HOME SWEET HOME - Health monitoring and sOcial integration environMEnt
for Supporting WidE ExTension of independent life at HOME


HOME SWEET HOME is a new project that will trial a new, economically sustainable comprehensive set of home assistance services which is expected to substantially extend the independent living of elderly people.The HOME SWEET HOME service is based on various subsystems which have been merged into a single, comprehensive, elderly-friendly service.

The Pilot sites (210 users of whom 105 in the Intervention Group)

  • Belgium (City of Antwerp, 60 users)
  • Catalonia (Town of Badalona, 30 users)
  • Ireland (North Eastern Region, 60 users)
  • Italy (Town of Latina, 60 users)


The services to be deployed in each of the sites:

The HOME SWEET HOME service is based on the following subsystems which have been merged into a single, comprehensive, elderly-friendly service:

  1. A Monitoring and Alarm Handling Subsystem, consisting of the following components:
  • Touch-screen Base Unit (In-Touch)
  • Elderly-friendly mobile unit (Mambo)
  • Medical devices
  • Environmental sensors
  • Behavioural analysis and monitoring
  1. eInclusion Subsytem, constituted by an Ederly-friendly videoconferencing service (ello!)
  2. Domotic Subsytem
  3. Daily Scheduler
  4. Navigation Subsystem
  5. Mental Faculty Maintaining Subsystem


 The Home Sweet Home Consortium is composed as follows:

  • Health Authorities (Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Azienda USL di Latina, Health Service Executive North-Eastern Area, Louth County Council)
  • Social Authorities (Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen, Louth County Council, Municipalities of the Latina Province[1])
  • Social Service Providers (Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen, Zorgbedrijf De VoorZorg, Badalona Serveis Assistencials, Darco Servizi, Louth County Council, Municipalities of the Latina Province)
  • Healthcare providers (ZNA - Hospital Network Antwerpen, Badalona Serveis Assistencials, Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Azienda USL di Latina, Health Service Executive North-Eastern Area)
  • Technology providers (Digipolis, Klinisch Psychologe St.-Franciskusziekenhuis, Health Information Management SA, Telemedicina Rizzoli, Università La Sapienza – CATTID, Netwell Centre)
  • Contact Centre Providers (Darco Servizi, EuroCross)
  • Healthcare Insurers (Christelijke Mutualiteit Antwerpen)
  • Elderly people representative associations (AGE – the European Older People's Platform)
  • Business Consultants (Health Information Management SA)


Types of users of the HOME SWEET HOME project:

  • Elderly people will see the time span during which they can live independently extended because the services compensate for their growing physical and mental impairments.
  • Relatives and caregivers will be warned of situations of risk according to the notification of protocols agreed for each type of risk, even when they are away.
  • Contact Centre operators will be supported in their work through the automatic detection of risky and emergency situations and will have immediate access to essential information for adequate response (e.g. GPS coordinates of the location from which an alarm has been generated).
  • Social Workers will keep in touch with elderly people they look after, even if they cannot be physically next to them, and will be therefore able to optimise the use of the limited time they have by better targeting their home visits.
  • Healthcare professionals will be able to monitor frail individuals who are at permanent risk even when they are not within the premises of a healthcare outlet and prevent as much as possible the insurgence of acute episodes.
  • Social and Health Authorities will receive reliable information on demand for services that they have to satisfy and will be therefore able to better plan resources and interventions.


Expected impact/outcome of the HOME SWEET HOME project

  • Improving the quality of life of elderly people by extending their independent life (if they so wish), even if they live alone, while providing a level of safety equivalent or better than that enjoyed in elderly homes.
  • Improving the quality of life of caregivers and relatives by offering both respite from the care routine and peace of mind when they are away, knowing that their dears are properly looked after.
  • Improving the social connection of elderly people confined inside the four walls of their flat or house by allowing them to stay in touch visually with their loved ones and the Contact Centre
  • Compensating for growing physical impairments by easy-to-use domotic devices which make it possible to literally “manage the house from an armchair” if elderly people are no more able to move around.
  • Demonstrating a more efficient business model for care provision which reduces the cost of social and health care to elderly people, through better targeting of interventions, early detection of situation of risk and deterioration of mental conditions and closer collaboration among organisations providing care to elderly people.
  • Exploring alternative work flows which compensate for the ever growing shortage of formal caregivers and homecare personnel through the deployment of affordable, reliable and user-friendly technology.
  • Demonstrating that the same technology for AAL can be deployed successfully in different health and social services set-ups.

