Pharaon Posts! María-Victoria Bueno-Delgado, Pharaon Training Manager

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the important role that ICT plays during lockdowns and when restrictions are imposed on citizens. ICT are essential for working from home, serve to diminish social distance and avoid isolation. The pandemic has also exposed weaknesses in European health and social assistance systems that ICT can address. We can now clearly see a lack of suitable technologies to support and interact with healthcare users, monitoring patients with chronic diseases, caring for older adults, and addressing social isolation.

This situation has reinforced the motivation and goals of Pharaon. It is necessary to bestow innovative ICT solutions on health, care and other social welfare systems that benefit the wellbeing of citizens. They are social game changers, with the potential to make huge improvements in our quality of life.

The Pharaon project is working hard to raise the pillars of the design, development, testing and validation of the Pharaon ecosystem where the deployment of six pilots in Europe will implement cutting-edge technologies. Their power and interoperability will advance the social and healthcare benefits provided by Pharaon as European platform of reference for active and healthy aging.

To ensure the success of the pilots, it is necessary that all target users (professionals in the health field, older adults, chronic patients and caregivers) gain the skills and knowledge about the technologies and applications deployed. However, we have to take into account that older adults are usually reluctant to use new technologies, making training a must.

We have to provide innovative and attractive training for adults and people that lack or not familiar with ICT. We must break down any barriers to increasing and empowering their digital skills. To this end, we will support the pilots’ deployment with the first phase of training activities for the target users.

The design and development of the training materials, such as friendly and easy-to-use manuals, interactive videos, audio and slides, will support a set of face-to-face, blended and online training sessions that will permit us to transmit knowledge in an efficient and effective manner to the users in the Pharaon ecosystem.

Trainers at the pilot sites have an important role as well. They must be able to teach users how to use the technologies deployed at the pilots, and show the target users that the IT devices and apps are friendly drivers towards to a fully-connected world, that will provide assistance, monitoring and care even though physical distancing may be required. Pharaon will try to overcome the social and healthcare distance to make users feel cared for, close to each other and their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

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