IT Funk has been The Norwegian Research Council's RTD-programme on ICT for people with disability.
Universal design and accessibility for all. The purpose of IT Funk has been to contribute to accessibility for all, including persons with disability, to information and communication technology (ICT) and to society through the use of ICT. ICT-based products and services developed for the general market must be accessible and useful for everyone at reasonable prices. IT Funk has paid special attention to areas where accessibility issues impact on a person's life chances, such as education, employment and basic services to citizens.
Project acronym: V2me
Partners (9): Hospital IT AS (Norway), CAMeRA VU University Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Germany), Diakonie Neuendettelsau (Germany), Mawell Ltd (Finland), Graz University of Technology (Austria), Université du Luxembourg (Luxembourg), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, User Interface Design GmbH (Germany).
Project coordinator - joint project: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Research Institute), Germany.
Project manager - Norway: Flemming Hegerstrøm, Hospital IT AS
Primary objective: V2me combines real-life and virtual social network elements to prevent and overcome loneliness in Europe's aging populations. V2me will encourage older people to continue participating in society, share their knowledge and experiences, and stay mobile and cognitively agile. To achieve this, the project will provide improved ICT-based social connectedness and social network services and activities, with particular emphasis on acceptance by seniors.
The accessibility of regular social network facilities for elderly people is lacking in many important aspects,. As a result, the aging population is hesitant or refuse to join such networks. To bridge this gap, the V2me approach combines state-of-the-art social science knowledge from psychology, social gerontology, and communication with high-tech R&D activities to develop an innovative ICT solution that excels in terms of end user acceptance, increased individual well-being, and reduced health care costs.
A particular focus in the project will be sustained end-user acceptance. Also, reduced health expenses and increased well-being through intensified communication will bring a number of economic opportunities. Elderly consumers will be motivated to use more and more advanced communication tools and services provided by the V2me approach. Integrating elderly people in social network activities gives them a better chance to remain fit and active.
Based on scientific theory and research, V2me will use evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to develop a social facilitator that enables both prevention of loneliness among the youngest group (65-74 years) and successful intervention among people over 75.
As an intelligent combination of off-the-shelf and innovative technology (hardware and software) hiding behind a simple, user friendly interface, V2me presents itself as a coach with two distinct functions:
Project summary - Norwegian participation: Hosptal IT participates in three of the nine work packages: User Interface, Application programming and System development.
Project period: April 2010 - April 2013 (Project period extended to September 2013)
Further information/website: http://www.v2me.org
National grant programme in Norway: IT Funk (ICT for disabled and elderly)
This document was first published 26.08.2010, and updated 29.08.2013.