The Urban Dictionary defines to make shapes as “to get something done; also used when instructing another to execute a task which they have been saying they will complete for some time…”.
October 2020 marked the end of an incredibly busy and productive, albeit socially distanced, year for the SHAPES consortium.
Throughout the year the SHAPES team have been conducting ethnographic research, researching sociotechnical ecosystems, creating and developing personas and Use Cases and identifying the user-centred organisational and operational requirements that will feed into the SHAPES platform.
The SHAPES pilot sites and technical partners have also initiated the preparation of the mock-up testing in phase 2 of the pilot campaign. The architecture of the SHAPES Technological Platform has also begun development. In the midst of all of this activity, the consortium has also been focusing on the SHAPES’ legal and ethical dimension, including the legal framework and the ethical concerns with data privacy and ownership.
In October the 2nd SHAPES Dialogue Workshop was hosted by Carus Consilium Sachsen GmbH. In this workshop we focused on the user perspectives of integrated care. Although, unfortunately, we could not meet in person, SHAPES created another exemplary virtual consultative workshop.
The SHAPES Open Calls will be launched in December 2020; potentially welcoming the integration of up to 20 third-parties into SHAPES. The open calls will extend the scope of the digital solutions, while at the same time, contributing to facilitate the market entry of new entrepreneurs and SMEs. Further details will be launched on the SHAPES website soon.
We have also established a new section of our website titled SHAPES Stories. The page will explore the personal, social and technological needs of older adults and their families offering readers a rare insight into the lives of the older people on which SHAPES is centered.
COVID-19 remains a barrier to the consortium meeting in person. The SHAPES Coordinators are incredibly grateful to all of our project partners for their commitment, tenacity and flexibility during this challenging year. As a team, as a consortium, we have done well. The project has adapted its methodology and developed new and innovative solutions to mitigate some of the challenges the pandemic has caused to our traditional research methods and face-to-face activity.
Importantly, COVID-19 has also taught us that solutions, such as SHAPES, are needed now more than ever and will have a very strong role in supporting older people to live good lives at home and in their communities, in the future. SHAPES also illustrates the opportunities to manage future global health challenges, through the carefully designed interplay of digital and human ecosystems supporting smart and healthy ageing.
Niamh Redmond, Michael Cooke & Mac MacLachlan
The Coordination Team, ALL Institute, Maynooth University, Ireland.