Our Romanian partners from University of Bucharest presented the Brain@Home project in Galați – a city from Romania close to the Danube.
Professors and senior students from “The Third Age University” attended the presentation of Brain@Home project. Almost 90 seniors had also the opportunity to test some serious games like: Boxes, Puzzle, Bees and Butterflies, Bubbles. More than 60% of the participants said that they wish to use the Brain@Home app as soon as possible; they also considered the serious games being friendly and easy to use.
The partners from University of Bucharest think that a big number of seniors from Romania can be interested in Brain@Home project and thanks to this belief, in the future they decided to present this project in as many cities as possible.
In the last couple of months, University of Bucharest together with SIVECO Romania had meetings at three Seniors Clubs from Romania. Approximately 40 seniors participated in the meetings and had a first contact with the Brain@Home project. During these events, the Romanian partners presented in details the virtual environments of the project. After each presentation the seniors had the opportunity to test serious games such as: Boxes, Puzzle, Bees and Butterflies, Coupling etc and the Virtual Tours from Romania, Italy and Hungary. At the end of each meeting the seniors offered feedback by completing a series of questionnaire.
At the beginning of 2018, University of Bucharest and Siveco România started a new series of presentations of Brain@Home project at the departments of Social Assistance from each Bucharest district.
One of the most representative meeting was the one from the General Social Assistance Department. During this meeting, the two representatives of the organization were excited about the project, offered their feedback to the partners ( some positive but also negative feedback- a majority of the senior population from Romania don’t have email access for example-).
At the end of the meeting, the two partners will maintain the contact with the representatives from DGASMB, hoping that next meeting will be also with some potential end users of the project.
On the 13th of March 2018 Pannon Business Network made a workshop for elderly citizens to invite them into the testing of the Brain@Home platform. 17 interested persons came to the pre-announced event in Szombathely and they listened to the presentation and introduction of the solution. All the functionalities, possibilities and social functions of the platform have been presented with the possibility to try the usage on a tablet as well. Not only the platform itself but also the participation criteria was presented to them.
The questions of the elderly have been all answered by PBN colleague Ákos Éder and from the clinical part, Ágnes Harsányi-Hajdu. The feedback of the seniors was very positive in general, and 15 of the seniors were very interested in participating in the trial phase and already signed-up for the enrollment. They will soon be contacted and the cognitive tests will start in the coming weeks. Let's get the real tests started!
Today, on 16.11.2017 afternoon PBN and Karma Interactive organised a session for elderly users to inform them about the project and the trial session.
After introducing the main idea, goals and outputs of the project, elderly users received detailed information about the trial period: when, how, with which conditions, on what kind of device they can participate. Not only the technical part has been presented: the clinical aspect and relevance of the trial, just as the proposed outputs were discussed. There poped up questions on the procedure of the selection, which, of course, were clarified. The participants listened carefully on the set-up of the trial. The whole process and the participation criteria, just as the content of the informed consent has been shown.
After the very successful and fruitful get-together 10 elderly persons out of the present 12 are highly interested in participating in the trials! They are all looking forward for the kick-off of the testing!
University of Bucharest, represented by Dr. Aurelia Curaj, attended at The 9th National Congress of Geriatrics and Gerontology with International Participation, between 19th- 22th October 2017, in Bucharest-Otopeni, Romania, entitled „Geriatrics and Gerontology in Romania - 65 years of national and international presence”, organized by the National Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics “Ana Aslan”, the largest institute specialized in Geriatrics and Gerontology from Romania.
In order to launch the start of the recruiting period for the Brain@Home pilot project in which will be involved 40 end-users at the national level and increase the visibility of the Brain@Home concept between interested stakeholders of the project, Dr. Aurelia Curaj, spoke about the main idea of the project, the partnership, the main activities and the main goals of the project.
The potential and relevance that the results of the project may have for elderly people as well as for scientific research in Romania, was also stressed by dr. Aurelia Curaj during her informal discussion with Congress participants.
In Italy, Milan, two demo sessions were held on the 26th September and 3rd of October 2017, organised and moderated by the colleagues of CCP (Casa di Cura del Policlinico) and MH (Media Hospital). On these thematic sessions the clinical expert of CCP and the IT expert of MH showed and introduced all the major aspects and goals of the Brain@Home platform for the participants. Just as in the other two countries (Romania and Hungary) subjects had the possibility to check on the usability of the tool.
Though, some valuable feedback of the 3 elderly persons say that the navigation of the platform could be further developed, the general idea is great and the platform looks nice, all the functionalities are clear to understand. Still, in case of the Virtual Tour (Village Museum in Bucharest, Romania) some additional information could be useful and the navigation could be a bit easier to have a more comfortable experience.
Another important suggestion is to promote engagement also through interesting inputs, feedback, music and social tools to share info and scoring with friends or other users!”
All these inputs are highly welcomed and supports the project partnership for striving for even more highest quality of games, environment and virtual tours.
As in Romania and in Italy, Pannon Business Network hosted a demo session meeting with 7 elderly users on the 25th September 2017 in Szombathely. The goal of the get-together was to show the Brain@Home platform and website to potential elderly users.
Akos Eder (PBN) presented the general idea of the project, the website and the platform. The Virtual Environment, the Serious Games were introduced in detail to the participants. As for the main reason of the meeting, elderly people were requested to give instant feedback about their ideas and feeling about all the elements.
The session went very well: all the participants enjoyed the presentation about the platform, but, most importantly, the individual persons took the chance to test the Virtual Environment on a touch-screen laptop, where they could test not only the usability of the platform but also the games. Putting together puzzles, "walking in Bucharest" and solving memory games made the session with big fun. Based on this, the feedback was also positive:
- The platform looks really nice and detailed, which ensures high comfort, because it is easy to use.
- The Serious Games were interesting and of big fun
- The Virtual Tour in Romania was interesting but some parts were difficult to see (might be the problem of the resolution of the laptop screen)
- The Virtual Environment is big and interesting, with precise details.
- The final form of the navigation within the environment needs to be shown again, because it has been changed.
On 14th of September, University of Bucharest held a demo session at Geron Foundation with 3 end users, in order for them to try first hand the platform. Also attending the session were the members of the consortium, who was present via an online conference call.
The experience was beneficial for both us, organizers and moderators as well as for the participants.
Siveco Romania presented the platform and introduced it to the end users by creating a working session that meant the navigation through a Virtual Environment in which Serious Games and a Virtual Tour were integrated, and asking for feedback regarding their experience with the tools. All three participants got the chance to hold the tablet and explore all of the project's features. The entire session took around 2 hours. The participants were asking questions and getting acquainted with the novelty of the project.
The feedback that the end users gave us was very good and they pointed out many strong points that the platform has to offer, concluding that the platform is user-friendly and accessible.They were very keen to use it in their free time and to see the beneficial outcomes that would emerge from that.
The University of Bucharest was also involved in explaining the health benefits that will come with accessing this platform. It was emphasized that by exploring and participating in the serious games and virtual tours that the project has to offer, the user's mental health would be kept in shape and would slow down the aging process of the brain.
On the annual AAL Forum 2017 in Coimbra, Portugal, the Brain@Home project has been presented to the participants of the forum by Ákos Éder (PBN, Hungary) on 3rd October 2017.
The audience got an introduction about the main idea of the project, the partnership, the main activities and the main goals of the project.
The international consortium prepared an easy-to-understand poster with all the relevant information not only with the main tasks but also about the technical and clinical background of the individual activities. The interested people have also asked the speaker about the end user involvement and the Brain@Home platform functionalities, special features and usability as well.
20-25 people listened carefully the introduction of the virtual environment, the created virtual tours, just as to the serious games that have already been or will be developed.
