Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

Regional Initiatives

HomeAssist: Platform for Assisted Living

The objective of this project is to provide an open platform of digital assistance dedicated to aging in place. This project is in collaboration with researchers in Cognitive Science (Bordeaux University) and the UDCCAS Gironde (Union Départementale des Centres Communaux d’Action Sociale) managing elderly care. This project includes a need analysis, the development of assistive applications and their experimental validation.

This work is funded by CARSAT Aquitaine (“Caisse d'Assurance Retraite et de la Santé au Travail”), Aquitaine Region and Conseil Général de la Gironde.

HomeAssist 500 – Populational Study

HomeAssist is an assisted living platform developed by the Phoenix research group at Inria. This platform has been applied to the domain of assisted living for the past two years. From the start, computer scientists and researchers in Ageing and Occupational Therapy have conducted this research effort in close collaboration with the stakeholders of aging in place. An initial set of applications has been developed, relying on a basic set of entities (sensors, actuators and web services). HomeAssist has been deployed in the homes of 24 older adults (matched with 24 control counterparts not equipped) and is currently being assessed. Although ongoing, the preliminary results of this field study show that the platform is well adopted (highly accepted and usable) by the older adults and their families or caregivers. Additionally, benefits from HomeAssist intervention have been demonstrated in terms of well-being, autonomy as well as quality of life (psychological health).

A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of HomeAssist

This RTC will be conducted with older adults, ranging from autonomous to mildly cognitively impaired (e.g., cognitive or physical frailty) Alzheimer disease (AD) in its early stage). The RCT is considered as the gold standard of a true experimental design. Furthermore, it provides strong evidence for causal relationships, as well as the ability to generalize the results to people outside the study's sample. The study design will thus be a single-blinded RCT. It will include up to 500 participants, matched with non-equipped participants. The HomeAssist intervention will involve monitoring as well as compensation services to support independent living in place. The duration of the HomeAssist intervention is of 12 months.

Expected Impact on Elderly Care

Prolonging ageing in place. Our 12-month field study of a large group of participants, combined with a control group, will give a statistical basis to assess the efficacy of our platform to prolong ageing in place for a range of older adults, including participants with mild cognitive impairment. Functional status and nursing needs will be assessed through statistical analyses over the duration of the field study. Subjective and objective measures will be done using such tools as the Multilevel Assessment Instrument or Lawton Scale and the Time-Based IADL. These traditional assessments will be completed by longitudinal in situ actimetric data recorded at home via HomeAssist, for measuring the actual IADL performance.

Secondary criteria of technology efficacy will also be studied, including general cognitive status, memory and executive functioning.

Improving well-being. Socialization activities have proven to be a key factor in well-being. To promote socialization activities, our platform offers a variety of services ranging from the main tablet, running a digital picture frame connected to online albums, to a simplified email client, allowing responses to be voice-recorded, instead of typed on a keyboard. Our platform also supports autonomous realization of daily tasks, which is known to be related to older adult well-being. Additionally, to improve well-being, applications support self-regulation and self-determination in helping the users to conform to their own daily routines via sensor-based activity monitoring and assistive supports (e.g., activity reminders or prompters). Specific assessment tools will be used to measure the well-being and the self-efficacy of the participants over the duration of the study.

Improving the efficiency of the caregiving environment. The actions of the caregiving environment are often limited or impeded by the lack of a proxy at the older adult's home. Such a proxy is needed for a number of actions, including mutualizing the planning of care services, gathering information on older adult activities, reminding of activities and appointments, monitoring potentially unsafe activities and situations. Our online catalog already offers applications materializing a caregiving proxy; the HomeAssist project will expand this catalog with an emphasis on older adults with cognitive impairment. Questionnaires will be administered to caregivers to assess the reassurance impact of our platform in their daily delivery of services (e.g., feeling of burden assessment, Psychological health of caregivers).

