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International Journal of Health Geographics 2007, 6:9

Smith cleverly notes: "Prior to mobile phones, the most com- mon opener to a telephone conversation was 'How are you?' Today, on a wireless phone, more conversations open with 'Where are you?'"[7] Such GPS-enabled mobile phones (GPS-enabled cameras and other gadgets also exist) will not just enable millions of people to collectively annotate the Earth in ways never done before [8], but will also open many other exciting and much needed location-based service possibilities and opportunities. On such an oppor-

tunity is perfectly

exemplified

in

CAALYX

[9].

What is CAALYX?

CAALYX (Complete Ambient Assisted Living Experiment, 1st January 2007–31st December 2008) is a two-year project partially funded by the European Commission (EC) under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6 – con- tract number IST-2005-045215 – in response to Strategic Objective: eInclusion Call 6). The total EC contribution to CAALYX is 1,850,000.00 Euros.

The project has a total of eight participants in six Euro- pean countries: Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo, Spain (Coordinator), Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores do Porto, Portugal, Corscience GmbH & Co KG, Germany, COOSS Marche Onlus, Italy, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital (NHS), United kingdom, Synkronix Ltd, United Kingdom, and University of Limerick, Ireland, with the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, who for the purposes of this project, is an affiliate of the University of Limerick.

CAALYX aims at increasing older people's autonomy and self-confidence by developing a wearable light device capable of measuring specific vital signs of the elderly, detecting falls, and communicating automatically in real time with his/her care provider in case of an emergency, wherever the elderly person happens to be, at home or outside. Specifically, CAALYX's objectives are:

important in determining probable critical states of an elder's health;

signs and to detect falls of the older person in the domes- tic environment and outside. This gadget will have a geo- location system so that the monitoring system may be able to know the elder's position in case of emergency (especially outdoors);

ised into groups managed by a caretaker who will decide whether to communicate events identified by the system to the emergency service (112); and

http://www.ij-healthgeographics.com/content/6/1/9

operated by the users.

CAALYX considers three main areas of development: the 'Roaming Monitoring System', the 'Home Monitoring System' and the 'Central Care Service and Monitoring Sys- tem' (Figure 1):

The Roaming Monitoring System intends to monitor unobtrusively the older person when carrying out his/her daily activities in an independent way, both in the home and outdoors. Several vital signs besides falls will be measured and automatically communicated together with his/her geographic position to the Central Care Service in case of emergency, so that a rescue unit can be dispatched in a timely manner.

The Home Monitoring System intends to extend the monitoring in the home environment, integrating other monitoring devices and sensors, as well as to integrate home automation devices in the system. Another impor- tant aspect is the support for video communication and VoIP (Voice over IP) using the TV set, which can also be used for remote monitoring and service-provision. This platform opens new possibilities for on-demand services for the elderly, like grocery shopping, cleaning, house- keeping or gardening, and periodic consultation with the doctor or personal caretaker. A key goal is to ensure social inclusion through the provided technology, e.g., video conferencing with friends and relatives, and ensuring local events awareness.

The Central Care Service and Monitoring System will receive alerts from subscribed elder persons. The caretaker will evaluate whether received alerts need to be communi- cated to the emergency service (112), in which case the geographic position and data about the likely type of emergency (fall, stroke, etc.) will be provided to the emer- gency service, so that a suitably equipped emergency team may be dispatched in a timely manner to the patient's location. Besides this service, video-communication with the home environment will be provided to attend to the older person's demands. Other possible services include reminders to take pills, activity and scheduled visit reminders, e-visits, etc.

CAALYX uses a bottom-up design approach with full user representatives' involvement to satisfy final and interme- diate user needs. Further details about CAALYX, including a typical Case Study illustrating the above functions in everyday use, are presented in the online public project presentation [10].

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