Social Media as Assistive Care Technology

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has received funding from two companies to enhance the design of and evaluate communication technology use in care homes.
One company, Vision4Technology, is developing an easy-to-use video call system for older people. The EDA team of Ania Bobrowicz, Jim Ang and Panote Siriaraya, whose PhD work deals with healthy ageing and virtual worlds, will carry out heuristic evaluation to improve the interface design of the system and will conduct observational studies to assess the acceptability of the system by the residents and their relatives.
The second project aims to enhance communications for care home residents using social media such as online social networking (e.g. Facebook, mobile apps, etc). The ultimate goal of this project is to allow for more independent living, giving residents control over their day-to-day communication with their networks outside the home. The EDA team of Jim Ang, Steve Kelly, Mike Fairhurst, and Marjory Da Costa Abreu, who has recently completed her PhD, will carry out comprehensive evaluation studies to assess the impact of this communication system to the residents, carers and relatives.