Section: New Software and Platforms


Keywords: Health - Mobile application - Persons attendant - Home care

The HomeAssist platform (or DomAssist in french) proposes a systemic approach to introducing an assistive technological platform for older people. To do so, we formed a trans-disciplinary team that allows (1) to identify the user needs from a gerontological and psychological viewpoint; (2) to propose assistive applications designed by human factors and HCI experts, in collaboration with caregivers and users; (3) to develop and test applications by software engineers; (4) to conduct a field study for assessing the benefits of the platform and assistive applications, in collaboration with caregivers, by deploying the system at the actual home of older adults.

The HomeAssist platform is implemented on top of the DiaSuiteBox platform, using a suite of tools, namely DiaSuite, that have been designed, developed and tested by our research group at Inria. The DiaSuite tools include a dedicated integrated development environment that enables applications to be developed quickly and safely. This technology has been successfully applied to a variety of domains where environments consist of networked objects that need to be orchestrated.


HomeAssist offers an online catalog of applications. Using this catalog, the user and the caregiver determine what and how activities should be assisted by selecting the appropriate assistive applications and configuring them with respect to the user’s requirements and preferences. The resulting set of applications forms a personalized assistive support. Additionally, to respond to evolving needs, our platform allows to stop/remove applications easily and to install new ones from the online catalog.

This platform proposes many applications in three domains of everyday life.

Daily activities:

including activity monitoring, light path, and a reminder.

Home or personal safety:

including entrance monitoring, stove monitoring, and warning if no movements are detected after a certain amount of time.

Communications and social activities:

including collaborative games, videoconference, information about local events, TV programming, etc.

Figure 5. The HomeAssist platform and applications

For video presentations of HomeAssist, see the following:


Several entities have been identified to deliver an assistive support. These entities include (1) technological devices: wireless sensors (motion detectors, contact sensors and smart electric switches), and two tablets, and (2) software services (agenda, address book, mail agent, and photo agent) to monitor everyday activities and propose assistive applications. Sensors are placed in relevant rooms in the house: kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and around the entrance.

Figure 6. HomeAssist devices

Functional Description

3 mobile applications for assistive living : (1) DiAndroid : Interface for the main tablet with the DiaSuiteBox applications including those for the daily activities, the meetings scheduling, etc. and for home and personal safety; (2) Accueil : home screen restraining the use of a secondary tablet and offering communications and social activities applications with simplified communication means (ie. eMail), collaborative games, etc.; (3) eMail : mail client made for older people.