#01 ACTIVAGE

In this video from the series “VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY”, Mr Sergio Guillen who is the Chief Innovation Officer of MYSPHERA talks on the ACTIVAGE project. It is an Innovation Action (IA) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that has delivered the ACTIVAGE IoT Ecosystem Suite (AIOTES). The latter provides interoperability of IoT Platforms in Active and Healthy Ageing domain by addressing trustworthiness, privacy, data protection and security.

During the interview Mr. Guillen highlights the benefits of AIOTES for its stakeholders and provides some use cases of its practical implementation across Europe. He elaborates shortly on the challenges for the uptake of the platform and explains how PlatformUptake.eu project can help AIOTES tackle these issues in the long term.

#02 AAL Programme

Mr Klaus Niederländer is the Director of Central Management Unit of AAL Programme which funds applied research for developing ICT-based innovation for active and healthy ageing. In this interview Mr Niederländer talks on the role of technology in providing older people with better quality of life and improving the parameters in their daily living. In the interview he presents information on how innovation is actually applied in practice in the field of “fall-prevention” and how new technologies can bring financial benefits to their users.

Further, the interviewee highlights the importance of functional connectivity between open platforms and other devices and services in the field creating one big ecosystem for the benefit of older people. Mr Niderländer concludes with the remark that demographic change brings many challenges to our societies but also vast opportunities which are stored in today’s world of connected technology.

#03 50plus Hellas

In this interview Dr. Elizabeth Mesthenaiou who is a member of the Board of directors of 50plus Hellas talks on the prejudices and negative stereotypes towards older people and their active social integration through the means of digital technology.

To highlight the role of technology in the process Dr. Mesthenaiou provides some practical examples of how digital tools support older people and their family carers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further on, the interviewee highlights the importance of developing technology which is close to the needs and requirements of the end users and socially inclusive towards older people in terms of the knowledge, processes and outcomes involved.

#04 FIWARE

In this video from the series “VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY”, Mr. Ulrich Ahle, who is the Chief Executive Officer of FIWARE Foundation, presents FIWARE as an open-source technology based among others on open-source building blocks, APIs for interfaces and references for architectures in different domains. FIWARE technology is used in several main areas such as: smart cities, Industry 4.0, smart energy, smart agri-food and smart health.

According to Mr Ahle the end users of the technology benefit through its free and timely unlimited availability, standard API and standard data modules which consequently limit the vendor lock-in. Currently there are approximately 10.000 members of the community around the globe who develop, maintain and enhance FIWARE technology and make it possible for the end users to use it with the lowest possible operational costs.

#05 Wit-Gele Kruis

Mr. Bart Degryse who works as a Project Manager at the White Yellow Gross in Belgium talks on the benefits of technology for the effective support of older people and their carriers. Mr. Degryse provides two examples where innovation can improve the quality of life of the end users. The first one includes a monitoring system which can be installed in the homes of older people whereas the second one refers to a life-line alarm based on mobile devices usable outside of the people’s residences.

The interviewee highlighted the need of the correct definition of an ‘open platform’. The latter represents a difficult concept for many care organization due its rather technical character and unknown benefits. Therefore more clarification on the topic is urgently needed.

#06 Prof. Lacramioara Stoicu-Tivadar

In this video Ms. Lacramioara Stoicu-Tivadar who is a professor at the University Politehnica Timisoara, Romania and also a representative of Europe in the International Medical Informatics Association (IMA) shares her point of view regarding the implementation and role of IoT based technology to meet needs and requirements of the various stakeholders in the Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) domain.

The interviewee highlights the importance of the European professional societies for the promotion of open platforms in the field and the provision of information to their members on the platforms’ success and evolution potential. Ms Stoicu-Tivadar concludes the interview by pointing out that interoperability is crucial for the consistent sharing and use of collected data for the benefit of all participating parties.

#07 universAAL IoT

Mr. Mohammad-Reza (Saied) Tazari is the General director of universAAL IoT Coalition which was launched as a public facing, open and non-profit international association to bridge the open-source community of universAAL IoT to the market. In this interview Mr. Tazari talks on the benefits of universAAL IoT for its main stakeholders and provides some examples of solutions which are built upon the platform and applied across Europe.

During the interview he highlights some of main barriers on the path towards the large-scale uptake of universAAL IoT including, among others the severe competition in the AAL and IoT markets, the complexity of digitization preventing the customers from making informed decisions about the right products, the labeling of universAAL as an academic research as well as the lack of financial support to ensure the sustainable exploitation of the project outcomes and conclusions. Mr. Tazari concludes by pointing out that initiatives like PlatformUptake.eu project are especially needed to raise awareness on open platforms in the AHA domain and bring them successfully to the market.

#08 eVida

In this video from the series “VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY”, Mr João Quintas, PhD who is a Principal Researcher at the Instituto Pedro Nunes, Portugal shares some insights on the creation and implementation of eVida platform as a main facilitator of digital solutions for active and healthy ageing. During the interview Mr Quintas talks on the benefits of eVida for its stakeholders and highlights its lack of complexity which usually results from the connection and data exchange with other services.

