Nestore coaching: promoting active aging

Nestore coaching: promoting active aging

European researchers are working on a new personalized coaching system: It should help to stay mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy as you get older. How does it work and what do users think about it? The subject in this Futuris article.

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Stay fit and healthy in old age

Engineers and developers in Milan are working on a new personalized coaching system designed to keep people mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy - at least that's the theory. Before we look at the technology, we meet a man in the Netherlands who has tested the system.

67-year-old Cor Heukels is one of 30 Dutch people who are testing the new personalized coaching system "Nestore". 

The scientist Canan Ziylan, senior scientist at the University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam, explains to him the devices used to monitor functions ranging from nutrition to social contacts and cognitive abilities to sleep and physical fitness. 

The aim of the EU-funded Nestore project is to promote active aging. It is also tested whether the users like it.

"In our opinion, we have all the elements for a holistic approach," Canan Ziylan says. "But it remains to be seen whether the system will also be accepted by older people, whether they like it or not."

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The system collects a lot of data - one example: Cor Heukels tells Nestore what he eats. A sensor on the refrigerator monitors the activity: "You place a sensor on the refrigerator door. It measures how often and when the door is opened. This gives you a good idea of ​​the habits," says the scientist.

Cor Heukels is in good health, he is open to the attempt: "I have no intention of changing my entire lifestyle. But I will take a very close look at what the devices indicate and take that into account. But that does not mean that I change my daily routines. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me. "

Aging Europe

Facts for the EU:

  • More than 20% were 65 years of age and older in 2019.
  • Over 80-year-olds will make up 14.6% of the population by 2100.

The number of years of healthy life

  • 2018 is an estimated 64.2 years for women and 63.7 years for men.
  • Life expectancy is estimated to be 81 years old in 2018.
  • 3% of total health expenditure goes into disease prevention and health promotion.

Target group: people over 65 years of age

A research and engineering team at the Polytechnic in Milan, northern Italy developed Nestore. The test subjects and their social contacts are monitored with networked sensors. They provide feedback on how to improve your lifestyle. 

The target group is people over 65 years of age. Martina Scagnoli, the researcher at the Milan Polytechnic, says:

"We tried to understand how the senior handles this object, what movements he makes when he is wearing it in order to adapt the device to it."

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Developing a system with a holistic approach that takes care of a person's mind, body, and soul - without being invasive is a great challenge. Ease of use is a key element in this. Giuseppe Andreoni, Professor of Biomedical Design at the Milan Polytechnic, explains:

"Ease of use is a concept that is as simple as it is complex. It does not simply lie in reducing the number of buttons, but in the way, it is used, in the intuitive nature of the device. That the device reacts exactly as expected. The intuitive handling is crucial. "

In the Netherlands a meeting with Cor Heukels in his club. The Nestore project team values ​​the feedback from the test subjects, they want to know whether the coaching system for active and healthy aging works in practice. Canan Ziylan:

"We experts or researchers are of course convinced that the holistic approach is the best, but is that also the opinion of the test subjects? The result is open. We will base our results and recommendations on the feedback."

The Nestore trials are currently running with 90 volunteers in the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain over a period of three months.

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