Title: Solución tecnológica móvil de apoyo a los cuidadores y ayuda a personas con problemas de orientación tempo-espacial para mejorar su autonomía
Principal Investigator: Ph.D. Begoña García Zapirain
Participants: Deustotech LIFE, Osatek
The number of elderly people is increasing day by day, and they are expected to form a great part of the total population. This phenomenon is called population ageing, which takes place in the most developed countries. All these people have to be taken into account because they will be an important part of society in a few years. There are some factors that directly affect this like the increase in life expectancy and that society has fewer descendants. This in turn leaves many elderly people without help in houses or in residences. This problem not only faces the elderly, but also their families experience problems too. Insecurity is a common problem in the family because elderly people are alone in their houses where they can fall or have some other problem and they have no means to ask for help. This system tries to solve the problem of distance using a remote device like a smartphone to connect the user with the caregiver in any location at any time. The latest smartphones contain many functions and components which are useful for this task, such as GPS antenna and 3G Internet connection.
On the website the caregiver can define some paths and zones in order to control the user’s location. This is done using interactive maps. There are several map providers, but the one selected is OSM (OpenStreetMap), because this website contains open source maps with a large community updating the maps every day. The caregivers, who monitor the users and add the paths and zones to the system, also create events in the calendar.The user must use a smartphone in order to install the mobile application. The first approach includes the Android version of the application. This application is a lightweight programme that only sends the user’s coordinates and receives messages from the server. End users will usually be elderly people, since they tend to experience more disorientation problems. It is designed to ensure usability. When the user exits their secure path/zone or enters a dangerous zone, a similar message is shown automatically, sent by the smartphone itself. The user is asked whether they are OK. The phone automatically starts calling the caregiver and sends an alarm if the “no” button is pressed.
The outcome of the project is very satisfactory as it allows elderly people and their family members to feel more secure and lead their daily lives more independently. The Project is assisted by Osatek and BetiOn, who are in charge of teleassistance in the Basque Country.