The later in particular makes the development and deployment of applications through eVide much faster. Finally he elaborates shortly on the challenges for the uptake of the platform and explains how PlatformUptake.eu project can help eVida tackle these issues in the long term.

#09 Ms Sonja Hansen

In this interview, Ms Sonja Hansen who is a European Project Officer at the Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark, talks about the role of open platforms and the solutions built upon them for the improvement of the quality of life of older people. Ms Hansen provides an example with the Center for Assisted Living Technology which currently works on the development of a platform which aims to provide companies, academia, politicians and citizens with information and advice on available digital solutions in the field.

The interviewee elaborates on the importance of collaborating with SMEs and other industry representatives for the introduction of innovation solutions to older people so they can have a good life on their own conditions. Ms Hansen concludes by stating that the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the knowledge exchange is an important prerequisite for the creation of technology that addresses adequately the needs and requirements of older people.

Portuguese Workshop

This workshop was hosted by Cáritas Diocesana de Coimbra, Portugal and held in Portuguese and English languages. Focus during the presentations was put on the topic of open platforms and their main healthcare and social benefits as well as their role as facilitators of new devices and software for active and healthy ageing.

As an example for open platform from Portugal was presented eVida  which was developed within a big national project to enable the delivery of services for personal health and wellbeing. The representative from Instituto Pedro Nunes, Portugal concluded his presentation by highlighting the main aim of the platform to provide an infrastructure for the development of digital social innovation vectors and address the needs of the ageing population.

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Another contribution to the topic of open platforms in the Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) domain was made by the coordinator of Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE) network and CEO of SHINE2Europe, Portugal. The presenter stated that open platforms can be essential tools for the prevention of non-communicable diseases and the promotion of independent living. Prior to the end of the event a discussion was conducted on the main challenges on the path towards the uptake of open platforms. The participants in the workshop stated that actual policies need to be changed to leverage the use and adoption of open platforms. Additionally it was elaborated on the role of  R&D centres to sustain open platforms and enable technology transfer.  Finally, the participants in the event discussed on current policies that aim to grant access to existing platforms.

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Dutch Workshop

In this workshop which was hosted by Afedemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe BV and  Smart Homes, Netherlands the topic regarding the uptake of open platforms in the AHA domain was addressed by representatives of the main stakeholder groups of the project.

During the event, the account manager of Verkerk Service Systems, Netherlands presented the technical specifications of the Verkerk open platform and rexplained that platforms value preposition evolves around 13 rules, among others, an ultimately user-friendly and every eHealth application on one device, virtual (night) inspections, better cooperation between shifts and reporting.

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Another contribution to the topic was made by the strategic advisor at Saffier in The Hague, Netherlands who highlighted the role of open platforms as enablers of improved safety and security for patients and (informal) caregivers. According to the presenter, open platforms could potentially facilitate the creation of health-care record that includes every relevant information about the client and can be used on every device. Finally the speaker concluded by stating that simplicity and user-friendliness is key for the successful uptake of open platform in the AHA domain.

The presentations’ part of the event was completed by a contribution from Project Manager of the White Yellow Gross in Belgium. He stated that there are only a few providers of Emergency Care Services in the country. This and the GDPR are often perceived as barriers towards the wider deployment of open platforms and digital solutions in the field.

Based on the discussion carried out at the end of the workshop a common understanding was established that, among others social aspects regarding the development of open platforms must not be forgotten. Moreover, sufficient time for learning new technologies and languages is required.

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International English language workshop for end-users

On 10.03.2021 another workshop was held with representatives of end-users organisations, open platform providers and other players form the health and social care sectors. During the event the Commercial Director of Mextal, Netherlands presented some key facts on the customer base of the Mextal platform including some technical specifications regarding its development and available functionalities. During his presentation he highlighted the importance of algorithms for the prediction of amount and type of care that will be needed by the older people. Hence, a more efficient care process and better allocation of resources can be provided.

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The Project Manager at Cáritas Diocesana de Coimbra, Portugal continued the program by presenting some information on eVida platform which was developed with a big national project. The presenter pointed out during her presentation that due the availability of large amount of health related data, open platforms can facilitate the interoperability between multiple applications and devices for the benefit of the older people and their caregivers. According to her, a particular challenge on the path towards the uptake of open platforms in the AHA domain is the lack of funding once the EU projects are completed.

The discussion which was held at the end of the event focused on the openness of the platforms and their reliability. According to the workshop’s participants, it is a misunderstanding that an open platform is less protective. Further on, to keep the platform open the business case must fit to its purpose. To achieve this goal the platform providers should co-create their solutions together with the user groups. Against this background, the PlatformUptake.eu project will play an important role for the platform providers to better address the needs and requirements of their end users.

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