A Large Scale Pilot funding by the European Commission within the H2020 framework starts in January 2017
Finland is involved in the ACTIVAGE project, which promotes the well-being of older adults. The project starts in January 2017 and is one of the European spearhead projects which are focused on the utilization of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the treatment of the elderly.
ACTIVAGE aims to prolong and support the independent living of older adults in their living environments and responding to real needs of caregivers, service providers and public authorities, through the deployment of innovative and user-led large scale pilots across nine Deployment Sites in seven European countries based on the IoT technologies.
Finland is one of this Deployment Site in which 600 test homes will be equipped to improve the treatment processes of the aged by using the IoT technology. The project involves 47 actors and the total budget is over 25 MEUR. Finland participates for the first time in such a significant, field-defining project.
The core purpose of ACTIVAGE is to build the first European interoperable and open IoT ecosystem, reusing and scaling up open IoT platforms, that will enable the deployment and operation at large scale of Active & Healthy Ageing IoT based solutions and services.
The project will also assess the socio-economic impact, the benefits of IoT-based smart living environments in the quality of life and autonomy of older citizens, and in the sustainability of the health and social care systems.
New opportunities for Finnish enterprises
The project is also noteworthy in the European scale, and its Finnish partners include SE Innovations Oy, Turku University of Applied Sciences, GoodLife Technology and eHoiva. Together the actors are responsible for selecting the test homes in Finland, their organization, equipping and research with IoT sensors and devices. Very large companies are involved in the project, such as IBM, Samsung, Vodafone and Medtronic.
- In the Finnish pilot, tests are conducted according to the criteria defined by the EU project, not forgetting the local and national needs, ethicality and legal and quality-related questions. We will be aboard in creating new standards and interfaces and defining the practices which will likely become future EU standards, says Chairman of the Board of SE Innovations Oy, Rauno Saarnio.
- Being involved in the project enables our access to such an entity that we get to participate in developing the field in question right from the beginning, and also take Finland’s needs into account. At the same time, Finnish companies will be provided with novel opportunities, for example, to enter the international market in the future, Saarnio continues.
Test homes to provide concrete data for research and standards
In ACTIVAGE, data will be collected altogether in 9 pilot destinations throughout the EU. So-called test homes will be equipped in the pilot areas to study the remote rehabilitation and treatment of the aged, and their daily activity. The homes are equipped with different sensors and remote care and activating devices, which the users get to try out for free.
Research data is collected from the users and nursing staff and also in terms of the compatibility of the devices, sensors and remote services. The functionality and benefits of the devices are examined with different surveys, interviews and observation, not forgetting the users’ point of view.
- Altogether 6,000 test homes will be equipped in Europe, and of these, as many as 600 in Finland”, says Project Manager Paula Ailio from TUAS.
The tests will provide important data on how intelligent IoT ecosystems should be introduced by municipalities, for example. The research focus of the test homes to be established in Finland is in all test homes focused on rehabilitation, in order to be able to compare the methods of different municipalities.
TUAS develops a gamified rehabilitation concept within the project
TUAS’ role in the project is, in addition to developing rehabilitation games, to collect, analyze and visualize the data collected from the test homes. The aim is to build a new, gamified rehabilitation concept which utilizes IoT technology, and digital services for the homes. The leader of the research project is Principal Lecturer Mika Luimula from TUAS.
The Finnish consortium is managed by SE Innovations Oy, which has done long-term development work in the field of home care of the elderly, and which is a long-term cooperation partner of TUAS.
- We have gotten to an exceptional position and, as Finnish researchers and experts in technology, gotten an interesting opportunity to develop our competence in gamification at an international level, Luimula says.
- We will be able to directly influence the future IoT standards to be created in the EU, says the data security expert of the project, Jarkko Paavola from TUAS.
Nine European countries are involved in the ACTIVAGE project: Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland and Great Britain. The project is a part of an entity which has received altogether MEUR 25 of Horizon 2020 IoT Large Scale Pilots funding.