Criteria for open platform in AHA and AAL domains which SOCATEL complies with:

Open Source

Open Standards Based

Shared Common Information Model

Federatable

Vendor Technology Neutral

Supports Open Data

Open APIs

Open Usage

Business Overview

The SOCATEL project proposed an approach that will cater to the needs of the growing ageing populations in Europe by improving the accessibility, responsiveness, efficiency, transparency and transferability of social and care services.

The consortium developed a useful, transparent and easy-to-use platform for digital co-creation following a quadruple-helix (QH) approach, in which service users, care professionals, researchers and innovators will collaborate throughout the process.

During the process the users will know first-hand the needs of all the people involved and they can choose how to receive or give this services. They will have the control to define the outcome of the platform because they are part of the decision-making process.

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Contextual Overview

Service users (older adults and their family carers), care professionals, researchers and innovators have collaborated throughout the whole process, from design, development, testing and implementation of the SoCaTel co-creation platform. This platform has been piloted in four European countries (Ireland, Spain, Finland and Hungary) representing a variety of welfare models, care systems and addressing different challenges.

The platform facilitates the co-creation of services that address emerging needs and encourage bottom-up innovation. Digital co-creation has become a silver lining in the middle of the Covid-19 context, enabling all LTC stakeholders to discuss and address emerging needs in an agile way while co-creating innovative services adapted to the new global pandemic context and to local specific situations while empowering citizens’ voices.

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Technical Overview

The co-design of the SoCaTel platform resulted from the integrated work of the technical team, social researchers and co-creation experts who translated users’ needs and preferences expressed during the research phase into functional requirements, completing the plan for the platform building with a front and back-end, and data sources for the Knowledge Base were defined and classified.

The SoCaTel platform is an open-source platform accessible in GitHub (github.com/SoCaTel) or by means of a URV spin-off in charge of facilitating its uptake by public administrations across Europe.

A semantic approach is taken to produce an unified data model, to contextualise the datasets collected for maximal inference, reuse and interoperability. The knowledge base’s Pre-Processing Semantic layer is presented. Semantic libraries are used to automatically identify the language of the content in the datasets collected, and the RDF data packets are modified to update their refixes with the language information. This information will be available for parsing content to push to the co-creation platform. Vocabulary tools are also used to translate the concept of ontologies as necessary. The platform will initially support a mini mum of 4 languages (English, Catalan, Finnish and Hungarian), and additional languages will be easily enabled during the exploitation phase using the mechanisms in place throughout the architecture.

SoCaTel has a Context-Aware Recommendation Engine which is provided by the SoCaTel Knowledge Base and Data Integration Services layer, and aims at assisting the user during the co-creation process. The service utilizes data (internal and external) collected as part of the Knowledge base processes and through their semantic translation into the SoCaTel defined ontologies, which facilitates context aware recommendations. The recommendations to be provided by the SoCaTel platform, during user interactions, aim at aiding the user identify co-creation groups of their interest as either service provider or service user. Additionally, after joining a co-creation group, the recommendation aims at providing to the user all relevant information around the scope of the group, thus aiding a more informed co-creation process. Such recommendations consider not only the preferences and past actions of the user, but also, their current status and activity in order to provide the most relevant information.

The Data Mining and Analytics algorithms used by the Data Integration Layer offer a wide range of statistics, analytics and information retrieval insights in every aspect of the data collected throughout the platform. The Data Integration Layer uses the information that is gathered from all available collected resources that are derived and consumed by the different origins of the data

The SoCaTel knowledge base (KB) is a crucial part of the platform that facilitates the listing of readily available care services, and material relevant to long-term care such as statistics, events and more. The information stored in the KB is collected from external data sources.

After processing, relevant insights are pushed to the co-creation platform user interface for presentation to the end-users in a user-friendly way.

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Impact

The SoCaTel method is concerned with fully-functioning LTC services designed on-line, materialized and implemented as a model for uptake by European administrations and companies and entrepreneurs. As a tool for ideation of more cost/efficient social and care services to be transferred to society, SoCaTel has already had societal impacts, being ahead of its time in a Covid-19 context. SoCaTel digital co-creation has become a silver lining in this tragic circumstance of Covid-19. It can provide support for end-users and/or their families and communities when needed, while introducing, spreading and improving co-creation methods within social and care institutions. The scientific impact is breaking grounds.

Regarding the economic impact, a detailed exploitation plan has been developed throughout the project’s implementation. SoCaTel has created a tangible value for a wide range of stakeholders involved in LTC and in an inclusive co-creation practice.

Moreover, SoCaTel is intended to impact on eGovernment, public services (i.e. social services, health and care services), third sector organizations, private-sector providers and end-users and their formal and informal carers, relatives, in cases requiring LTC services. SoCaTel could also measure the development of citizens’ engagement in participatory processes of co-designing services and improving, in the long-term, LTC services for citizens.

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MOOC

SoCaTel project and educations

To ensure long-term impact of SoCaTel’s outcomes, it is crucial that the young generation of social workers is educated about co-creation practices and their benefits. As such, under the leadership of FONTYS, a SoCaTel Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is prepared in multiple languages and shared via the European MOOC repository so as to promote the incorporation of co-creation content in social work studies.

MOOC production overview

The MOOC is a form of open education. The European Commission’s defined open education as: “a way of carrying out education, often using digital technologies. Its aim is to widen access and participation to everyone by removing barriers and making learning accessible, abundant, and customisable for all. It offers multiple ways of teaching and learning, building and sharing knowledge. It also provides a variety of access routes to formal and non-formal education, and connects” (Opening up Education: A Support Framework for Higher Education Institutions, 2016).

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