Care & Technology Lab (IMTT)


SONIAnetz

Development of a help mixture by digital networking of consulting and support services

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Social space-oriented supply concepts (e. g. neighbourhood concepts) address specific local conditions and aim at the participatory advanced development of a socially-oriented neighbourhood in the areas of housing, social affairs, help and care. In recent years, they have established themselves as an approach to tackling demographic challenges. Up to now, the possibility of digital tools for supporting neighbourhood concepts has hardly been used – but they offer many advantages for promoting social interaction, broad participation and efficient neighbourhood management.

In the district of Rauner in Kirchheim unter Teck, the SONIA project created structures with an online platform that has successfully established the creation of a community for senior citizens. By linking the virtual space with the real social space, social participation of elderly people in the immediate environment is supported by establishing contacts, communicating information and joint activities. Based on these structures, the SONIAnetz project aims to develop new ways of supporting people in need of help, relieving the burden on caregiving relatives and facilitating social participation.

To this end, the existing platform is to be improved and extended to include the “care and nursing network” aspect.

PROJECT PARTNERS

  • Development Centre “good ageing” GmbH (Entwicklungszentrum Gut Altwerden) (Project Management)
  • Furtwangen University
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO
  • Keppler Foundation

PROJECT AREAS

Online platform for the support of neighbourhood concepts

Social space-oriented supply concepts (e. g. neighbourhood concepts) address specific local conditions and aim at the participatory advanced development of a social proximity in the areas of housing, social affairs, help and care. In recent years, they have established themselves as an approach to tackling demographic challenges. Up to now, the possibility of digital tools for supporting neighbourhood concepts has hardly been used – but they offer many advantages for promoting social interaction, broad participation and efficient neighbourhood management. Within the scope of the SONIA and SONIAnetz projects, IMTT has developed and tested an online platform for supporting neighbourhood structures in cooperation with users. The platform complements activities in the social space with online opportunities for communication and social interaction. The platform provides the residents of the neighbourhood with a specific “neighbourhood app” that

  • offers easy and secure access to selected online services (e. g. video communication, traffic information, etc.) and thus promotes participation in the digital world, even for elderly people without computer and Internet experience.
  • enables them to inform themselves about news and offers in the neighbourhood
  • enables them to communicate with other people in the neighbourhood, both within groups (e. g. clubs, neighbourhoods, hiking groups) and within the entire neighbourhood

As a local social network, the platform provides functions for group building, virtual bulletin boards and the exchange of messages in the neighbourhood. For neighbourhood management, the platform offers the possibility to

  • create transparency about existing offers of all actors in the neighbourhood
  • disseminate information about offers and activities in the neighbourhood (events, activities, etc.) and thus improve the use of offers
  • communicate efficiently with the citizens of the neighbourhood (citizens’ participation)

In contrast to commercial neighbourhood portals on the Internet, the platform offers complete control by local social institutions which operate the platform themselves and thus avoid the collection of personal data (e. g. for advertising purposes).

Online platform for supporting help-mix structures in ambulant care

Most patients want to be cared for as long as possible at home. Although family members feel strongly committed to contributing to nursing care, they are faced with enormous challenges due to increasing employment and geographical distances. In the future, home care will therefore depend to a large extent on a successful care mix, e.g. a combination of informal (family or neighbours) help and professional care. The supply mix also includes transport services, meals on wheels or neighbourly help. Although civic engagement and neighbourly support can also come about on their own, they generally benefit from professional support, e. g. within the framework of organised neighbourhood assistance. Professional services are also necessary to supplement and stabilise private aid.

Until now, communication and coordination in aid networks has often been perceived as a burden. Difficult accessibility by telephone, paperwork, scheduling problems and lack of transparency about tasks and activities of other actors in the aid network are often cited as problem areas. The mobile application CareCircle supports the cooperation of all actors involved in a relief network by providing communication and coordination functions. Professional caregivers, relatives and citizens can thus

  • gain an overview of the participants in the aid network and their role
  • share case-related information via a pinboard
  • use it to coordinate processes with individual or all actors in the network over the network
  • create instant messages with it
  • copy case-related appointments to your own calendar

The special feature of this platform is that it can also be used to map professional support options and structures of organised neighbourhood help. For example, helpers can easily manage several networks. Questions and requests from the network can also be forwarded to a coordinating office (or case manager) if required, who will then provide appropriate support.

Impressions of project work in the context of CareCircle

PROJECT WEBSITE

CONTACT

Prof. Dr. Christophe Kunze

Head of Institute

Professor of Assistive Technologies

Madeleine Renyi, M.Sc.

Academic Researcher

Fields of expertise: Medical technology, App development, Communication technologies

Ramazan Gündogdu, M.Sc.

Academic Researcher

Fields of expertise: Computer Science in Media, App development

funded by: