PHArA-ON: Research project for supporting the smart and active living for Europe’s ageing population

Europe is ageing and its demographic evolution introduces societal, political and economic challenges. The ever-growing ageing population is faced with considerable negative consequences for their independence, quality of life and for the sustainability of the healthcare system. That is why the PHArA-ON project will utilise new technologies, solutions and services for the benefit of both healthy and frail ageing adults.

The PHArA-ON Project (Pilots for Healthy and Active Ageing) is a four-year innovation action project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The main aim is to provide support for Europe’s ageing population by integrating digital services, devices, and tools into open platforms that can be readily deployed while maintaining the dignity of older adults and enhancing their independence, safety, and capabilities. The project will utilise a range of digital tools including connected (IoT) devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud and edge computing, smart wearables, big data, and intelligent analytics that will be integrated to provide personalised and optimised health care delivery.

PHArA-ON objectives

Over the duration of the project, PHArA-ON aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • IDENTIFY the current state of interoperability between widely used platforms and partner solutions and solutions from third parties involved.
  • IMPLEMENT personalised analytics that provide older adults and their caregivers with the most pertinent physical and mental health as well as wellbeing information.
  • DEMONSTRATE the feasibility of integrating the PHArA-ON platforms with existing systems related to intelligent transport and mobility, energy optimisation, and smart cities.
  • ENSURE user-friendly human-computer interaction modes that address various capacity limitations and provide rapid access to useable information.
  • VALIDATE the PHArA-ON platforms at an early stage providing feedback to the function and usefulness of these platforms and their integrated technologies
  • INVOLVE new stakeholders and their technologies, products, or services in the different ecosystems through the launch of open calls

PHArA-ON pilots

PHArA-ON integrated platforms will be validated in two stages: Pre-validation and large-scale pilots (LSPs), in six different pilot sites: Spain (Murcia and Andalusia), Portugal, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Italy. A set of development tools will be created and made publicly available to simplify the customisation and integration. These tools and the results of dissemination will spread the generated knowledge to promote the development of new solutions similar to PHArA-ON. In order to objectively assess the value and efficacy of the PHArA-ON platform, proven metrics and standards will be used.

Outcomes of the project

PHArA-ON, as a highly interoperable and open solution will allow the integration of new and existing technologies, which will facilitate smart and healthy ageing services into a single platform. Such a dynamic and easily adaptable solution will contribute towards the homogenisation of the current fragmented market. As such, PHArA-ON will be designed from the ground-up to provide a holistic framework, which can be freely used or adapted by European SME’S and the overall industry.

By implementing digital innovations for EU citizens, PHArA-ON will demonstrate added-value for the efficiency of healthcare systems as well as for involved users and caregivers. As a result, PHArA-ON will empower its users to look after their health, stimulate prevention and enable feedback and interaction between them and their healthcare providers. Furthermore, through increased end-user involvement into expressing actual needs, it will be possible to address accessibility, privacy, security, vulnerability, liability, and trust issues.

On the other hand, PHArA-ON’s enhanced interoperability approach will increase the competitiveness of the European ICT industry in the healthcare domain and will be beneficial for business and the overall market. Building synergies between Member States and regional initiatives, will foster scientific excellence, innovative cross-border solutions, job creation as well as strengthening the competitiveness and growth.

Members of the consortium

The PHArA-ON consortium brings together 40 partners from 12 EU member states in order to ensure representation and participation both internationally and across sectors, which include healthcare, industry, research and academia, standardisation institutes, public authorities and user representatives.

The project is coordinated by University of Florence (Italy) and the contributing partners include Fondazione Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (Italy), UP Umana Persone (Italy), Co-Robotics S.r.l (Italy), Orthokey Italia SLR (Italy), Technical Research Centre of Furniture and Wood of the Region of Murcia (Spain), Murcia Health Service (Spain), Polytechnical University of Cartagena (Spain), My Energia Oner SL (Spain), Diputación Provincial de Jaén (Spain), University of Jaén (Spain), Ageing Social Lab Foundation (Spain), Robotnik Automation SLL (Spain), Indra soluciones tecnologías de la información SLU (Spain), Irmandade da Santa Casa da Misericordia da Amadora IPPS (Portugal), University of Beira Interior (Portugal), Caritas Diocesana de Coimbra (Portugal), University of Coimbra- Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal), Maastricht Instruments (Netherlands), Roessingh Research and Development B.V (Netherlands), Stichting Nationaal Ouderenfonds (Netherlands), University of Twente (Netherlands), AdSysCo B.V Netherlands), Innorenew CoE (Slovenia), National Public Health Service of Slovenia (Slovenia), Izola Retirement Home (Slovenia), Ericsson Nikola Tesla d.d (Croatia), Ascora GmbH (Germany), Stelar Security Technology Law Research UG (Germany), GIP Autonom’Lab (France), Information Catalyst for Enterprise, Ltd (UK), AGE Platform Europe (Belgium), MINDS & SPARKS (Austria), Glintt Healthcare Solutions (Portugal), SenLab IoT Solutions (Slovenia), SenTab Estonia (Estonia), University of Tartu (Estonia), Deutsches Institut für Normung (Germany) and Tecnologie Informatiche e Loro Aplicazione (Italy).

MINDS & SPARKS is leading the work package dedicated to exploitation and innovation management, where the main goal is to increase the commercialization of the platform, its services and single components. To this end, MINDS & SPARKS is integrating its own data-driven information catalogue with integrated intelligent product advisor for exploitation purposes.

Open Calls, MAFEIP, pilots, older adults, smart wearables, AI, cloud computing, big data, intelligence analytics. platforms, standards, marketplace, privacy, cybersecurity