The Canadian company Aerial and Telefónica are testing an application in Ponferrada for remote care of the elderly or in situations of unwanted loneliness

Presentation of the Remote Care application at the Radio Ponferrada Museum.

The Remote Care solution is a “very new and non-invasive” technology that provides caregivers with detailed information around the clock on the status of users

Carmen Ramos

Ponferrada takes a pioneering step in caring for the elderly. The city council and the Canadian company Aerial, in collaboration with Telefónica, have signed an agreement to offer an application to remotely monitor elderly people or people in situations of unwanted loneliness.

The initiative, called Remote Care and part of the Ponferrada City Lab program promoted by the Tripartite, uses “very innovative and non-invasive” technology to guarantee care for elderly people in vulnerable situations, according to the mayor, Olegario Ramon.

Initiative of great interest

The councilor for the elderly, María Luisa Varela, indicated that the initiative is part of the Tripartite’s “great interest” in combating the “great pandemic” of unwanted loneliness in the municipality, which recognizes that ” we are very concerned” and in which there is “a great lack of information”. He considers that the pilot project promoted by Aerial will make it possible to give the tool to families so that they can have control of the users without the need to make a specific installation. “It perfectly controls all their movements and it is a way to have direct contact between family members or caregivers with these people,” he stressed. “It’s a way of monitoring these lonely situations,” he said.

For his part, the Commercial Director of Aerial in Spain, Javier Barahona, thanked the City Council for the possibility of being able to test this technology in Ponferrada and explained the details of a system that works with Wi-Fi networks with artificial intelligence-based algorithms that are deployed in the cloud and are able to identify, classify and distinguish the movements that occur in a house and expose them either on a smartphone via an app or on a command sheet in the case of companies or institutions.

Environmental Passive Technology

As a novelty, this technology is totally passive from an environmental point of view since “the monitored person has nothing to do, has no interaction to do, does not have to press any button or wear a bracelet or pendant”, Barahona said. In addition, it is very respectful of people’s privacy and dignity, since it does not use any type of camera nor does it take biometric data, but rather provides information through the distortions generated by movement. of the monitored user in the waves of the Wi-Fi Network. “These distortions are the ones that are sent to the cloud and these artificial intelligence algorithms analyze them, classify them and then expose them and with this we can know what is happening” , said the representative of the company Aerial.

Thus, the application makes it possible to know each of the person’s movements, what time they got up, what time they went to bed, if they sleep badly, if they have a high or a low level of operability , in which areas of the house moves or if you fall. In view of this data, the application generates notifications to caregivers that would allow the corresponding action protocols to serve them. “It is important to have connectivity in the homes,” said Barahona, who explained that for this they have the support of Telefónica to guarantee that they can carry out massive deployments of lines and guarantee customer service.

Telefónica’s public administration sales manager, Rosa María Lázaro-Carrasco, highlighted the company’s interest in making technology available to people and showed its support “for the development of innovative applications such as which offer non-invasive solutions and which facilitate the autonomy of our elders”. To guarantee connectivity, he recalled the opening of several 5G nodes in Ponferrada, which reinforces the deployment of fiber carried out in 2016. ” Our connectivity here is guaranteed,” he said.

15 agreements signed

The Mayor of Ponferrada recalled that there are already 15 agreements signed by the City Council within the framework of the Ponferrada City Lab initiative to promote public-private collaboration agreements in order to support entrepreneurs and companies that have innovative solutions .

In this sense, he pointed out that the new technological solution proposed for the care of the elderly in the municipality is linked to the concern of the tripartite government team to combat unwanted loneliness, a program that makes the municipality from Ponferrada a pioneer.

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