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Care is a complex subject, not just for those in need of care, but also for their families and carers. The aim of individual consideration of the needs of every single person is confronted by the lack of qualified care staff. This frequently leads to insufficient advice and care.

These challenges are addressed by the research project 'Care in the community', supported by the 
Ministry of Economy, Energy, Industry, Small Business and Crafts of the Land North Rhine-Westphalia from the European Regional Development Fund. Initially, the demands of needs-based care, advice and information in the care sector were assessed by the cooperation partners, together with care support bases, families, clients and a commissioner for senior citizens. These stakeholders come from four communities in Gelsenkirchen, which are greatly heterogeneous in terms of population structure and the conditions within the communities. This enabled community based consideration of many different demands of the care of those in need.

IDiAL is, through AG SEELAB, participating in the development of a digital care platform, that will facilitate client and community oriented networking of the stakeholders. The digital platform will, for example, give access to multi-media training content and advice to clients, supplemented by additional community related data like information about local advice centres for clients and their families. As a result of this information, appointments at advice centres may be shorter and clients can find the relevant care services available to them more quickly. In addition it is hoped that the infomation flow will be speeded up by an electronic care report.

Alongside the platform, an Android based mobile smart phone app is being created. By interaction with the digital platform it will be possible to scan in the federal medication plan and to display it both in the app and in the platform. Other central tasks for the app are maintaining mobility and increased safety for the user. The app can, for example, point the way to the nearest public toilet, or supply a pointer to navigate the user home safely. In order to actively shape their surroundings, places with difficult access can be recorded with photos and text and be published. This function allows local protagonists to directly solve the problems of those with difficulties more quickly. An alarm function will also be integrated, that will trigger the relevant contact depending on location and time of day based on preset rules. For instance, a rule might be set to contact the neighbour between 6 and 12 o'clock, as they are usually at home at that time. Apart from the care context relevant functions, the app will also give easier access to standard functions of the device, like contacts and calendar administration, telephone and messaging. The configuration and administration of individual app functions will be controlled per user via a web interface on the platform.

Development and design of platform and app will be user centred and supported by ongoing usability engineering. This will ensure that users with diverse physical and mental abilities can optimally utilise both systems.