Elder Social Engagement Gamification/Nudging

Our care systems cannot sustain the cost of the rapidly growing elder population. We need to move from a reactive to a pro-active model of care, and reducing loneliness is known to promote better health and faster recovery from illness and treatment.

The challenge of this project is to create a system which provides a powerful visual image of the health of someone’s social interactions and dynamically evolves that image in real time in response to the actions of friends and family, for example: a garden whose plants and animals grow and multiply in response to social stimuli. Trials of the prototype could provide more objective data.

The Kraydel hub is an IoT device as well as a social engagement platform with the ability to gather additional information on ADLs which may also be reflective of social health, e.g. the number of phone calls per day, the number of hours of TV watching per day. Social health is a key component of an overall mental wellbeing score and there is an opportunity here to develop a richer model of mental wellbeing and how it is sustained in the elderly.

This project applies the following area of Computer Science: software development, social network data analysis, user interface design and “nudge” models. A project of this kind requires participation of elders and their support group to validate the principles and assess effectiveness of various approaches.

In order to create this social engagement gamification/nudging system it is necessary to: (i) gather user requirements and design ideas from potential users, (ii) to prototype and design the mobile application to be used by relatives, friends and carers of elderly users to encourage interactions on a more regular basis, and (iii) develop animations for the system (Kraydel hub) that can be personalised to an environment of their preference.

One of the main aims of the project is to provide the technological means to increase ten-fold the level of communication between elderly users and their friends, relatives and carers. A powerful visual metaphor, combined with rapid satisfying feedback can drive the behaviours which would make the elderly feel more connected, more remembered and loved, and more important to their families.

Social network data analysis and visualisation

Social network data analysis and visualisation

Prototype and design of mobile application

Prototype and design of mobile application