The DIAL project will combat the unwanted loneliness of the elderly in Valencia by developing a friendly and innovative solution based on Multi-platform Voice Assistive Technologies. Specifically, the participating institutions will develop a tool that incorporates a detection system through algorithms that, through conversation with the elderly person, will be able to detect when they are suffering from an unwanted situation of loneliness or are at risk of suffering from it. In this case, the system will alert the corresponding healthcare professional.
“It is not about excluding the human factor, so necessary especially for elderly people who live alone; but rather to facilitate a first communication through technology, so that they can continue to maintain a high degree of independence that seems so important to us ”, says the Councilor for Innovation, Carlos Galiana.
The project will be carried out by a multidisciplinary consortium formed by Las Naves, an innovation center of the Valencia City Council; the Polibienestar Institute, of the University of Valencia; INICIATIVA SOCIAL INTEGRAL, a company specialized in care services for the elderly; and which is coordinated by the SABIEN-ITACA group, of the Universitat Politècnica de València.
“It will be a kind of Alexa, but specially designed for the care of the elderly, attending to all their characteristics, always with a clear objective: to facilitate their day-to-day and independence. User data will be used exclusively for the proper functioning of the tool and at no time may it be exploited for other purposes, as with other applications of this style ”, clarifies Vicente Traver, coordinator of the SABIEN-ITACA group of the Universitat Politècnica de València.
The DIAL project is funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency within the Program of Strategic Projects in Cooperation.
Inspired by the radio
The technological solution to be developed is inspired by the radio, a medium with which older people feel very familiar since people who are currently over 70 years old have had a relationship throughout their lives with the idea of “Speaker that speaks to them and informs them”. Hence, the project not only takes the name DIAL for its reference to radio but because the tool to be developed will be inspired by it.
In order for the tool to be perfectly suited to the elderly who are going to use it, they will participate in a series of co-design workshops where they will be able to identify their needs, abilities and their daily life, while the social care professionals will contribute their knowledge so that technology is finally developed based on them.
In addition to the fight against unwanted loneliness, the institutions promoting the DIAL project aim to reduce the digital divide, especially that of the use of technology that affects the elderly; and facilitate the desire that many of these people have to continue living in their own homes into their old age.
Las Naves will be the entity responsible for the scalability, communication and analysis of the project on its viability as a business model; while INICIATIVA SOCIAL INTEGRAL will be in charge of the methodology, design, development and implementation of the participatory co-design process.
For its part, the Universitat Politècnica de València, coordinator of the project, will design and develop the technological solution: and the Polibienestar Institute, of the University of Valencia, will carry out the process of evaluation and validation of the same.
Source: UPV’s Information Office