The crowd was very much interested in the solution in general and experts in the field of AAL welcomed the idea and are looking for getting to know the final product later.
“The Adapting Brain at the different ages of man”
XV. National congress of the Italian Society of psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience (Società Italiana di Psicofisiologia e Neuroscienze cognitive, SIPF).
Our colleagues from CCP Milano will participate on the event. It will be held in Rome, Italy.
Date: 16-18 November 2017
CASA DI CURA PRIVATA DEL POLICLINICO
Pannon Business Network Association
University of Bucharest
Facultatea de Sociologie si Asistenta Sociala, Universitatea Bucuresti impreuna cu partenerii sai, Siveco Romania S.A, Casa Di Cura Privata del Policlinico, Media Hospital S.r.l, Panon Business Network Association si Karma Interactive Ltd., contrbuie la dezvoltarea si implementarea unui proiect conceput pentru mentinerea calitatii vietii a persoanelor de varsta a treia.
Proiectul “Brain@Home: Moving and enhancing brain training for an active life” este dedicat persoanelor care isi doresc menitinerea creierului tanar. Acest proiect are la baza dorinta de a oferi utilizatorilor sai activitatea cerebrala la un nivel ridicat chiar si dupa pensionare.
Brain@Home este dezvoltat de neuropsihologi si clinicieni prin conceperea unei platforme virtuale ce contine exercitii cognitive, precum si un tur virtual care abordeaza activitati de antrenament cerebral. Toate aceste aspecte duc, in timp, la o mai buna performanta a creierului persoanelor varstnice active.
Lect.dr. Aurelia Curaj
+4 (021)302 3300; 73-81
Bucharest-Ploiesti Drive, Building C4,
District 1, 013685, Bucharest, Romania
Projects with European Commission organizations
An European company, with unique skills and internationally competitive experts, SIVECO Romania is the only Romanian software company that provides IT services directly to the European Commission organizations.
SIVECO is an active player on the European Union market and partner of the European Commission in over 20 projects, providing IT services for:
- The consortium led by SIVECO provides to European Commission’s Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General, DG TAXUD the provision of services that will be used by all 28 EU countries, covering multifaceted training support programmes, eLearning development and communication services in the field of customs and taxation within the project B-Train Programme
- Executive Agency for Health and Consumers - “Capacity building actions for consumer organizations” project
- Executive Agency for Health and Consumers - “ConsumerClassroom”- EU Consumer Education Portal
- Publication Office of the European Commission - the CORDIS portal - software development and maintenance services for CORDIS portal regarding research and development - FP7
- Statistics Institute of the European Union (Eurostat) - system of spatial data, Geographic Information System (GIS)
- EuropeAid – Cooperation Office of the European Commission - development of Geographic Information System (GIS)
“We are extremely honored by participating in these projects carried out for elite organizations of the European Union. The projects fall into the strategic line of asserting our company as a top player at European level, being the result of active involvement in the European IT, from a professional, social and commercial point of view”, Stefan Morcov, Deputy Vice-President, SIVECO Romania
The pan-European Brain @Home project, coordinated by SIVECO Romania, proposes a viable solution for maintaining an active life for elderly
According to the World Health Organization, (OMS), due to improvement in the health condition worldwide, the number of elderly is growing. One estimates that, by 2050, over 22% of the world’s population will be over 60 years old. This phenomenon is already a fact in some developed countries such as Germany, Italy or Sweden.
On the other hand, a fast growing rate of chronic illnesses is recorded everywhere across the world.
Thus, if in 2001, the chronic diseases were representing 46% of all diseases, being responsible for 60% out of the 56.5 million deaths reported annually on the planet, one anticipates that, by 2020, this ratio will become overwhelming. For the chronic neurologic diseases only the growth will be of 57%.
This is statistics based on the realities of modern society.
The ageing process is a complex one, without a direct link between the physical and mental skills, meaning that help one person needs has to be adjusted in a unique manner to his/her individual requirements.