Follow.Me addresses the challenge given by the AAL Europe Call 2015 “Living actively and independently at home”, aiming to support older adults to live independently for longer time and to participate in society more actively. Through indoor and outdoor positioning and tracking of elderly people with neurodegenerative diseases, the demand for medical care should be reduced and the prevention of accidents will be increased. The innovative Follow.Me solution enables easier and better care of elderly people with dementia outside of hospitals, nursing homes and specialized centers through innovative ICT components, integrated into an easy to use, affordable and sustainable solution that address a wide range of needs. Utilizing low cost components for Follow.Me and performance of excessive on-field trials promises a successful commercialization phase after the end of the project for the business and prolonged exploitation for research partners.
Throughout the project, the novel Follow.Me software architecture will be implemented, consisting of a cloud server backend, different presentation tiers and interfaces to external software. The presentation tier consists of the Follow.Me Smart Watch App, which will be used for positioning and tracking of older adults with dementia, the Follow.Me website, enabling the definition of safe areas and the localization of the person wearing the Smart Watch, as well as the Follow.Me Analytic Dashboard, which offers practitioners and specialists insight into the activities and location history of the person tracked. For the needs of Follow.Me, position recognition is done with two communication protocols: Wi-Fi for indoor monitoring and GPS for outdoor activities. In other to enhance the insight, a special interface and integration layer are created to include generic legacy content from external resources into Follow.Me solutions. Furthermore, an Access Point Customized Firmware enables adaption and expansion of the software to special needs of the various end users.
The User Perspective
Through the different presentation layers of Follow.Me, primary end users, namely persons with mild dementia, and secondary end users, carers and next of kin, are addressed by the developed solution. For the primary end user a convenient device is provided, that learns from daily activities of the person wearing it, and warning him or her in case of leaving a safe route or area, while also alerting secondary end users. Secondary end users can use Follow.Me to define safe routes and areas for the person wearing the smart watch, to get alerts if the person leaves these locations and to request support in finding the person, if he or she gets lost. Additional assets are generated from the Follow.Me solution, as the data collected can also be shared with practitioners and specialists in dementia care (tertiary end users), monitoring the progress of the disease for the individual, giving better and earlier insight into relevant treatment or care needs.
Follow.Me is coordinated by the National Interuniversity Consortium for Informatics (CINI) from Italy. SYNYO collaborates with eight other organizations from four different EU countries (Italy, Austria, Romania and Belgium). SYNYO is acting as an SME business partner in the project, contributing the novel mobile app to the overall Follow.Me solution. Based on previous project experience, in AAL and related fields, SYNYO will support the full software engineering life cycle, from requirements gathering, business case description, framework and application design, to implantation, verification and validation. Furthermore SYNYO participates in the ongoing dissemination activities, business plan development and commercialization of Follow.Me. This will enable SYNYO to expand the current portfolio of mobile apps and to deepen the expertise in specialized user driven solution development, through new challenges arising from the complex needs of the AAL user community.