The consortium consisted of six partners from four countries: AIT from Austria, Everon and Yrjö & Hanna from Finland, SensoCube and Weser from Germany, BME from Hungary. Out of the six partners two were research centres (AIT, BME), two were SMEs (Everon, SensoCube) and two were end-user organisations (Yrjö & Hanna, Weser).
The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (http://www.ait.ac.at/home_en.html) – is Austria’s largest contract-oriented, non-profit research organization, a privately organized limited company (50.5% governmental). The Safety and Security Department has a mission to make significant advances in ICT technologies involving about 150 scientists. It is a high-tech organization for applied research, design, development, test and implementation of leading innovative ICT solutions, in selected market segments in cooperation with industrial, university and other research partners. Fields of expertise are neuroinformatics, computer vision, medical care/e-health, risk-management/e-environment, video and image processing for high-quality printing, software standardization and archiving of large data volumes. The Safety and Security Department was/is coordinating four projects of the 6th and 7th EU Framework Programs (DECOS, SECOQC, SANY, MOGENTES), and is contributing to several other projects (e.g. COOPERS, Watch-Over, robots@home, AVITRACK, ORCHESTRA, ADOSE, ProSE). AIT has many years of experience in the Ambient Assisted Living area, both in research and industrial projects (analysis, design, development and validation like the SAFE project ), in dependable embedded systems, RAMSS (dependability) analysis, stereo vision systems, bio-inspired computing (silicon retina sensor technology), vision-based driver assistance and safety systems, and in networking and dissemination as well as standardization issues, especially in the area of functional safety.
The Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) is the largest university of technology and economics in Hungary, currently having eight faculties, among others the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, and the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (http://portal.bme.hu). BME has seven interdisciplinary knowledge centres, out of which EMT (Healthcare Technologies Knowledge Centre) represents BME in the CARE project (http://emt.bme.hu), in cooperation with the Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology (IIT, http://www.iit.bme.hu) and the Department of Ergonomics and Psychology (EPT, http://www.erg.bme.hu). BME EMT coordinated the “Silvergate-112: Assistive Medical and Social Monitoring and Alarm System – An Integrated Approach" national project between March 2008 and August 2010 (http://silvergate112.eu), and participated in the "CCE - Connected Care for Elderly Persons Suffering from Dementia" AAL project between July 2009 and June 2012 (http://www.cceproject.eu). The objective of the Silvergate-112 project was to create devices with standardised interfaces and a scalable integration technology that would organise devices and services to provide novel services with extended functionality, which would be impossible without integration. The objectives of the CCE project included: to set up a European platform to deliver connected ICT-based assistive living solutions for the elderly, building on initiatives at the national level and, taking account of different funding mechanisms in EU member states (Social insurance-based; Germany and Hungary, private insurance-based; Netherlands and taxation-based; UK); to develop and assess business models to support the mainstream provision of assistive solutions. The focus was on persons sufferring from dementia but the platform would offer the potential to be extended to other chronic conditions. BME EMT, IIT and EPT brought into the project, among others, their experiences gained from these projects, acceptance feedback from Hungarian elderly people and elderly homes, as well as their expertise in medical imaging, neural network algorithms and programming, ethics, ergonomics and psychology.
The Finnish Everon Oy/Ab (http://www.everon.net) is a privately owned Finnish company founded in 1988. The management and owners have long track records in successful domestic and international business management. Everon's R&D and Sales HQ is situated in Turku, Finland. Everon is an experienced company in the fields of electronics, telecommunication, radio communication and embedded systems. Everon has developed and delivered several patented solutions over the years in different fields of businesses. The EverOn system is based on their own patented system about managing and delivering alerts. Everon provides wireless EverOn systems primarily for nursing homes, home care and other facilities for their occupants’ and personnel’s alert, monitoring and communication needs. The system is extremely versatile, easy to put in place and simple to use. No cabling or internal server is needed which makes the system very economic. All devices are in connection with a remote server which initiates the alerts. The system is IP-based and managed through a secure connection and a web browser.
The German SensoCube (http://www.sensocube.com) is a start-up company founded in December 2007 in the area of sensor systems technology. With its own system OptoFon (detection of nursing time in in-patient nursing facilities), SensoCube has won third prize in the business plan competition of Saxony-Anhalt in 2007. The main emphasis of the company is on the development of sensor systems and their integration. The company maintains a multiple of regional co-operations with German research institutions like Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg and Fraunhofer Institute Magdeburg. This regional network is strengthened by the cooperation with MDK (medical service of the health insurances in Saxony-Anhalt) as well as a number of nursing institutions. In a brainstorming meeting in Vienna in March 2008, AIT and SensoCube decided to bring together a system based on the neuromorphic stereo sensor for applications in nursing homes. The CARE project has fostered this idea and enabled the realisation of the system and its deployment for supporting elderly persons in their daily life.
The Finnish Yrjö & Hanna Foundation (http://www.yrjojahanna.fi) was created in 1996 and the Yrjö & Hanna Ltd. was founded in 2006. The Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, set up and operated with the help of other organisations within the field of social and health care. The Foundation works in cooperation with the local authorities, educational institutions, other service providers and research centres, and it also participates in a variety of research and development projects. The Foundation and the Yrjö & Hanna Ltd. work together and provide care and nursing services for people who need help and support in their everyday life. Most residents are elderly, but services are provided also for younger people with physical disabilities, and for recovering mental health clients. A personalised care plan is drawn up for each new resident upon arrival setting out the services and treatments according to the needs of the resident. This plan is regularly reviewed so it continues to reflect the needs of the resident. The foundation operates all around Finland, altogether in ten municipalities, providing independent housing with services (235 flats), special care units (87 rooms/flats) and short-time care (10 flats/rooms). The foundation also provides a variety of day-time activities in the form of recreation to the residents as well as for people living elsewhere. The staff works in multi-professional teams whose work is based on a rehabilitating and developing approach. The purpose and aim of the Foundation and the service provision for the residents is to promote and sustain each resident’s mental, physical and social capabilities as long as possible. In order to facilitate this, each apartment has a call system for contacting the staff 24 hours per day. Also other safety increasing amenities are available.
The German Senioren Wohnpark Weser GmbH (http://www.residenz-gruppe.de/) is a company belonging to the Residenz Gruppe Bremen foundation responsible for elderly care institutions in the area of Bremen, Germany. The foundation is ranked at the top 20 private elderly home operator companies in Germany. With more than 750 employees and more than 20 years of experience, Senioren Wohnpark Weser has the mission in providing care and nursing services for elderly persons. It owns and operates more than 21 elderly homes in the city of Bremen and the province Lower-Saxony. One elderly home was selected to host the project pilot installation.