Expected Impact on Pervasive Computing

Robustness. The DiaSuiteBox platform will be deployed at a large scale, serving 500 users. This deployment will allow to further test the robustness of DiaSuiteBox beyond the current 24 users in Bordeaux. Various runtime logs will be collected to measure the performance and the behavior of DiaSuiteBox.

Development of assistive applications. Our existing experience in developing assistive applications will be significantly expanded by considering users with cognitive impairment. This situation will result in taking into account additional parameters in the user interactions. We will formalize and report on a methodology to assess users’ need and develop assistive applications, leveraging our current experience and the one of HomeAssist.

A validated assistive platform. An outcome of the HomeAssist project is the validation of the DiaSuiteBox technology as a platform for assisted living. The project will provide a solid basis on which a technology transfer can be achieved. In particular, the following factors will be key measures of the readiness and potential of DiaSuiteBox: diversity of users participating in our field study, the range of applications developed, the variety of devices utilized. The questionnaires administered to the participants will be valuable information for elaborating marketing strategies of the DiaSuiteBox technology.

Technology Transfer

An outcome of the HomeAssist-500 project is the validation of the DiaSuiteBox technology as a platform for assisted living. The project will provide a solid basis for the creation of a startup to market the technology. In particular, the following factors will be key measures of the readiness and potential of DiaSuiteBox: diversity of users participating in our field study, range of applications developed, variety of devices utilized, deployment in 500 homes for a period of 12 months. The questionnaires administered to the participants will be valuable information for elaborating marketing strategies for the DiaSuiteBox technology. Inria, which owns the intellectual property of DiaSuiteBox, is committed to providing the Inria Phoenix group with support to turn this technology into a marketable product.

This work is funded by European Regional Development Funds, CARSAT Aquitaine, (ERDF), Aquitaine Region, Réunica, Conseil Département de Gironde, RPDAD / UDCCAS Gironde, CNSA.


Five percent of the population have Intellectual Disabilities (ID). Individuals with ID have significant socio-adaptive limitations in a variety of daily activities, at home (task planification and execution, medication, home safety, etc.) as well as outside (route planning, itinerary in public transportation, etc.). Individuals with ID, their families, health institutions, caregiving services, and dedicated organizations strive to find ways in which these individuals can live as independently as possible, while promoting their social inclusion in every respect of their life (housing, professional training, employment, leisure, culture, etc.).

The research project ANDDI leverages the abilities of individuals with ID and the recent technological advances to develop a variety of assistive services addressing their daily needs. These services draw on our expertise in cognitive science and computer science, dedicated to assisting users with technologies. In particular, we use our platform, named HomeAssist, dedicated to the independently living of older adults. This platform relies on DiaSuite, our suite of tools for developing applications that orchestrate networked objects, and DiaSuiteBox, our platform that runs an open-ended set of applications, sensors, actuators and web services.

ANDDI addresses users with Down syndrome aiming to live independently; it pursues the following goals:

  1. determining the key obstacles to perform daily activities autonomously and collecting the needs in assistive support expressed by individuals with ID and their family and caregivers;

  2. developing and adapting assistive services available in HomeAssist across an iterative assessment (period of 6 months) of experiences of each individual;

  3. evaluating the efficacy of our developed assistive services across the stages experienced by individuals progressively becoming independent in their daily life (pre-post comparison after 12 months of HomAssist intervention).

This project is the outcome of the OPALI project, described in Section , and is funded by the Aquitaine Region and “Trisomie 21 France” .

Certification of an open platform

The purpose of this project is to define concepts and tools for developing certifying open platforms. This certification process must ensure a set of critical properties (e.g., safety, confidentiality, security) by certifying each tier application. These guarantees are essential to ensure that openness does not come at the expense of the user's well-being. To preserve the innovation model of open platforms, this certification process should also be as automatic as possible. Indeed, the success of open platforms is mainly due to the low development cost of a new application. The case study of this thesis will be the domain of home automation. The results of this thesis will be put into practice in the DiaSuiteBox open platform.

This project is funded by Aquitaine Region.