Pharaon deployment in Apulia, Italy

Six months after the beginning of the experimentation activities of the Pharaon project in the Apulia Pilot site, the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Research Hospital (CSS) counts 13 older adults, 13 family members (sons, daughters or nephews of the older adults) and 7 healthcare professionals as active participants in the group of validators of the technologies. In parallel, CSS recruited group twenty older adults, twenty informal caregivers (family members of the older adults) and seven professional caregivers for the control group.

Recruitments are performed at the outpatient services of the Geriatrics Unit of the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Research Hospital, and thanks to the Pharaon dissemination and communication actions taken internally at the Hospital, further involvement is created with the employees of the facilities at the hospital and their parents.

The study is divided into two scenarios of technology testing: the Socialization and Stimulation service and the Monitoring service.

Socialization and stimulation service: The participants of this scenario are provided with a tablet, that hosts the Sentab application, to be used in their own homes. Sentab is a multiplatform Social Network through which people can interconnect, make phone and video calls, be part of virtual communities, keep updated with local events and healthy habits, as well as remain in contact with family members and assistants and play cognitive stimulation games such as sudoku. CSS delivers to the participants a tablet and an Internet connection, if not already available. The recruitment session for each participant lasts one hour during where the CSS team administers a set of questionnaires and trains users on the proper use of the devices. This scenario started in March 2022 and the CSS team is administering to the participants the questionnaires for the technology evaluation after six months of utilization.

Monitoring service: The participants of this scenario are provided with wearable and environmental sensors for the monitoring of the health status and physical activity of the person (movements, steps, heart rate, sleep, microclimate in their homes). Assistants and family members as well as healthcare professionals can observe the daily life health conditions of the person through the Discovery digital interactive dashboard, a web-based app for PCs, tablets, and smartphones. CSS delivers to the participants a Fitbit smartwatch, a smartphone, a movement sensor (PIR), an Air Quality sensor, and a router for the internet connection, if not already available. The experimentation of technologies in this group started in September 2022 and counts the recruitment of three older adults and three family members to date. The CSS team is engaged in the training activities for the users for the proper use of the technologies and the configuration of new experimentation equipment.