Impact evaluation

  • The impact of the HOME SWEET HOME system will be measured by comparing a number of indicators for those receiving the HOME SWEET HOME service (the Study Group) and those of another group of elders (the Control Group) over a 27-month Randomised Controlled Trial.

Check out the Home Sweet Home project leaflet, infosheet and overview presentation through this link.


For more information, please contact Nena Georgantzi or Ilenia Gheno

Project number: 250449
Project acronym: HOME SWEET HOME
Project full title: Health Monitoring and Social Integration Environment for Supporting Wide Extension of independent life at Home
Starting date: 1 January 2010
Duration: 2 years
HOME SWEET HOME is Funded under the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme


[1] They are not formally part of the Consortium but have signed a Collaboration Agreement on a voluntary basis with the Azienda USL di Latina

 UniversAAL and Home Sweet Home ‘Enablers for Success' Conference


The ‘Enablers for Success Conference' (E4S) organised by EU projects 'UniversAAL' and 'Home Sweet Home', will take place on 16th January 2014 at the Mobile World Centre auditorium in Barcelona. Experts, IT developers, and end users will be able to share a day with an open exchange of news and views about the ICT support oriented to the Active and Healthy Ageing. Keynote speeches by Mr Paul Timmers, Director at Directorate-General CONNECT of the European Commission and Alexandre Kalache, President of the International Longevity Centre in Brazil, will launch the discussion in 3 roundtables: 1) The barriers between the medical and the social services; 2) The IT perspective and the enablers for success;  3) Secure market’s success: the integration of users’ views. The conference will also host the whole day a 'Demo lounge' where the hosting projects 'universAAL' and 'Home Sweet Home' and others will show demonstrations about their results and features. Registration is open to everyone and free of charge. To register and see the full agenda of the conference you can use the following link: www.eventbrite.com/event/9111650191.

For more information you can contact Ophélie Durand, European Parliament Liaison Officer and Project Officer 


Advisory Board visit to the Irish pilot site in Dundalk


On 18th November, AGE Platform Europe in collaboration with the Netwell Centre, the Irish partner of the Home Sweet Home (HSH) project organised a pilot site visit in Dundalk, Ireland. It was the occasion for the Advisory Board members to visit the fourth and last pilot site before the project ends in February 2014. First the Irish context was explained by the partners, who also updated the group on the technologies within the pilot site.Then the experts, Heidrun Mollenkopf (BAGSO), Angela Cluzel (EDE), Marja Pijl (EUROCARERS) and Blandine Cassou-Mounat (AIM) had the opportunity to witness the use of HSH services in two users’ homes and to reflect on the conclusions we can draw from the use of such technologies. Emphasis was given on economic benefits, involvement of General Practitioners and exit strategies. The suggestion made end 2012 during the visit in Antwerp to collect qualitative data to mitigate drop-outs and ensure better acceptance was also further discussed. Pilot sites dedicated time during autumn 2013 to collect such valuable data according to a questionnaire drafted by the Advisory Board. The latter with the support of AGE and HSH Management team will now analyse the results to draw useful recommendations for future projects and policy initiatives.

For more information, you may contact: Nena Georgantzi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">nena.georgantzi@age-platform.eu) or Ophelie Durand (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">ophelie.durand@age-platform.eu).

