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I-stay@home
I-stay@home ·

Culture

A successful conclusion to the I-stay@home project

The “I-stay@home” research project (ICT solutions for an ageing society) was subsidised by the European Union and has run for almost four years.

To implement this project, a number of European housing industry partners had joined together to form a consortium of partners, which included nine housing associations, two universities and four technology partners – the lead IT partner being Aareon. The lead partner of the housing associations was the Bamberg-based Joseph Foundation (Joseph-Stiftung), and other Aareon clients among the participants included Rheinwohnungsbau GmbH, Düsseldorf, Le Foyer Remois, Reims, and De Woonplaats, Enschede.

The project I-stay@home was set up in response to demographic change, and its objective was to demonstrate how generally available information technology can help elderly people become more independent, enabling them to live in their own homes for as long as possible

Europe learning from Europe

Die Partner von I-stay@home
Die Partner von I-stay@home

The project goals

The objective of the project was to develop a prototype for an international I-stay@home portal platform. Another project goal was to produce a wiki containing best practices and a catalogue of third-party products covering areas such as AAL (Ambient Assisted Living)and safety etc.

The approach

The prototype for the portal was developed on the basis of Aareon France’s Flexiciel IT platform, which is also the foundation of the Aareon CRM portal.

This platform allows the integration of AAL systems, among other things – combined with communication devices such as blood pressure monitors, weighing scales, watches and heating controllers. A universal data gateway (a general interface) was also developed to manage the different interfaces.

The Aareon IT platform already offers a wide range of tenant-oriented services within a traditional CRM portal; these are being integrated into the I-stay@home prototype, and specific new functions, such as video chat, are being added too. However, all those involved in the project were also extremely interested in looking at which additional services could be developed or integrated, especially ones for the elderly or disabled.

To identify the individual needs, tenants of the participating housing associations were surveyed beforehand on the challenges that they face every day, their desire for better support and their ideas about which technologies could help them in their everyday lives.

Also with regard to these needs, the EBZ Business School then reviewed the approximately 150 third-party products and solutions contained in the wiki – which come from five countries (Belgium, Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands) – and assessed these based on both the requirements of the technical partners and the socio-demographic surveys.

The prototype for a one-year test phase was installed in 180 homes in nine European locations, with an auspicious selection of assistance systems and communication devices being chosen for this trial. The test was a success: the functions were received well and, gratifyingly, many tenants not only got to grips with the technology amazingly well, but also enquired about further functions and formulated ideas for improvements.

After evaluating the feedback, the EBZ Business School then produced a wiki containing European best practices and affordable products.

The benefit for Aareon During the project

Aareon has gained practical experiences on how it can develop its IT platform to cater even more specifically to an older target group, and useful components from this project are being gradually integrated into Aareon’s product range.

By linking in the third-party products, among other things, “I-stay@home” is hugely important in terms of the “Internet of Things” trend too, and the project has been a key recurring topic at the Aareon Congress since 2012. Its importance for the housing industry is also reflected in the huge interest shown by Aareon’s clients.

Conclusion

During the closing conference in Brussels, the project outcomes and findings on the subject of “Independence through technology” for elderly people were examined in more detail, and experiences from both a housing association and user perspective were shared – with positive feedback in every respect.

Final conference

Documentary: I-stay@home (multilingual with English subtitles)

Downloads

Official Music Video ft. Chris Hordijk

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