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Empathic, Expressive, Advanced Virtual Coach to Improve Independent Healthy-Life-Years of the Elderly


The EMPATHIC project is an interdisciplinary effort to develop an empathic, virtual coach, which through its ability to detect emotional state, understand language and generate personalized answers, will improve and prolong the independent years of healthy seniors. It overlaps with several of the goals and thematic priorities of the Norwegian Research Council’s BEDREHELSE program. The project will develop innovative multimodal face and speech analytics, adaptive spoken dialogue systems, intelligent computational models and natural human-computing interfaces: These technologies will be integrated in EMPATHIC-VC, resulting in an emotionally-expressive virtual coach, designed to help aging users and their carers. The EMPATHIC-VC will formulate adaptive responses based on the user's emotional cues (facial cues, eye gaze, speech style), promoting empathy and support. EMPATHIC will involve seniors users from the beginning of the project; we will gather initial date from this group, to optimise the technology. Furthermore we will include this group in the product testing, allowing them to use and give feedback on the EMPATHIC-VC from its prototype- to final- stage form. A number of 200-250 seniors will be recruited in Norway, Spain and France, assuring a significant, multicultural, representative sample of users involved in the project. Testing will occur in three stages, where the first two field trials are conducted at specific testing locations and will focus on optimising/adapting the technology. In the last field trial, users will test the technology at home for a prolonged period of time, and the effects of EMPATHIC-VC on senior users health and quality of life will be assessed. The health- and wellness plans, and the functions implemented in EMPATHIC-VC will be rely on an multidisciplinary research and development team including Geriatrician, Neuroscience, Psychiatric, Psychology, Health and Social work specialists.

Project leader: Maria Stylianou Korsnes

Started: 2018

Ends: 2021

Category: Helse Sør-Øst RHF

Sector: Helseforetak

Budget: 500000


Address: Oslo