THE OASIS PROJECT
Barriers to independence are numerous. Frail physical and/or mental health, housing conditions, lack of transportation facilities, community information and communication services and low income levels are the main ones for elderly people. There exist two main trends in the 21 century: one is the rapid development of ICT which has affected all areas of life of people, the other is the trend of aging population, which has attracted attention from government as well as business firms. The profound, pervasive and enduring consequences of ageing population present enormous challenges as well as enormous opportunities for ICT. A typical example is the Internet that has become an enabler of social inclusion.
2. Aim and main achievements
OASIS aims at an open and innovative reference architecture, based upon ontologies and semantic services, that will allow plug and play and cost-effective interconnection of existing and new services in all domains required for the independent and autonomous living of the elderly and their Quality of Life enhancement. Both the open reference architecture and the related tools will be made available as open source.
Figure1: OASIS targeted domains
User friendliness and acceptability is a top priority for the project and a “user centred-design” approach is followed along the service & application development.
OASIS introduces an innovative system, which will enable and facilitate interoperability, seamless connectivity and sharing of content between different services and ontologies in all domains relevant to applications for the elderly and beyond. Over 12 different types of services will be connected with OASIS for the benefit of the elderly, covering user needs and wants in terms of Independent Living Applications (nutritional advisor, activity coach, brain and skills trainers, social communities platform, health monitoring and environmental control) and Autonomous Mobility and Smart Workplaces Applications (elderly-friendly transport information services, route guidance, personal mobility services, mobile devices, biometric authentication interface and multimodal dialogue mitigation and other smart workplace applications).
3. The Sub-projects in short
OASIS project is structured in 5 sub-projects, each one having different aims.
Sub-Project 1: Open Reference Architecture, User Interface, Platform and Tools
Within SP1, the new innovative, open-ended reference architecture is built (called COF: Common Ontological Framework) for organising, maintaining and applying heterogeneous ontologies. This new architecture framework is aimed to achieve:
Sub-Project 2: Independent Living Applications
Usually elderly people are involved in a process involving frailty, functional, cognitive and muscular decline and possible loss of autonomy. This process can be postponed and mitigated if some changes in daily life, as nutrition, physical activity, mental training and social relationships, are adopted, thus, based on SP1, a wide number of applications is being connected to the new reference architecture, or developed. These services to be developed are:
Nutritional advisor: Ιt will deal with the personalization and adaptation of the recommendation and advices to the elder for improving his/her nutrition, so that they can easily become a part of his/her normal habits.
Activity coach: Ιt will monitor, support and coach several physical activities of the elderly, e.g. to motivate him/her to perform some sport activities, aiming to reduce the age-related declines in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.
Brain and skills trainer: Ιt will promote, though different exercises and simulated scenarios, the mental health of persons. A set of personalized exercises will maintain his/her memory and mental activities level.
Social relation and recreation platform: This application relates to the building of a social community platform, at different levels, in order to fight the social isolation of elderly people living alone and to facilitate new collaborative experiences.
Health monitoring: This application will go beyond the monitoring of the health status, allowing the management of the elderly people’s health and the assurance of their optimal health status while realising the rest of their daily lives activities.
Environmental control: Domotics applications will allow the elderly to be confident in his/her house and contribute to the comfort of the person.
Sub-Project 3: Autonomous Mobility and Smart Workplaces Applications
This SP promotes activities to “push” the elderly user out of his/her home, however guaranteeing safety, security and comfort. New functionalities will be provided, that can give the elderly users more independency and safety in their trips, by easing their driving, avoiding the exposure to risks and accelerating the emergency rescue procedures. A new route guidance prototype, incorporating elderly cognitive needs and behavioural patterns, will be developed. Appropriate mobility services will be offered to the elderly, including journey planning and support while driving (assistance navigation, extended emergency call and tele-diagnostics, driver monitoring and comfort), accessible tourism, leisure and social activities.
Furthermore, the need of older people to remain active in the business domain can be supported both while at home, or anywhere in between, as mobile users.
Sub-Project 4: Integration, Pilot sites and devices
All the developed applications will be tested in 4 sites Europewide (UK, Germany, Italy and in a combined site in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria), by hundreds of users, their caregivers and other stakeholders, in order to evaluate the overall success and to get the required data to optimise them within the project and beyond.
Figure2: OASIS pilot sites
Sub-Project 5: Horizontal activities
SP5 incorporates the necessary support activities to ensure proper realisation of the rest SPs, such as management, dissemination, marketing and exploitation (including business scenarios and cost-effectiveness analysis) of the project concept and results, ethical and gender issues protection, training (in order to familiarize the partners with the technology requirements) and standardisation (the OASIS platform and applications will be submitted for standardisation by the established OASIS world-wide Industrial Forum).