Independent Living

The Independent Living Management Platform

amiona

 

Duration: 2012 – 2016 (3,5 years)

Wroclaw University of Economics – Institute of Business Informatics budget: ca 1,6 mln zł

The project is being implemented since 2012 as a joint venture of three universities:  University of St . Gallen,University of Leipzig and the University of Economics in Wroclaw. The project leader is Professor Hubert Oesterle – the head of the research team Competence Center Independent Living at the University of St . Gallen.

The general objective of the project is to design, create and implement ICT platforms whose mission is to improve the quality of life of elderly by facilitating their access to all kinds of services .

The independence of older people is associated with self- attaining extremely broad spectrum of everyday life activities. Consequently, older people have increasing need for services of specialists in specific fields, who will perform  selected action quickly and efficiently. Therefore the main propose of the platform (that’s being designed)  is to eliminate the existing problems related to services orders ( fragmentation of suppliers, the complicated process of ordering and negotiating the terms of implementation ) and the reduction to the maximum of  the complexity of these processes.

The platform that’s being created within the project is called Amiona. It based on the concept of services distribution connected to the model based on a number of service providers – many customers (M : N), which means that each service provider has access to the group of not only their customers, but also customers of competition. On the other hand, each client in this model can buy the service from any vendor . Distribution of services takes place via  common and unified interface, which means that each client has access to a database of service providers with just a single system, a single user account , and with a single password. The proposed solution allows the aggregation of different systems of service providers in a single system with one interface adapted to all possible types of services, and with one aggregate customer base.

In order to increase the availability of the services distribution system, it is designed, by taking into account all popular hardware and software platforms, such as PCs and laptops, and mobile furnishing. The aspects related to the availability of user interfaces for the elderly have also been included.  To improve simplicity of use of the system by elderly a great attention has been paid to the ergonomics of the user interface.

The business model of services management platform implies a strong integration with the local business communities. This integration will be carried out by setting the system for aggregation of services provided by local suppliers and cooperation with partners representing local communities. Services database will be run by a platform moderator whose objective is to create a local services database and animating the local community of providers that contribute to the database.  Therefore the concept is based on the neighborly marketing  and mutual recommendations.  An important role will be also played by the local partners working in specific areas such as charity organisations, providers of phone books, small and medium-sized enterprises in respect of a senior citizens, etc. Local partners will therefore provide a reliable database of service providers and they will be responsible for sales and field implementation. In return, they will receive tools to enhance their care and service sales.

The software platform is assumed to be absolutely sufficient to raise the level of independent living without the participation of a third party, however the project also envisages an optional participation of assistant services middleware in the chain ordering. The human element represents an additional confirmation  of the system reliability and may have the effect in increasing trust to the platform.
A little more about Amiona platform:     

Amiona connects consumers and service providers. It simplifies finding, ordering, documenting, and ‐ optionally ‐ invoicing all sorts of services. In a word, implementing a service marketplace is a breeze thanks to Amiona.

The Amiona platform is a tool that assists organizations with setting up local/regional service marketplaces. The platform builds this confidence in all parties involved through transparency and traceability. Simultaneously it creates a convenient access to services, anytime and anywhere, as well as efficient processes for consumers and service providers.

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The Amiona platform offers everything that is required for implementing appealing service marketplaces promptly and easily. As Amiona is provided as a hosted service that can be accessed via

every internet browser as well as via mobile devices, you do not need to worry about technical details.

Main features include:

  • Flexible design – easy to customize with respect to your preferred design resp. your website design
  • Access protected by password for both consumers and service providers
  • Requests without prior registration
  • Customizable categories in service catalog
  • User‐specific list of favorites for an even more convenient access to frequently used services
  • Different appointment coordination processes
  • Assignment of services appointments to employees
  • Confirmation of provided services
  • Clearly arranged calendar view
  • Integration with standard calendar systems, e.g. MS Outlook (via ICS feed)
  • Messaging function that enables easy communication between service providers and consumers
  • Notifications via email and/or SMS

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The Amiona platform supports firms and organizations that want to provide their customers with the most convenient access as possible to a broad variety of services. In particular, this includes:

  • Innovative service providers who want to enable their customers to send requests conveniently and around‐the‐clock
  • Social organizations or municipalities that want to enhance the quality of life of citizens in a specific geographical area, a district or a village
  • Real estate companies that provide their tenants with service‐enriched housing and / or assisted living
  • Employers who want to contribute to the work‐life balance of their employees