The main purpose of Madrid DS solutions are incentivizing seniors to preserve or improve their wellbeing in their living environments. In particular, there are several solutions, which can be used through an Android device, conceived to train cognitive functions, perform physical activity and avoid the risk of social isolation. Concretely, the solutions deployed supporting the elderly people in the maintenance of an active and healthy lifestyle despite the fact that they should stay at home are:
- Brain training games, that consists of a set of cognitive games with which the user interacts through an Android tablet or mobile phone. The service includes also a cognitive evaluation test that try to discover the areas that the user has to train (lenguage, logical, calculation, etc) and according to that advises the user to play certain games categories (logic, puzzle, Sudoku, wordsearch…) depending on the users’ evaluation results.
- Physical activity service that allows the user to practice different exercises for training and rehabilitation of the motor and non-motor system, with musical support.
- Leisure activities service that provides the user with virtual events of their interest according to the users’preferences, so they can join remotely.
- Mindfulness service that allows the user to join a mindfulness program through several guided voice sessions allowing the user to bring his attention to experiences occurring in the present moment and avoid depression.
- Self-assessment tool to discover self-perceived negative trends on user physical, cognitive or physiological status, so perform early interventions that reverse the trend.
These solutions could be very useful to overcome the confinement barriers to maintain healthy habits while reducing the impact of the lack of outdoor activities and direct contact with other people aiming to preserve the cognitive, physical and psychological status of the elderly people.
On the other side are the caregivers who make possible an effective use of these solutions providing the widest benefits for the elderly people. They are supported by the MAHA dashboard, a tool that provides caregivers with the possibility of a daily monitoring of the elderly without a direct contact, giving them personalized attention according to their needs and carrying out the intervention considered appropriate for each situation. The MAHA dashboard also includes a direct communication with the users, so advice and personal intervention can be done using this channel. In addition, the MAHA dashboard uses several techniques of visual analytics of the data, so careers can easily discover risk situations or follow up the usage of the solutions to intervene whenever needed. For example, the MAHA dashboard allows caregivers to identify if a user with a cognitive training program prescribed, in which he has to play games three times per week, is performing his sessions and what are the results he is getting. With this information, the caregiver will be able to intervene, according to the defined protocol of attention: sending a message through the dashboard or contacting him by phone.
DS MAD has carried out an exhaustive analysis of each of the solutions deployed for the different users participating in the pilot aiming to identify those technical and protocol adaptations that, according to the new circumstances we are facing at this time, are crucial to give real support to our users. In this way, the solution initially optimized to favour outdoor activities, can be easily adapted to indoor activities and virtual social events. The physical activity application will adapt current training programs to exercises that users can do at home, especially focusing on balance and stretch so reduce the impact of lack of activity, especially lack of walking activity. Leisure service can take advantage of the large choice in online culture, art, sport, music and festivals, providing a one stop shop to all the cultural offers, facilitating the links and access to these events. Finally the self-assessment tool protocol can be modified to discover specific risky situations due to the confinement situation, such as anxiety or need of specific social or care services.
The main beneficiaries of the solutions provided in the DS MAD are the elderly who are supported by the solutions to maintain their quality of life while remaining at home. On the other hand, formal caregivers benefit from the MAHA Dashboard as a tool for monitoring the use of solutions by elderly and as a decision support tool to carry out interventions and make closer contact, thanks to the alerts provided according to the use of solutions by the elderly and the notifications feature. In addition, the continuous monitoring of user with the self-assessment tool could be useful to provide personalized interventions that facilitate users back to normal life when confinement ends.
Aside from the android device to run the aforementioned applications, there needs to be a server handing content to each application. The server will also need to run the dashboard for caregiver support, which is a web application. The server will also receive all the information generated from the applications, on one side this is used to perform automatic analysis of each user status, and on the other to hand all these results to the caregivers so they can intervene if necessary. Intervention is performed through push notifications; in some cases the intervention is performed through direct phone calls. The server will also need to run the interoperability Suite, from the IoT Platform to the AIOTES framework, allowing the different devices and applications to share information.
Due to the special conditions of the confinement, face to face interaction with the user in order to provide them with devices or/and preinstalled applications are not possible. Because of that, the current services are being modified to allow users the self-installation in their own devices. This is a great challenge that requires the integration of all available apps in a unique service with access to every of the described functionalities and overcome Android versions/devices possible problems.
In addition, and despite the fact that the main of the apps will be the same, the application should be modified to be adapted to the specific needs of users during confinement. The application has been designed to provide a holistic intervention that covers the physical activity needs, cognitive training needs and socialization needs of users during this period, with special focus on reducing the isolation, anxiety and providing leisure activities so they keep active.
The solutions deployed and adapted in this pilot benefit mainly the elderly and the formal carers. DS MAD solutions, besides maintaining or improving the physical and cognitive abilities of users in their homes, are intended to keep people active and entertained during the confinement period as well as the months afterward until this situation returns to normal. The physical, cognitive and demographic characteristics of the elderly are being considered to select and provide them with the most appropriate technological solution.
- Brain training games support them in maintaining cognitive functioning in those seniors that have no MCI evident symptoms while enjoying playing games.
- Physical activity exercises support them in maintaining balance and stretch, important to avoid fall and loss of muscle mass, indicators of frailty risk increment.
- Leisure activities allow the elderly people to enjoy a great variety of virtual events with all the comfort from the “front row of the room”, contributing to overcome the confinement in a more entertaining way.
- Mindfulness practice offers a different way of dealing with stress, by calming the mind and body. It has many potential physical and psychological benefits for older adults, including better focus, enhanced calmness, less stress, and improved sleep.
- Self-perception mood tool facilitates early intervention by caregivers or relatives in case a negative trend responses are detected.
Although the caregivers are the main users of the MAHA dashboard, it’s a tool that offers advantages to many actors in the ecosystem since it allows the service offered to be maintained and even strengthened in a situation of obligatory social distancing like the present one. At a particular level we can indicate as main benefits: caregivers will be able to work with greater precision and act faster, the elderly will obtain greater personalization and continuous presence, the companies providing the service will be able to reach more users at a lower cost.