WoQuaz DS

The main goal of WoQuaZ Deployment Site (DS) was to find in an experimental process an optimal setup for the solution called “uLive” in order to get in control of risk situations for the DS users and evaluate the effectiveness and acceptance of the solution. After several months of study and analysis of the data and information obtained through surveys and interviews, the outcome of this experimental journey can be summarized as in the following.

Reference Use Cases:

RUC 1 – Daily Activity monitoring

RUC 4 – Emergency trigger

Resilience actions during COVID-19
The proposed system was appreciated during the confinement by users and relatives since reduce contacts thus the risk of infection, allowing remote videocalls with family and careers and the remote monitoring of the elderly users. Therefore, the analysis of the data has been delayed for months due to the restrictions and the emergency situation.

Socio-demografic distribution

Service benefits

One of the main objectives of the local evaluation was to measure if the users felt safer at home with the proposed system.

About 62,1% of the users felt safer at home during the project execution. This rate is higher in more aged users than in the younger ones.

It was also interesting to see that users below 70 had believed in the system before having experienced it (100%), which decreased dramatically to 64% in the intermediate evaluation, while the elderly between 70 and 80 years had nearly the same trust in the system in the intermediate evaluation. Between the intermediate and final evaluation, the people get back trust in the system. But, it also can be seen that the new implementation of uLive after ACTIVAGE iterations has higher acceptance rates for people more in risk of emergency situations. The following figure summarises the final results on system acceptance at the end of the project, per age and per pilot type. 

A very positive result was that the rejection rate of residents at own homes decreased strongly from 11.7% in the intermediate phase to 5.3% in the final evaluation. Especially the younger residents see the system very positive (0% rejection rate at the age of younger than 70). But there is still the group of beyond 90 years where system usage is more due to the social influence of the relatives rather than own perception. With regard to the higher rejection rate of assisted persons in nursing homes (44.1%) one should consider that at care centres, the system actually assists the care personnel rather than the people in need of care. Here the care personnel answered this question with 0% rejecting rate and a 100% recommendation rate due to significantly fewer falls and therefore much less stress. In all, the evaluation showed that the quality of care has been improved.

Service acceptance

Service acceptance was measured using a validated questionnaire UTAUT. The analysis focused on the treatment effects of the different RUCs.

A very important question was whether the users would like to continue using the system after the end of the project. Here 71.5% of the users want to continue using it.

A correlation analysis on these results showed that the DS WoQuaZ had in all eight determinants of user acceptance good results, especially what regards to Self-Efficacy (degree to which one can execute the actions required to deal with prospective situations), Facilitating Conditions (degree to which an individual believes that organisational and technical infrastructure exists to support the use of a system) and Social Influence (degree to which people alter their attitudes and behaviours in response to what they perceive others might do or think).

Cost effectiveness

Since the goal was to reach a marketable product by the end of the project, it was also imperative to be able to compare the costs of the current traditional care situation with the costs of uLive. 

For people who live at own home in WoQuaZ with one of the five care levels officially defined in Germany, the system costs with € 382.97 per month can be compared with € 1,402 costs for traditional care of a person at care level 2. Here, the savings per unit are € 1,019.03 per month or 72.68%. Results in the other care levels are quite similar.

Care level uLive Care costs uLive solution
(additional 111.77 + 100)
Traditional Care Cost savings € Cost savings %
Level 5 513,60 € 725,37 € 2.635,00 € 1.909,63 € 72,47 %
Level 4 366,86 € 578,62 € 2.401,00 € 1.822,38 € 75,90 %
Level 3 256,80 € 468,57 € 1.891,00 € 1.422,43 € 75,22 %
Level 2 171,20 € 382,97 € 1.402,00 € 1.019,03 € 72,68 %
Level 1 85,60 € 297,37 € 1.107,00 € 809,63 € 73,14 %

In cases of femoral neck fractures, for instance, the cost saving is at most € 2,523.23 per month (depending on the increase in care level). 

Admittedly, the cost effectiveness was negative both for people without any care level classification living at own home (who officially have no existing costs to be compared with the pure system costs of ca. € 111.77 per month) and for people in stationary care (with monthly ca. € 13.54 not covered costs). However, the justification of these costs is the advantage of the system in increasing the quality of life / service by avoiding physical and mental suffering for both the assisted people and the carers. One should also consider that the cost saving for the general public had not been in the scope of this analysis and thus could not be determined during the project runtime.

Service sustainability

Based on the evaluation results, and due to the facts that (1) the existing site operators not only continue with the operation of the system but also are developing replication plans, (2) new clients are contacting the DS to acquire uLive, and (3) few contracts have actually been signed, AJT and Fraunhofer IGD as the DS partners in ACTIVAGE have been able to get more concrete with a joint exploitation plan and outline the concept and business plan for incorporating “uCORE Systems GmbH” as the product owner, while benefiting also from the existence of the Fh-IGD spin-off “Assisted Home Solutions (AHS) GmbH” as the business arm in Germany which is the first regional market for uLive. The DS has also developed a three-levels support concept, and have set up the first version of an infrastructure needed for remote support and automatic updates. Further developments to complete this infrastructure are ongoing.

Thus, the creation of uCORE is the main pillar for the sustainability of uLive. It will allocate the needed human resources for the maintenance and further development of uLive and providing the third-level support. It will also set up the needed infrastructure for system management at the different levels of individuals, single buildings and their operators, the care provider institutions such as DRK / BRK and Johanniter, distributors such as AHS, and the uCORE itself. It will strive for becoming the business arm of the universAAL IoT Coalition (uIC) while benefiting from being part of the ACTIVAGE IoT-AHA ecosystem, this way reducing the technological risks.