A HIGH-TECH FUTURE FOR EUROPE’S ELDERLY: AT THE START PHARA-ON PROJECT TO ACHIEVE SMART AND ACTIVE LIVING FOR EUROPE’S AGEING POPULATION

The aim is to promote healthy and active ageing of the population, in order to improve life and reduce the costs of the health system. Robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing together for the development of integrated and customizable platforms. At the start PHARA-ON project, an Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, and coordinated by Filippo Cavallo, Assistant Professor at The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. This large-scale pilot project involves more than 40 partners from 12 European countries (this is the full list: https://www.pharaon.eu/consortium/) and aims to achieve smart and active living for Europe’s ageing population.
By 2080, one in three Europeans will be over 65, increasing the demand for healthcare services. The demand for smart connected homes to support active aging and independent living solutions is also rapidly growing.

“PHARA-ON will create a set of highly customizable interoperable open platforms – explains Filippo Cavallo, scientific responsible of the project - which will integrate advanced services, devices and tools including IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, smart wearables, big data and intelligent analytics. These solutions will be widely tested and validated, with the aim to respond to the needs of older adults and aim to enhance independence, safety and capabilities of people as they age”.

PHARA-ON will support the European industry and policymakers to successfully face the challenges of an aging population. In addition, it will push towards the development of new collaborative partnerships between actors from different sectors to ensure that the developed platforms meet the needs of older adults and formal and informal carers. At the same time, PHARA-ON offers opportunities to digital tool providers to leverage their devices, systems and equipment to provide support to a larger older population.
The project is a collaboration of 41 organizations, led by SSSA (Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna, based in Pisa, Italy) and will last 48 months (from December 2019 to November 2023). PHARA-ON adopts a user-centric approach and will test several digital solutions in 6 different pilots in 5 countries: Italy (Tuscany-Apulia), Spain (Murcia and Andalusia), the Netherlands (Twente), Slovenia (Isola) and Portugal (Coimbra-Amadora).
PHARA-ON partners include large, medium, and small enterprises, research organizations, universities, authorities in the field of health, public and private health service providers, social organizations, health institutes and standardization bodies. With an investment of about 21 million Euro, PHARA-ON has the ambition to make a significant contribution to the European Union’s agenda on Active and Healthy Ageing.
PHARA-ON partners come from Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Estonia.