Tablets to combat loneliness in the elderly
At Kwido we have been advocating for years the use of new technologies to combat loneliness among the elderly. We argue that technology needs two fundamental aspects to succeed in this sector of the population:
– Being sufficiently accessible to people who have not used new technologies before.
– To have a motivation behind it.
We often take users as passive objects of monitoring, or force them to use apps with insurmountable accessibility barriers.
At Kwido, we have been working for some time on co-creation projects for the design of technological solutions to support the elderly. And in these processes, two aspects have been seen to be repeated:
– The enormous importance that these people place on communication with family and friends.
– That the tablet is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of new technologies.
Because of its size, which allows content to be displayed correctly, as well as its usability, which allows interaction with simple clicks on the screen. In addition, it can be connected via wifi or have integrated SIM cards, which makes it easy to deploy. And it comes with a camera and microphone for multi-device video calls.
We have recently integrated Kwido into the DAPAS platform, which will be marketed by the Austrian company exthex.
This project, which has also received financial support from the European Commission through the AAL Programme, addressed the need to provide security for elderly people at home. We proposed integrating Kwido’s social sections to Exthex’s technology in its Emma platform in order to achieve:
– Accessible video calls with friends and family, from tablet to mobile.
– Reception and sharing of photos, videos, messages, etc.
Although the initial objective of Exthex was not to promote this social part, the implementation of the system has offered a clear conclusion: social communication from the tablet has been the most successful and valued section by the elderly and their families. And even more so after the pandemic, where the platform allowed them to stay in touch despite the difficulties. And the opinion has been widespread among users in Austria, Portugal and Luxembourg.
For us, it has been a further endorsement of this type of support at home and encourages us to continue with its implementation. This is something we have already seen in other projects:
– The advanced telecare we have implemented in the Polish municipality of Sopot.
– The home care support deployed in Bizkaia with Igurco and which will be the basis of the etxeTIC project.
As stated in this SeniorTIC article the tablet is the perfect companion to introduce the elderly to technology and we at Kwido fully agree.