Europe is aging. In 2060, the average age of the European population will have risen by 7 years compared to today, and the proportion of people aged over 65 is expected to be 30% of the population, compared with 17% today. Such an increasing population of elderly patients has various levels of mental and functional disorders.
Performance disorders are among the most common aspects of cognitive impairements and include the ability to concentrate, communicate and act accordingly in specific circumstances. Cognitive impairment is often accompanied by psychomotor dysfunction and inability to perform functions, leading in loss of patients' social autonomy and the inability to take care of themselves.
The elderly prefer to live in their homes as much as possible. However, often this is not feasible due to the problems associated with cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative disorders, functional disability, and other vulnerability indicators that may occur along with deficits in memory or executive function. The result of such a combination of factors can lead to an increasing number of falls, inability to obtain the necessary medication or disorientation (in space and time). These chances make ongoing supervision and care of the elderly necessary.
The goal is to satisfy the elderly and to cover the need for supervision so that they can continue to live in their home. Home care can be benefited from a host of existing technologies, including smartphones, sensors and more. However, their effectiveness is limited by the sense of fear and discomfort experienced by many older adults. Most current technologies, in fact, are often not designed for seniors, or at least for users with cognitive impairement. Most systems do not provide real care or enhance personalized interventions. In addition, they are unable to "perfectly" combine the everyday life and living environment of the individual. Finally, they are rarely manufactured to maintain or improve physical and cognitive performance or to maintain the mental health and social well-being of older adults. This restriction becomes a major barrier, elimiting the use of technological aid at home.
The CAPTAIN project promotes a design philosophy with a real emphasis on the user, based on the continuous involvement of older people in designing, developing and testing of:
• A smart home appliance that will transform a room into an interactive, tangible environment.
• A software environment that turns the home into a user-friendly and environmentally friendly interface capable of capturing the relatively normal behavioral data as well as the actions of the user and providing personalized "virtual guidance".
• Publicly available API (Application Programming Interfaces), compatible with FIWARE and UniversAAL, making available the system's functionality to third-party systems.