In recent decades, modern developed societies, particularly those in the so-called Western world, have seen a sharp increase in life expectancy as well as a simultaneous significant ageing of the population. Combined with intense underbirth, an ageing population alters the age pyramid, forming a different type of society with at least significantly differentiated elements compared to the past. According to demographic data, the total elderly population is expected to grow 3 times and reach 2 billion people by 2050. However, different societies around the world are not prepared to meet the needs and demands arising from the global increase in the elderly population.
More specifically, in 2000 twelve countries had over 10 million people over the age of 60 while five of them had over 20 million elderly people [UN 2015]. For the first half of the 21st century this total population is expected to grow 3 times and reach 2 billion people by 2050 [UN 2015]. However, the world and much more household equipment/tools are not yet prepared for the needs of this part of the world's population. Despite technological developments, even in a developed economy such as that of the USA, older people who continue to live at home require help and care from specialists or not caregivers [Mitzner 2011]. Although older adults prefer to stay at home as they grow up [AARP], older people who retire to nursing homes may require special/special care as well. Typically it is reported that the majority of adults over the age of 65 live in private homes with their partner but several also live alone (about 30%). 005] and 5% with official assistance [HAHS 1998]. hearing, perception to movement and self-service significantly reducing the possibility of independent living. The rate reporting significant incapacity for movement increases to 56% for people over the age of 80 [HAHS 2009].
Greece has one of the most ageing populations in the European Union (2th with 21.5% after Italy according to official Eurostat statistics and 5th worldwide, presenting a marked upward trend in ageing which is expected to strengthen even further in the coming years. These data express an important challenge for everyday life, the operation of modern health and social welfare systems. Today's society, caring for the man of tomorrow, must face a major challenge: how do we manage to adequately care for our fellow human beings, who are getting older by offering a holistic system to upgrade their quality of life and activities?
The elderly most of all need a friendly and safe home smart environment that will act protectively during their various activities. The development of technology, in particular electronic, electrical, networked devices and systems, combined with modern monitoring, forecasting and assistance techniques, can make a significant contribution, upgrading the quality of life of older people to enjoy a greater degree of safety and independence at least at home. On this basis, the ASPIDA programme includes a number of innovative technologies that are articulated in a highly effective integrated system, and which are able to assess potential health risks as well as to predict unpleasant situations in the early course of the activity of older people. In this way the physical dysfunctions of the elderly can be assessed for their possible connection to other health issues which can be prevented in a timely manner and effectively avoided. A particular basis is given to falls, which occupy the first place of mortality by accident, and are responsible for more than 40% of deaths from injuries in people of elderly.ης According to experts the causes of risk of physical dysfunctions and falls and are related to various issues as well as health problems. In order to effectively prevent them, it is important to analyse in detail the conditions that favour them – by realizing their reasoning we can also have the necessary mentality to take appropriate preventive measures.
Advances in medicine technology and public health combined with increased information on nutrition and personal hygiene have paved the way for a dramatic increase in life expectancy globally. However, increased life expectancy has led to an increasing ageing population, thus jeopardising the socio-economic structure of many countries in terms of the costs associated with the care, care and well-being of the elderly. In order to address the growing need for social care services forης elderly people, it is necessary to develop affordable, discreet and easy-to-use healthcare solutions: The technology of "smart homes" – smarthouses, which include smart IoT "Internet of Things" devices – environmental and portable medical sensors, actuators and modern information communication technologies – allow continuous and remote monitoring of the activity of the elderly at low cost compared to traditional painful practices. Smart homes enable the elderly to stay in their comfortable home environment instead of costly and psychologically aggravating care facilities while at the same time this practice allows caregivers and doctors to monitor in real time the overall health status of the elderly and provide remote support.
