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Novel Empowering Solutions and Technologies for Older people to Retain Everyday life activities

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NESTORE (Novel Empowering Solutions and Technologies for Older people to Retain Everyday life activities)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2019-03-01 al 2021-02-28

Ageing population is growing faster in EU. ICT can provide solutions for Active Ageing, however the success of novel ICT solutions depends on the user perception about their efficacy to support toward health promotion and global wellness. NESTORE will develop an innovative, multidimensional, personalized coaching system to support healthy ageing by: 1) Generating and sustaining motivation to take care of health; 2) Suggesting healthy nutrition and personalized physical and mental coach, as well as social interaction, to prevent decline and preserve wellbeing.
The main concept is to develop NESTORE as a friend and a coach able to support both the individual and the social dimension. The friend NESTORE understands the emotional status of the user; the coach NESTORE understands the “weaknesses” of the user and proposes actions and activities that improve and maintain wellbeing. Key innovation element in NESTORE is the design of “pathways of interest” able to provide hints and services according to the user’s preferences, while ensuring that the overall wellbeing and health status is maximised. NESTORE leverages on novel ICT technologies: 1) multi-domain unobtrusive monitoring system, including wearable and environmental sensors and tangible objects, 2) intelligent Decision Support System, to analyse the seniors’ behaviour and provide personalized targets toward wellbeing 3) active coaching, developed as conversational agent, embodied in a physical companion that assumes different forms, able to establish affective communication through multimodal communication channels and to engage older people with personalized coaching activities in a single or multiple domains. Methodological strengths of our approach are: 1) co-design research adopted throughout the project 2) thorough system validation with respect to usability, acceptability and effectiveness 3) development of a sustainable ecosystem involving citizens and stakeholders for the co-production of wellness.
NESTORE project is aiming at the creation of an ecosystem of coaching services for promoting the adoption of “countermeasures” to the physiological decline related to aging.
Aging is a complex process involving all human dimensions (multidimensional), so the deep analysis and knowledge about the human during ageing was one of the main actions at the beginning of the project. The outcomes are relevant to the project for providing a scientific basis and knowledge to design proper actions for Generating self-awareness (i.e. understanding risks associated with ageing) and for Supporting the healthy ageing process based on healthy nutrition and adequate personalized physical and mental coach, as well as social interaction, in order to prevent physical and cognitive decline and onset of new pathological conditions and to preserve mental wellbeing.
This knowledge has been integrated into a proper ontology which is also the interface to other platforms (e.g. UniversAAL).
To have an interactive and responsive and personalized intervention, NESTORE leverage on a multiparametric and multidimensional sensing layer to monitor physiological and behavioural data related to the five domains of wellbeing (i.e. physical, mental, cognitive, social and nutritional). In addition, in the NESTORE system, a dedicated App represents the logical sensing layer for monitoring cognitive abilities, such as memory performance or verbal fluency, and nutrition habits.
NESTORE is also exploiting the coaching strategy through the Pathway of interest concept: user preferences are targeted as main driver of the intervention selection. According to the user profile and status in each domain, it is also possible to modulate the intervention in single or combined domains and to keep or improve strategy to have a maximised fitting. NESTORE aims at enhancing and sustaining motivation, providing personalized target behaviours toward the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyle following the health action process approach (HAPA). The sensing layer makes possible to have a true individualized real-life approach rather than a mere population-based approach as provided by other App-based systems.
User needs and preferences were not only targeted for the design of coaching strategies, but they are embedded in all the project, given the reference and adopted co-design methodology that led all the system development. In particular, the strength of the participatory design that NESTORE followed is shown by the tangible interface and its functions and usability.
The multifunction tangible objects envisioned in the proposal is now a commercial reality (Google Home, Alexa, …) so we can say that we did a good forecast. To improve the actual systems NESTORE is embedding improved usability and sensors for indirect recognition of emotional and mental status.
From all the above we can really say that NESTORE system is a “multi-dimensional, cross-disciplinary and personalized coaching system that, leveraging ICT social connectivity, will support older people to maintain independence by encouraging them to become co-producers of their wellness” as originally written in the DoA.
The Analysis for defining the exploitation strategy and related plan is demonstrating a promising scenario where NESTORE, driven by science, has a great potential and added value. The NESTORE project, as well as the rest of the world research and human activities, was highly impacted by Covid-19 outbreak. but at the end of the journey NESTORE reached 76% of participation in pilot studies, that in this emergency in the major EU affected area is a good result in itself. NESTORE KPI were met and outcomes were widely disseminated and results and data structures are openly published and accessible through OpenAIRE (more than 24 peer reviewed publications, one book and several open reports).
Last, the NESTORE project ended with the high participation (more than 90 people) at the final online event the 25.02.2021. Participants included representatives of the European Commission and PM project coordinators.
As a general consideration, NESTORE goes beyond the current state of the art by including a higher level of detail and developing/implementing innovative ICT solutions. In particular:
1. NESTORE is based on the knowledge coming from all the 5 Domains (physical activity, nutrition, cognitive, social and mental wellbeing) that are involved in the wellbeing mechanisms;
2. NESTORE is based on user centred approach, applying co-design methodology and participatory design of the final solution
3. NESTORE is based the health action process approach (HAPA) to sustain user motivation in adopting the solution.
4. NESTORE adopts multiple state-of-the-art technologies
5. NESTORE sensor system is designed to be unobtrusive and multi-domain

The above mentioned strengths of NESTORE project, will introduce potential impact in the 4 main areas:
1) Usefulness and effectiveness of personalized recommendations and follow-up in terms of the goals of preserving physical, cognitive, mental and social well-being as long as possible;
2) Validation of non-obtrusive technology for physical, cognitive, social and mental well-being;
3) Evidence of user-centred design and innovation, new intuitive ways of human-computer interaction, and user acceptance;
4) Potential cost-effectiveness due to enhanced self-care, life-style and care management.