Advisory board visit to the Spanish Pilot site

The pilot site was organised by AGE Platform Europe in close cooperation with the Spanish partners running the pilot site. The meeting included an introductory session and first exchange of views on the 16th January with project partners in Barcelona and a pilot site visit in Badalona right after the Home Sweet Home (HSH) Mid-Term Workshop on the 17th January, when experts had the opportunity to witness the technology in two users’ flats.

The experts made the following recommendation regarding the last steps of the project and future deployment of the services

-       Better anticipate a redesign of the overall health delivery plan

-       Need to engage politicians

-       Use mainstream and multifunctional devices to avoid working with outdated devices at the end of the project

-       Better plan long term commitment through large scale studies, integration in funding programmes and primary care, and better training and information for the GPs and patients

-       Look for qualitative data to improve the conclusions on acceptance and future use of technologies

-       Better link with other relevant stakeholders to disseminate HSH outcomes

Advisory board visit in Belgian pilot site

The aim of the Advisory Group (AG) visit to Antwerp was to enable the members of the Advisory Group to get an overview of the Belgian pilot site and to experience the use of HSH technology by older people and professionals in order to evaluate the acceptance, added value and impact of the technologies used and provide advice on specific issues of concern.

Experts and project partners met on 3rd December 2012  in Antwerp at the premises of CM, where they had the opportunity to watch the Home Sweet Home (HSH) movies, to hear a presentation from the HSH Coordinator, and engage in a first exchange of views over lunch. This first round of discussion aimed to familiarise experts with the main aspects of the project and trigger some debate on the current state-of-the-art as well as the future of eHealth and eInclusion technologies for older people’s independent living. At the second stage, the Advisory Board had a short tour of the premises of OLV, before splitting into two groups in order to visit two HSH users in their apartments.

During this meeting the Advisory Group came up with the concrete proposal that the project should collect qualitative data and analyse a small number of use cases. Such analysis is extremely useful in view of the small number of participants and the high number of drop-outs, in order to give depth to the statistical data by explaining which factors act as barriers and drivers to the uptake of technology at the individual level. In fact, understanding the needs and expectations of potential users is also essential for planning the use of resources; such an analysis would therefore complement the statistical study, building a more solid case for these solutions.

Upcoming visits of the Advisory Board

The next visits of the Advisory Board will take place in Antwerp (on the 3rd December) and in Badalona (on the 17th January). 

Impressions and details of what the experts will experience will follow. 

Individual visit of the Advisory Board to the Italian Pilot site


On 12th April 2012, Health Expert Dr. Fausto Felli, member of the Advisory Board of the Home Sweet Home project (HSH), conducted three patient visits in Priverno (Latina, Province of Rome - Italy) in order to assess the technology installed in the patients’ homes and gather some feedback from the older persons using them.

Accompanied by Dr. Luigi Ardia, in charge of the project for the pilot site of Priverno/Latina, Dr. Felli was hosted by 3 patients in  three houses, all equipped with HSH technologies: patients are controlled for diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Dr. Felli highlighted that the diagnostic range of the system is well centered, allowing a daily observation of blood glucose level, blood pressure and body weight. The monitoring of all of these parameters is important in order to sustain and re-adjust the patient’s therapy and to detect promptly any changes that could lead to an increased risk for the patient.

According to the health expert, the family contest showed a high degree of collaboration and participation. This leads not only to a true practical  help in daily recording but also contributes to an encouraging environment able to sustain the quality and duration of the compliance and adherence of the patient to the programme. Also, a family friendly atmosphere was revealed towards these technologies. Everybody gained the ability to use them.

Besides, Dr. Felli argued that the HSH project introduced a "fine tuning" and self managed  patients'  health control system, as this implies to raise responsibility and sensibility also to small variations of clinical parameters, avoiding a long lasting lack of information (as it happens regularly). He also stated that these technologies are producing a new kind of data, namely the one coming from long lasting monitoring. For this it is necessary to prepare the medical doctors to accept this new kind of clinical observation, which is the future in order to guarantee healthy ageing.

For more information, please contact Ilenia Gheno at AGE Secretariat (ilenia.gheno@age-platform.eu)

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