The idea of bringing new technologies and adapting these to the elderly manifested when Fabio Macedo and Jorge Oliveira, whilst higher education students, while brainstorming for a business ideas competition. They found support in a teacher acquainted with the reality of nursing homes and day centers for seniors, together wished to improve the life quality of older people, promoting a more active aging in all areas. siosLIFE was born in 2014 aiming to integrate the senior population in the evolution of new technologies and combating social isolation to which this population is subject.
Porto 3i project led the company win the category “Health and Wellness” inserted in the Desafios Porto 2016. This is a project that will allow a group of institutions of Porto to take advantage of the platform siosLIFE – an interactive system that uses interfaces such as the recognition of touch screens, voice commands and gestures through a motion sensor that allows “any elderly person, regardless of age, physical or cognitive abilities, have an active and independent aging”.
Desafios Porto allowed siosLIFE to work directly with local institutions, contributing to “a strong motivation, because we believe that the validity of this project will assist in its replication in other institutions and counties”. Currently, the system will integrate five institutions: Obra Diocesana de Promoção Social Centro Social da Pasteleira, Centro Social do Exército de Salvação, Centro Social e Paroquial da Senhora do Calvário, Obra Social N. Sra. da Boa Viagem e SAOM – Serviços de Assistência Organizações de Maria.
The impact is being measured and accompanied by an evaluation committee of ESTSP and will be “very important to show in particular, the advantages and benefits of using siosLIFE interactive systems to professional institutions, their users and also family members and friends of these”.
The project promotes cognitive stimulation and physical exercise, as well as access to more creative areas such as music, painting and drawing. These adapted technologies are available in places that the elderly population has access to like homes, day centers and seniors residences, as well as in public access areas such as libraries or other areas. The siosLIFE interactive systems contribute to social inclusion of older people, while stimulating a more active and independent aging.
This technology also simplifies the usage of communication means, such as vídeo calls, by providing an easier solution that increases their interaction with their own families which are usually distant. There is still place for religious content and a photo album for the family and friends, which can be built remotely. To combat the need to memorize an email and a password, an access system was created – login – which is done through a card for either the family or the institution, providing access to an online platform that allows tracking day by day users, monitoring their activities and realizing the cognitive development level with the use of applications.
Jorge Oliveira says that “despite the team being composed mainly of Designers and Software Engineers, all work is carried out in proximity to professionals who work directly with seniors, in several areas of intervention”. The system is so simplified that even those who can not read can use the application.
The success of the system leaves no doubt for Manuel Pizarro, Deputy Mayor of Porto in Housing and Social Action, “a few dozen people at an older age will enjoy this program and help us to improve the response to this challenge that we all face. We need to build bridges between different generations, so that makes a more inclusive and caring society where all can live better”.