Date: 10th of March 2012

Five countries, nine partners, and a lot of expertise and enthusiasm included. Unified in an EU project and having a specific goal in mind. In fact, it is about the joint development of an innovative product and service offer to provide elderly persons with comprehensive safety. What many promise, is soon becoming reality through a coordinated project of the University of Innsbruck, under scientific leadership of Prof. Kurt Promberger and Dr. Felix Piazolo. A multi-functional device, unique in functionality and ease of use.

“There is no fundamental aversion of elderly people to technology”, Nesrin Ates of the University of Innsbruck encapsulates the findings from the user surveys. Adding: “However, the technology from the perspective of the end users has to be considered.” To succeed, the project partners have conducted over 20 workshops and interviews in each country including Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Furthermore, over 1,000 people have already participated in target group oriented surveys. All this is called “user integration” which should ensure that the users’ perspective is taken into account from the beginning of the product development.

What are the individual needs of the target group?
What should a device of this type be able to do?
How should it look like and how much should it cost?
These questions and similar ones have led to interesting results and have been supplemented by specific product testing.

A first prototype of the corresponding user requirements is already in progress.

The scientists and business partners are coordinating on a regular basis through a cross-country network, to be able to meet the high software and hardware requirements.

The team of the University of Innsbruck coordinates the project partners and their respective teams of experts, who are coming from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

At the consortium meeting on the 5th of March 2012 in Zurich, all previous results were brought together and the status of the project was discussed. The Swiss CURENA AG, project partner and subsidiary of the Red Cross had invited into their premises. What is reality there already, acts as a model for the project: an emergency call and service center that works precisely and is accessible for elderly people 24/7.