Age-appropriate Assistive Systems

For most seniors, quality of life means health, staying mobile, and living self-sufficiently in one’s own home for as long as possible. Information and communication technologies as well as, especially, intelligent assistive systems offer enormous potential for the fulfilment of these wishes. The continuing trend toward miniaturization will also soon make these systems virtually invisible.

For the technology to be well received, however, it must also be safe and intuitively operable. The researchers at Fraunhofer FIRST have taken on these challenges in the SmartSenior project. The project, which involves 29 outside partners, is developing a platform for medical and non-medical services to enable seniors to move safely in the car, on foot, and in buildings.

Multimedia Training Environment

Jointly with partners, Fraunhofer FOKUS is developing multimedia training environments which can be controlled multimodally (e. g., by voice and/or gesture). They are intended to ensure optimal, integrated stroke-rehabilitation care in the patient’s own living context.

Secure Workflows

In order to fulfill seniors’ wish to live in their own home for as long as possible, a therapeutic service center is being developed that will bundle all telemedical applications, such as monitoring and alarm services. These services include, e. g., the monitoring of vital data and home dialysis as well as the activation of an alarm in the case of a fall.

The basis for this is the development of the comprehensive TM7 standard for telemedical data, which enables open-system networking of the different applications. To this end, Fraunhofer FOKUS is collaborating with its partners to integrate the currently proprietary telematic services in a telemedical service platform.

Reliable Overall System Architecture

Fraunhofer FIRST is working on the secure transfer of data from telemedical applications and is involved in defining and implementing the overall system architecture, especially the software architecture for mobile devices. FOKUS is building a testing environment that will be used to validate the reliability of AAL services. In it, telemedical applications will be validated using conformity and integration tests with reference to central standards such as ISO 11073.

Intuitive Interaction

The user-friendliness of the IT infrastructure is decisive for the acceptance of the new technology. Jointly with partners, the researchers at Fraunhofer FOKUS are analyzing and defining the requirements for cross-generational user interfaces. The layout processes being developed allow the adaptation of content to various end-user groups, which can also involve age-related limitations.


© Fraunhofer IIS

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provided 25 million euros in funding to the SmartSenior alliance. The project ran from April 1, 2009, to September 30, 2012.