TOPIC Project

AAL  Call 5

List of participants:

1 (Coordinator) Vienna University of Technology TUW University Austria

2 ilogs mobile software GmbH ILOGS SME Austria

3 SOZIAL GLOBAL Aktiengesellschaft SOGL SME Austria

4 University of Siegen USI University Germany

5 SOPHIA Franken GmbH & Co KG SOPHIA SME Germany

6 COCUS Technology GmbH COCUS SME Germany

7 Technology University of Troyes UTT University France

8 E-Seniors ESENIORS ESE France

9 Lokeo LOKEO SME France

10 Webinage WEBINAGE SME France

TOPIC aims to support informal carers in their daily needs with a CarePortfolio. It is an integrated set

of shared spaces and services to support the physical and mental care ability of informal carers by enabling learning and orientation about care, by offering a platform for cooperation with formal carers, by improving, integrating, and making (mobile) multimodal communication easier and accessible for informal carers to connect with other informal carers, friends, or family members.

In this project, we claim that we can help informal carers to alleviate stress and increase independency and efficiency of daily informal care giving tasks. We challenge this mainly by the provision of social support, which Thoits’ (1986) has defined as a “multidimensional phenomenon that may be expressed through a number of different processes such as the provision of information and advice, help with care giving, or communicating concern and compassion for the caregiver”.


The aimed service models

Current available services are sometimes inaccessible to elderly and informal carers because of their limited exposure to modern ICT technologies. TOPIC will provide services which will be used to create spaces for informal carers to get information and learn new skills, interact with others, exchange some goods and services, and monitor the care they provide. As depicted on Figure 1, services are combinable and relate to the three dimensions of social support:


Informational Dimension

This dimension represents services providing information of different type:

·         docIT offers functions for filtering and personalisation of health related information provided by several health care information sources.

·         courseIT gives access to eLearning services, which are filtered according to the needs of the informal caregiver (how to dress and undress your relative, how to play games improving cognitive functions, etc.).

·         askIT is used to ask a question to a professional caregiver. With a notification mechanism the informal carer is informed about the receipt of an answer. Questions & Answers are structured by different criteria, like by topic, time, personal or shared.

·          In order to profile the spaces of the informal caregivers, in other words, to define what information to provide, which online courses to offer, which professional caregivers to give access to,

·         captureIT helps informal carers to self-capture their situation. The data gathered can be about the pathology of relative the carer takes care, about the circumstances at home, about the knowledge s/he has or does not have, about his or her needs, his or her state of mind, etc. For capturing the audio or textual information, innovative interactive mobile interfaces are used. The informal caregivers is regularly asked if s/he wants to make this capture evolve. This evolution is also used for profiling.


Emotional Dimension

This dimension represents services recognised as essential to social support. It refers to sympathy, empathy, friendship, or love expressed through the support experience sharing.

·         communicateIT can be easily used to establish an audio or video communication channel with a person through the Internet.

·         To be spontaneous in triggering contact with others, it is important to know who is available or who one can talk to at that moment. This awareness information will be available through

·         Friends can send gestures like “I think of You” to each other by combining communicateIT and contactIT.


Tangible Dimension

This dimension will support elderly informal carers in terms of work organisation and remote assistance. These services provide better autonomy and independency.

·         timetableIT enables the management of medicament and appointments with nurses, doctors, and other health care institutions.

·         exchangeIT permits to exchange goods and services among informal caregivers. For instance, they can give ambulatory devices they do not need anymore, or exchange respite care services (3 hours of “nanny sitting” for instance).

·         securityIT gives access to data coming from tracking and/or fall-detecting devices. The informal caregiver can then be easily informed (by looking at her/his smartphone) if his/her relative has fallen down or his/her position (for demented relatives for instance).


Figure 1: TOPIC CarePortfolio.



All the services provided by the TOPIC CarePortfolio are used to access the CarePortfolio spaces users can visit and populate:

The Learning Corner is a space shared by formal and informal caregivers.

·         Informal caregivers create their profile by entering some information about their current situation and by tailoring it according to their needs. Profiles help configure and depict the dedicated information and services for each informal carer. It contributes to an auto evaluation of the burden of the caregiver and is a way for him/her to start thinking about help.

·         Informal carers can ask questions to professional caregivers. Previous Questions&Answers are structured and accessible.

·         Informal caregivers can follow online training (e-learning) for particular tasks, according to their profile.


The Fun Corner is a “way out” space.

·          Informal caregivers can follow Laughter Yoga sessions.

·         They can share the “best of” their relatives (by audio, video and/or text): The idea is to be able to laugh about the situation they live by exchanging stories that they can make fun of. Sharing this kind of experiences contributes to the feeling of being part of a community as only the people who share the same situation can understand this type of humour.

·         Informal caregivers can also have some fun by accessing a bank of sketches by well-known performers (the selected sketches are related with disease, death, family, etc.).

·         Informal caregivers can also find the TV grid to know what they could watch when they have a little time to rest


The Chat Room is the meeting point to talk about anything with selected persons. The conversation is configured by the person who initiates it. The Support Group Corner permits to organise online support group sessions. Informal caregivers can talk about the care provided to the patient and can share experience with people facing the same situation. The support group follows a plan and is scheduled once a week. Everyone can participate but s/he has to be registered to a session. Sessions for spouse and children will be separated. The conversation is configured by the person who initiates it.


The Market Place is a place to exchange or give objects and/or services between peers.

The Surveillance Corner is the place where the informal caregivers can access data coming from the surveillance devices which may be installed in the home of the person they are taking care of.

Emergency numbers are also available.

Officiel website

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