A short summary of the challenge addressed and the overall project idea

Living well with Anne Project is an initiative that is part of the Active & Assisted Living Programme (AAL Programme) that was approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. It aims to adapt and develop an existing ICT virtual assistant currently used by independent and autonomous older adults so that it can benefit people with cognitive and other problems related to the aging process and dementia.

Dementia means high health care expenses. To secure the sustainability of the health care system, there is a need for good and affordable alternative support. People with early and advanced dementia experience difficulty in performing daily activities, they have language problems, impaired short-term memory and disrupted circadian rhythm. The virtual personal assistant offers an interesting approach and opportunities to tackle this.

The Personal Virtual Assistant “Anne” will be especially tailored to the changing needs of people with dementia (PwD). “Anne” shall enable PwD to live independently longer by giving them an easy-to-use, most natural way to interact with assistive technology. “Anne” is able to learn autonomously from its users and gets to know their personal preferences and needs.

In order to achieve this, “Anne” bases on an already developed modular software solution smartly combining several existing technologies such as:

  • Language recognition and generation
  • 3D rendering
  • Adaptive decision control mechanism

and more.

Building on this knowledge already attained in building the basis version of Anne, the project will go beyond the state of the art in avatar technology. It does so in creating a new version of Anne smartly adapting to the individual current needs of a PwD but also moves along with him as his disease progresses.

Among the desired features the Living Well with Anne consortium is aiming to equip Anne with following properties:

  • Dynamic state and progression analysis of the changes in the behaviour and the abilities of the PwD as the disease progresses and the subsequent adaptation of Anne to the changes.
  • Situational context analysis of the specific situations and the typical day-to-tay living patterns of a PwD.
  • Smart, context-sensitive service provision of the standard and newly developed functional modules (Agenda, Radio, News, etc.) and selection of the most suited ones with the required level of complexity.
  • Adaptive user interface provides the selected services in a way that still make them accessible to the PwD.