In the heart of the old town in Fundao, in the historic Jewish quarters, a very modern space is taking form. It is called iHome4you and it is a so called smart home. The idea behind it is to build a space where elderly people or people in need of assistance can come and try new technological solutions which might be of help for them in their homes. No strings attached, easily reachable and with curiosity as a driving force.
- The idea to build something like this came when we visited Patras in Greece and saw their smart home in action, Michaela Gil, project manager of Osiris in Fundao explains enthusiastically.
The ageing population is a worldwide phenomenon, being more pronounced in Europe. In fact, according to a United Nations Report, Portugal is on the list of the six countries that are aging fastest. The estimation indicates that in 2050 about 40% of the Portuguese population will be over 60 years old. Another fact is that all municipalities in the CENTRO region have an aging rate above the national average. With population ageing other problems arise, namely loneliness and social isolation, as well as an increase in health expenditure and in social security. This has created the need to find new approaches and solutions to promote an active ageing with information and communication technologies being one answer to this challenge.
This pilot action faces the challenges with a Smart Home, a House Intelligent Assistant (HIA), consisting of an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem of solutions that focuses on persons/patients/elderly people that are isolated and/or have mobility difficulties.
- “I am very thrilled to see the iHome4you taking shape in historic Fundao, the selection and plan of the establishment will be a living paradigm on how IoT and new technology serve the needs of society, Chrysostomos Stylios, professor at CTI states. I am also pleased to see how best practice coming from Western Greece will be put in use to another context and will affect another region, he continues.”
Ms Gil concludes:
- The location makes it easy for people to pop in and try and see the technological solutions themselves and this also provides a very good opportunity for start-ups in the IoT sector in our region. We are very pleased with this pilot action!