#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.

#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.

#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.

#10 MiBiDa

Mr Bas Goossen who is the CEO and founder of MiBida B.V., talks about MiBida platorm  and its benefits for the company’s stakeholders. In this interview he explains that the platform is widely implemented in hospitals and care centers to enable the communication between the patients and their carers. Mibida features secured communication, storage exchange and presentation of data. It provides a full range of open APIs and has developed possibilities for third parties to create their own packages and features. The platform is modular, where functional packages can be created.

Prior to the end of the interview Mr Goossen states that the market is saturated with various technological solutions which collect an enormous amount of data. These unfortunately remain unused or trapped in data silos. Therefore, the uptake and wide scale application of open platforms is urgently needed to boost the research and development work in the AHA and AAL domains and tackle the barriers imposed by big companies representing patent giants that hinder the spread of knowledge.

#11 OpenRemote

In an interview with Mr Pierre Kill, the CEO and founder of Openremote, some details on the development and implementation of the platform were discussed. Openremote is a fully open source IoT platform and it is mainly used for the creation of government related solutions. The benefits of the platform for its users result from the fact that there are no features of the code which are hidden behind the subscription model. This, according to Mr Kill, makes the platform attractive also for medium to large sized companies. Due to its intuitive interface and available support for end users, Openremote can be used also by non-programmers.

According to Mr Kill, Openremote has been developed and applied on large projects which makes it robust, stable and secure. The APIs are open, as well as the source code, i.e. people can download and install it. For technical end users all the necessary documentation is available, and there are also video tutorials where it is explained how to set up their own environment. Mr Kill concludes the interview by pointing out that for scaling up is extremely important for open platform in the field as well as their visibility on the market.

#12 Oscar Senior

As a representative of Oscar Senior, Mr Tomas Posker was interviewed to share his experiences with  developing and promoting a platform to facilitate communication for seniors. Oscar Senior is an open  platform that helps care providers and family caregivers to stay in touch with older adults and provide them with remote support and care. Oscar Senior provides both a platform, Oscar Senior Enterprise  and an application, Oscar Senior Family app, and these solutions are used by seniors and their caregivers all over the world.

In relation to challenges to uptake of the platform, Mr Posker forwards issues related to the connection of external sources. There are many devices on the market that could be useful for Oscar Senior’s customers but that are hard for this user group to access as they are not designed for the needs of older people. Mr Posker describes an openness in society towards technology that can support aging at home as a critical issue for the future. However, he concluded, it is important not to let technical solution replace physical meeting and physical contact between older people and especially their families.

#13 Pharos Navigator

In an interview with Mr. Serguei Golovanov, the CEO and founder of Pharos Navigator sheds light on the development and benefits of the platform. Pharos Navigator is based on the concept of personal Digital Health Assistant which integrates latest mainstream open source AI, BigData, IoT, and cloud kubernetes software, and wearables and home sensor hardware linked to wireless technologies such as Bluetooth 5 BLE, Zigbee 3, Wi-Fi 6, Lora, 4G/5G . It collects continuously and analyses automatically a large number of biometric and other data about psychological state of its host person to inform the caregivers about her/his actual or predictable critical health and safety situations.

As one of the main challenges on the path towards the platform’s uptake, Mr. Golovanov highlights the requirement of significant changes in historical social organization, cognitive perception and behavioral patterns of people. Legacy regulations for privacy and their interpretations and implementation in the new digital society as well as the costs of necessary IoT devices for the collection of various data can limit, according to the interviewee, the access to the solution by the population.

#14 InCasa MONITOR

As a CEO and founder of Incasanet Technologies S.L.U., Mr Alejandro Cavaliere was interviewed to share his experiences with  developing and promoting a platform to facilitate the creation of “smart homes” for older people.

InCasa MONITOR is the first platform capable of creating a Smart Home environment for the older people at their own houses. It can also be used to provide quality of life and safety to people with disabilities. InCasa consists of a Home Kit with open-protocol sensors and a Home Gateway (a small autonomous computer) and Artificial Intelligence software, created by InCasa, that resides in the Gateway. InCasa is a turn-key solution and its installation is very simple and wireless. Once installed, InCasa executes a Home Care protocol, also proprietary but open for user and partner customization.

Prior to the end of the interview, Mr Cavaliere elaborates shortly on the benefits of PlatformUptake.eu for platforms like InCasa MONITOR, including the project’s broad network of potential collaboration partners and end users, valuable support for the uptake of the platform’s services and strengthening its credibility.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#15 TAREME

In an interview with Dr. Fabio Paternò who is responsible for HIIS Laboratory at the Institute of science and information technologies, Italy some details on the implementation and benefits of the TAREME (Trigger-Action Rule Editing, Monitoring, Executing) platform for its end users were discussed.

