Neighbourhood Watch 2.0 : Independent Living
 Posted on 27/03/2014 - 13:48
Idea Outline
Existing neighbourhood watch schemes not only serve security purposes but can also help bind local communities together. We want to extend them and provide additional services for independent living.

The Challenge
The average age and the life expectancy of the population in Europe are increasing and as a result the need of caring for older peoples is escalating. An important part of a system on independent living is alerting for precarious situations and responding to these alerts in appropriate manner. Moreover encouraging adoption of a new system by the end users is a challenge; this can be greater for older people not accustomed to technology. We have been working on low-cost and easy to retrofit sensors, smart surfaces and custom switches that can facilitate independent living for an aging population. Our challenge is to bind accessible technologies and community network schemes to produce a platform for assisted living services.

The Solution

Using an existing system eases the challenge of adoption of new services. Our approach is to work with neighbourhood watch schemes that currently focus on security and extend them to provide services targeting assisted living.

The services we envisage to examine are
- Raising and responding to alerts
- Delivering help to everyday activities
- Providing a means for social interaction

Implementing these services requires an existing scheme to facilitate acceptance by the target group.

Working with community partners we will perform pilot studies involving
- Installation of low-cost hardware with emphasis on programmable surfaces and networked sensors
- Integration of services with existing infrastructure
- Specification of acceptance criteria, process and required levels of support

Target group and social impact
The target group are participants of neighbourhood watch schemes. By automating elements of the support required for independent living we lower the amount of human support required and reduce the risks to health and safety. For example if a door is left open, not only will an alert be automatically generated but through a watch website/portal information will be relayed to neighbours or relatives who can respond and update the status of the alert. Also an older person could post requests for shopping to help them with activities of Daily Living. From a technology perspective, the overhead to current schemes is minimal but the social impact could be great; supporting interaction in the community, highlighting the significance of social interaction, lower the cost for independent living.

Competences of the applicant
Our team includes specialists in user-experience, data analytics, software engineering and embedded computing as well as experts in the area of independent living. The group has completed various projects ranging from concept feasibility studies up to large FP6/FP7 projects.

Video Link
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Social Category
  • Civic Empowerment and Community Engagement
  • Health and Demographic Change

  • Tecnology Category
  • Data
  • Social Software
  • Web/Internet

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