Older persons are often excluded from the development and use of online public services. The MobileAge project developed digital mobile applications, based on open data, helping senior citizens access public services in their community in an easier, more personalised and efficient way. Such mobile applications have been tested in four pilot sites in Europe (UK, Germany, Spain and Greece).
MobileAge is based on the concept of co-creation and developed mobile open government services together with senior citizens. This means that older persons themselves decided which services they want to access, which kind of applications they would like to use, and which requirements in terms of accessibility and mobility they opt for. Such approach allows citizens, in particular senior citizens, to become part of what we call open government (online access to public services and information using open data), which is then mutually shaped by older persons, empowered to improve the quality of life in their communities.
The four pilot sites each implemented a specific use case of relevance for seniors’ citizens:
- social inclusion through a digital guide on age-friendly walks (Bremen, Germany);
- independent living through a social connectedness app listing information on events and social activities, and available means of transportation to attend them (South Lakeland, UK);
- a safe and accessible city for seniors thanks to age-friendly routes (Zaragoza, Spain);
- personal health information through an app allowing older persons to book medical appointments, order medicines, or check the air quality (Central Macedonia, Greece).
Throughout the project, particular attention has been paid to:
- The use of available open data to provide citizens with location-based information and better access to public services;
- The personalisation of access means to public services through user profiles that automatically adapt the content to the citizen’s preferences in terms of type of information, presentation and accessibility;
- The integration of disparate public services and sources of information into a single entry point;
- The availability of the mobile application on different devices and in diverse situations (outdoors, in transit, at home, etc.).
The project team also analysed users’ behaviours on the applications to gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges seniors experience when using mobile technology.
Three innovations offered by MobileAge
The project firstly produced digital applications to be used and scaled-up in local authorities throughout Europe. To do so, it developed a technical development platform, which can be re-used in other contexts and by other public authorities.
Moreover, it will shortly launch an Interactive Co-creation Guidebook, which will help interested public authorities and organisations plan implement, and evaluate co-creation activities. Last but not least, the MobileAge project, based on its findings, released a series of policy briefings targeting European, national, regional and local public authorities.
By doing so, Mobile Age contributed to the inclusion of seniors in digital services, eased their administrative tasks thanks to user-friendly applications, and supported their access to civic participation, active ageing and their involvement in developing age-friendly communities.
The project is coordinated by the University of Lancaster, UK.
The consortium includes the following partners: Tingtun AS (Norway),, AGE Platform Europe (Belgium), Evangelische Stiftung Volmarstein / Forschungsinstitut Technologie und Behinderung (Germany)), Government To You (Belgium), the Institute for Information Management Bremen GmbH (Germany), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), the City of Zaragoza (Spain) and the Region of Central Macedonia (Greece).
Get in touch with Mobile Age!
- Website: www.mobile-age.eu
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mobileageeu/
- Twitter account: @MobileAgeEU