Umbrello – Planning a Test Region for a Communication and Service Platform for the Elderly

The interdisciplinary project UmBrello investigates the feasibility of a communications- and service platform for elderly citizens in rural areas.
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Digitization as opportunity for rural areas

Society is undergoing chances. Digitization has long since entered nearly every aspect of our daily life but in the periphery, there are often only those people left who find the use of the information and communication services of digital media difficult due to their age.  Therefore, they often are not able to access many of the services that are necessary for everyday life such as healthcare and public transport or get in contact with authorities. When the use and operation of devices or services require too high a level of technical skill, it increasingly impedes the social participation of senior citizens.

BRELOMATE- an online portal for senior citizens

In the interdisciplinary research project BRELOMATE an easy-to-use and cost-efficient online portal for elderly citizens was developed and had a first successful field trial. Now the project UmBrello investigates how the platform can be further expanded.

Socio-medical services and relatives can contact elderly citizens in assisted living through the platform. Senior citizens can be motivated to exercise through computer-assisted training with instructions via the television. Experts can answer questions on personal care, hygiene, exercise and nutrition in online question sessions.

With an easy to use platform, elderly citizens can make use of online-retail offers while linking the platform with regional businesses can support local supply and local businesses. Through Open-Government-initiatives and Citizen-Services, the platform can facilitate interacting with local authorities and so strengthen the platform users’ participation and integration in society.

Active participation in the exploration

In the project the demand for such services will be determinated and possibilities for the platform explored in workshops with the regional planning community Pielachtal as partner. In addition to senior citizens representatives of communities, businesses, the health sector and education institutions will participate. Based on interviews with focus groups and stakeholders, concepts will be developed that will in their turn be analysed and assessed by the target group, to evaluate the potential and feasibility of the individual measures.

Based on the results of the successful projects BRELOMATE 1 and BRELOMATE 2 new components to expand the existing information and communication platform will be developed and assessed according to this participatory approach. These ideas will then be combined into a concept for a potential test region in the middle of Lower Austria.

Links

preceding project BRELOMATE
preceding project BRELOMATE 2

Publications

Rottermanner, G., Judmaier, P., Aeraky, S. E., Gradl, C., & Sommer, S. (2018). Brelomate: A Multiscreen Communication and Gaming Platform to Enhance Social Inclusion. In Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 928–931). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3240167.3240229
Doppler, J., Gradl, C., Sommer, S., & Rottermanner, G. (2018). Improving User Engagement and Social Participation of Elderly People Through a TV and Tablet-Based Communication and Entertainment Platform. In K. Miesenberger & G. Kouroupetroglou (Eds.), Computers Helping People with Special Needs (pp. 365–373). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Doppler, J., Rottermanner, G., Sommer, S., Pflegerl, J., & Judmaier, P. (2016). Design and Evaluation of a Second Screen Communication and Gaming Platform for Fostering Teleparticipation of the Socially Isolated Elderly. In R. Wichert & H. Klausing (Eds.), Ambient Assisted Living - 8. AAL-Kongress 2015 (Vol. Advanced Technologies and Societal Change, pp. 3–13). Frankfurt am Main: Springer International Publishing.
Doppler, J., Sommer, S., Gradl, C., & Rottermanner, G. (2016). BRELOMATE - A Distributed, Multi-device Platform for Online Information, Communication and Gaming Services Among the Elderly. In K. Miesenberger, C. Bühler, & P. Penaz (Eds.), Computers Helping People with Special Needs (Part 1) (Vol. 9758, pp. 277–280). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Doppler, J. (2015, June). Imagine15: BRELOMATE Eine Spiele- und Kommunikationsplattform für ältere Menschen. Wien, Austria.
Doppler, J., & Sommer, S. (2014, May). BRELOMATE - Breaking Loneliness With Mobile Assistive Technologies for Elderly. Presented at the uDay XII - AAL Testregion Westösterreich, Dornbirn, Austria.
Doppler, J., Rottermanner, G., Judmaier, P., Auer, K., Pflegerl, J., Gruber, W., … Schöffer, L. (2014). BRELOMATE - Breaking Loneliness With Mobile Assistive Technologies for Elderly. In G. Kempter & W. Ritter (Eds.), Assistenztechnik für betreutes Wohnen: Beiträge zum Usability Day XII (pp. 256–264). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.