The use of traditional medical practices does not adequately respond to the challenges of the needs of theης elderly, while they cost significantly. For this reason, new ideas, policies and technologies must be developed and put at the service of man. Aspida aims to exploit and develop the technologies of the Internet of Things, medicine, kinesiology, micro-nano electronics, robotics, automatic control, communications and digital development, etc. in order to deliver a new tool for the assistance and independent living of the elderly. By enhancing the safety of the home environment for themselves and their families, it seeks to reduce the impact of falls and to diagnose problems related to it in a timely manner, by developing a pioneering system to enhance active aging and improve the quality of life within a smart home, significantly reducing costs for the state and aiming to anticipate and prevent recovery.
Increasing the possibility of self-living: The timely response to an emergency takes place mainly invasively. Thus, health issues can be prevented/avoided in a timely manner and, if they occur, addressed immediately and effectively as falls occupy the first place of mortality by accident, and are responsible for more than 40% of injury deaths in the elderly. Using modern technological measuring household solutions, it is possible to exploit a variety of data related to the nature and manner of the decline of older people which, if exploited, can provide important answers to the challenge of avoiding unpleasant situations and fall injuries. The ASPIDA proposal includes a series of advanced innovative technologies that are articulated in a highly effective integrated system, and which are able to assess potential risks or health conditions in order to act in a timely manner preventing dangerous health situations in the activity of our elderly co-people and even people with mobility problems. Thus, within the ASPIDA proposal, it is envisaged to cooperate the mechanisms for assessing the physical-kinesiological-biometric status of the individual with mechanisms for making optimal decisions with the ultimate goal of automated optimization of the physical empowerment routine, adapted to the needs and specificities of the individual before or after an accident to reduce dangerous events. With the ultimate aim of ensuring the autonomy of action and self-service of the individual and reducing deaths related to lack of freedom of movement [Kawamura 1995, Stamos 2012].
Reducing the cost of hospitalisation: Undoubtedly, the costs of hospitalisation for each elderly person are high both for the state and especially forης elderly people. The system of protecting the elderly from falls and detecting related problems at an early stage will seriously reduce in addition to adverse events in relation to their health and the often unwanted months of induction into medical treatment and rehabilitation centers. A process that in addition to the financial burden has a significant positive impact on the psychology of the elderly man. Thanks to the system, it is possible to observe in detail by modern means for 24 hours, which aims to study the behavior and action of the elderly in a fully safe space that offers him multiple facilities both digital and logistical. Cases that simply require observation during treatment or recovery can be avoided and replaced by the system in a safe and non-costly manner.
Improving and decongesting health services: ASPiDA will be able to collect and evaluate real-time data by extracting conclusions and evaluations of medical content. In line with the requirements and specificities of the situation, it is possible to adapt to different types of users and specificities. The system will also include a library of data collection from a variety of users for use by health services. Thanks to this, the collection of data specifically on falls events will be an important source of data for the effective treatment and prevention of falls and related health problems for future generations of older people. At the same time, the system aims to decongest the existing health system and its proper functioning.
Improving the quality of life of the elderly: A main objective of the programme is to improve the quality of life of the elderly with the help of technology and targeted automations that meet the needs of the elderly self-adjusting in the face of the requirements of the objectives to defend his physical integrity and health. Thanks to the system, the elderly person will feel safe in a space that will automatically adapt to his needs and work with him and for him. Thanks to a particularly friendly environment of interaction between the elderly and the system, the elderly will be able to discover modern technologies, knowledge and use it for their benefit. The system will be such that it embraces every person regardless of social group or education and its use will be done simply in a non-intrusive but protective way.
The production of an innovative commercially exploitable holistic nursing system:The imperative of aged care is observed not only in Greece or Europe, but worldwide. The system aims to produce holistic observation and care systems for elderly people from medical centres, nursing centres, social security systems as well as the elderly themselves and their relatives. By promoting the use of smart homes friendly to the elderly and the environment, an economical solution that will reduce unnecessary costs as well as the painful and tiring situations that burden the sensitive psychology of the elderly will respond to the concerns and morality of modern man: The system does not tend to replace the provision of human care, but to improve support for people ofης elderly as well as their caregivers.