to cover the additional costs not covered by the pension.

MentorAge interactive system revamped for the home

“To provide a solution to the unsustainability of elderly care systems, both in terms of cost and bed availability, the APOLLO project has redesigned an existing product developed by the company Nively,” outlines Giuliana Ucelli, project coordinator and founder of Nively. A French start-up providing software solutions and specialised expertise on interactive monitoring of older adults for enhancing safety and personalised care, its product MentorAge was initially developed for the business-to-business, or B2B, nursing home market.

MentorAge can detect several conditions of danger in the home, such as a person falling, the start of a night wandering episode, or the user entering a bathroom and not coming out after a given time. In case of risk, the system sends an alert to the nurses’ central control panel, or to smartphones and/or smartwatches of caregivers who can only then turn on a live video stream to check if help is needed, therefore minimising video surveillance.

Using software interfaces designed to enable ambient assisted living, APOLLO has designed a highly innovative product to maximise safety of old people targeted to the home business-to-consumer, or B2C, market. “The system has been designed based on our sound market and usability analysis,” explains Ucelli. This harnesses the use of ambient intelligence techniques to enable elderly people to live independently and safely for as long as possible.

Imminent launch onto the market

The work carried out within APOLLO has enabled a very clear proposition and contributed to the buying of Nively by an Italian industrial group operating in the medical domain. Interested in bringing the revamped MentorAge system to the market, the project has therefore had a major impact, not only from the results of the project per se, but also for the wider positive changes at company level.

APOLLO research has opened up significant opportunities for Nively through the creation of a new solution targeting the very vast silver economy market. “To provide an estimation of the business potential related to the silver economy, it has been estimated that in Europe alone, people aged 65 plus possess wealth and revenues worth over EUR 3 000 billion,” quotes Ucelli.

Project aims and objectives continue within Nively even after official APOLLO project close. Ucelli concludes: “We at Nively continue to make every effort to meet the challenge of securing residents in health facilities and now at home!”

Reference source:consumer grade Ambient assisted living Product family for OLder adult based on indoor LOcation technologies

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