Europe has one of the fastest ageing population worldwide. Today, one-eleventh of the world’s population (809 million) is over the age of 60 and this number is expected to grow to one-fifth (2 billion) by 2050. Such a profound change in demographics calls for development of technologies that helping the older adults remain independent, ensuring their safety and security. The technology market tries to respond to those needs but still there are market between the rapidly growing demand for Active and Healthy Aging (AHA) products and services and the available offers for technological solutions that can effectively detect dangerous walking patterns of older adults who are on a walk outside.
The “PROLONG – Portable Receiver to improve Older adults’ safety through gait analysis using Opportunistic Networking and very high accuracy Galileo-based location” is an innovative project funded by European GNSS Agency. The name of the project clearly defines the main activities, which will be performed focused on creating a system capable of performing gait analysis (analysis of locomotion) based on very accurate PNT (Positioning, Navigation and Timing) data, detecting conditions of possible danger (e.g., unstable walking pattern, wandering, fall) and then generating an alert (e.g., playing a loud beeping sound and sending an alert to a care person).
The PROLONG consortium is a multidisciplinary team from 4 European countries with a high level of scientific and business expertise, and a large capacity for cooperation in development of innovative breakthrough technologies, applications and services:
- Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France – Project Coordinator
- Université Côte d’Azur, France
- WITA S.r.l., Italy,
- Sapienza University, Italy,
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and
- INI-Novation GmbH, Germany.
Our mission is to fill the gap between the rapidly growing demand for Active and Healthy Ageing products and services, and the lack of technical solutions that can effectively detect abnormal or dangerous walking patterns when older adults are outside their homes.
PROLONG will design and manufacture a prototype of a device as a portable GNSS-IoT tracker to be carried in a pocket as a keychain or to be worn as a belt, bracelet or necklace attachment.
Throughout the project life cycle, the PROLONG team applies agile methodologies for designing field studies and conducting tests together with target users in so-called co-design processes – from design to development, to testing and to demonstration.
More news are coming.