According to Mr. Paternò the TAREME platform allows the creation (even by people without programming experience) and execution of trigger-action personalization rules that can change the state of connected smart objects and devices, send alarms or reminders, and modify applications’ state depending on contextual events. It also supports analytics about the actual use of the rules and provides associated information, which can be useful to better understand users’ personalization needs.

As one of the main challenges on the path towards the platform’s uptake, Mr. Paternò highlights the process of forming potential target users for the platform. This is an important aspect concerning the progress of the platform in the near future. Moreover, the interviewee concludes, it is crucial to find the trade off between end user automation creation and automation created through AI.

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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German Workshop

The workshop was opened by the chair Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD, Germany. The CEO of Assisted Home Solutions, Germany continued the session with an introduction of the concept of open platforms to the audience of the workshop. He outlined some important aspects of the platforms’ technical development and real-life application for the benefits of their end users. Finally, the presenter stated that an open platform allows for an abstraction level which is open towards hardware components and software (services and apps). Thus, new hardware and software can be added or replaced.

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Practical experience with open platforms was shared by a representative of the department “Smart Living & Biometric Technologies” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD, Germany. He presented the solution uLive which was built upon universAAL IoT. It constitutes a command centre for smart living which allows for older people to make an emergency call. Gathered data is stored and processed locally. Further on, the application runs on specific hardware which is connected to a phone with a hands-free device. Basic service provided by the app is the detection of situation and reduction of risks in case of emergencies.

The participants in the virtual workshop explained, it is common that once components are built into the homes of the older people, they are already outdated. In this context an open platform is the best to use from an economic perspective. That is because it supports many features and can be extended to incorporate new services and solutions. However, the current challenge is to combine these technologies with assistive systems for assisted living and “living with service” and find the right services by taking the needs of end-users into account. Prior to the end of the discussion a common understanding was established that primary and secondary end-users need a functioning and useful system which is extendable and capable to work in the next 5 to 10 years.

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International workshop on Open Service Platforms

The main goals of this workshop, hosted by the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Greece, were to learn more about the open platforms in the AHA and AAL domains and exchange experience with their providers.

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The CEO of the FIWARE Foundation opened the session by explaining that FIWARE is an open-source platform for smart digital future. Twin data is used as a turning key between the real world and the processing, analysis and monitoring of the data.

Next, the Accountmanager of Verkerk Service System presented the Verkerk platform as an open, hybrid platform, which connects the company’s own products and services with those of third parties to provide maximum support for caregivers. The platform can be used on premise and in the cloud, it is an end to-end solution.

universAAL IoT was also among the presented platforms. It constitutes an open-source platform and free enabler for the digital era. It develops arbitrary multi-component solutions. The platform enables the integration and deployment of complex systems across domains.

The Commercial Director at Mextal B.V, Netherlands presented Viedome which is a complete platform for end-to-end services and functionalities. The connectors are based on open standards such as MQTT, OAP, SCAIP, REST, ESPA, on propriety protocols such as Tunstall, RB2000, and on database protocols, such as SQL, MONGO.

Platform 4WeCooperate was presented as a solution that extends to capabilities and domains such as Internet of Things, genetics, evidence-based research from general practitioners and hospitals and acts as cooperative research collaboration framework from interdisciplinarity towards transdisciplinary value creation.

The OscarSenior platform was showcased by the CEO and Co-founder of the hosting company, Oscar Senior s.r.o., Czech Republic. The platform offers several functionalities for AHA and independent living. It is open, contains SaaS, White label, MDM integration and is remotely managed.

As next, Open Remote platform was demonstrated. It is 100% open source and is characterized by generic asset and attribute model, protocol agents such as HTTP REST, MQTT, KNX, Flow editor, WHEN-THEN, Groovy based rules, Standard responsive dashboard, Web UI components for front-end developers, Android and iOS consoles.

As last, the AIOTES platform was presented. AIOTES was developed within the Activage project and provides the interoperability between IoT platforms, data model for AHA-IoT, security and privacy, visual and data analytics, development support, deployment management, monitoring and a marketplace. Platforms such as FIWARE, IoTivity, universAAL and SensiNact are part of AIOTES.

Prior to the end of the event the participants discussed whether the creation of new open platforms against the background of the already existing ones makes sense or it is rather better to focus on the already collected data and create smart solutions.

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