According to Eurostat, the European percentage of the working age population will continue declining steadily until 2050. During this period and up to 2080, the proportion of elderly people will increase, reaching 29.1% of the total population, almost 10 % more than the corresponding percentage of 2016. Progressive aging is expected to create greater demand of specific services for this specific age group. In particular, due to the aging of the population, the need to provide these services will increase from 53.2% to 79.7% by 2080, bringing significant socio-economic impact and restructuring the tax and administrative system of EU Member States. Moreover, the services designed to meet these needs will increase the social expenses of the working individuals.
In order to successfully deal with this, the European Commission supports and funds projects such as ACTIVAGE (http://www.activageproject.eu/) under the Horizon 2020 program. The European research project ACTIVAGE was launched in January 2017 and completed in September 2020, with the aim of exploiting the possibilities offered by the technology of the Internet of Things (IoT), with the ultimate goal of creating new forms of independent living and assistance to the elderly and providing safety and security for themselves and their families.
The project’s main objective was to build the first European IoT ecosystem in 7 European countries, across 9 Deployment Sites (DSs). In three and a half years, more than 7,000 people around Europe and 1,221 in Greece have tried a wide range of services based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to enhance and promote an active and healthy aging lifestyle.
ACTIVAGE Virtual Experience Day will take place on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020, where we will have the opportunity to bring ACTIVAGE services closer to our visitors, providing them the real ACTIVAGE experience!
More information available here.
The participation of Greece in the ACTIVAGE project
The Greek partners of the European project ACTIVAGE are the research institutes CERTH (https://www.certh.gr/) and ICCS (https://www.iccs.gr/), the Municipality of Metamorfosi in Athens, the Municipality of Pylaia-Chortiatis in Thessaloniki, the 10 Municipalities of the inter-municipal development company CitiesNet - http://dccg.gr/ (Veria, Volos, Grevena, Ioannina, Karditsa, Katerini, Kozani, Lamia, Larissa, and in collaboration with e-trikala of the Municipality of Trikala) as well as the IT companies GNOMON INFORMATICS SA (https://www.gnomon.com.gr/) and SWARCO Hellas (http://www.swarco.gr/).
In the Municipalities that participated in the pilot testing of ACTIVAGE, the following 3 Services were implemented:
1. Assistance for independent living and home security, with functions such as detecting the opening and closing of the main entrance of each house for the automatic identification of entry / exit of the elderly from it, the detection of movement of the elderly in the rooms of the house, as well as informing the person designated by the elderly in case of the emergency.
2. Provision of integrated health care, in which the ACTIVAGE system: (a) monitors pathological measurements of patients with chronic diseases (Type 2 Diabetes and/or Arterial Hypertension) through biological telemetry, with the aim of intensifying treatment (b) may reduce the frequent need for elderly patients to visit regular outpatient clinics, resulting in less burden on patients and their caregivers (c) may reduce the cost of treating patients with chronic diseases, and link the health care providers involved and the provided care better.
3. Safe mobility, which includes (a) personalised mobility monitoring, (b) travel notification and information regarding the traffic congestion and suggestion of shorter and more convenient routes; and (c) provision of notifications to the driver for critical situations (pedestrian crossing approach).
The results of the pilots in Greece are encouraging (improvement of the quality users’ life, while providing satisfaction with digital health services), and demonstrate the potential benefits of a widespread adoption of the ACTIVAGE system. Moreover, they show that ACTIVAGE's main objective - to enable the development of and the operation of large scale solutions and services based on the Internet of Things for Active and Healthy Aging, has been achieved. The specific details of the results can guide further system improvements as well as future studies with similar ambitious and user-centric goals.