MATCH - Mobilising Advanced Technologies for Care at Home
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Summer School on Home Care Systems
1st-5th June 2009, University of Edinburgh

A SICSA/SFC-Sponsored Event


The information on this page describes the organisation and logistics of the summer school. The speakers and programme of the summer school are described on a separate page. See the short description if you wish a quick overview.

Key Points

Blue dot Summer School Theme
Blue dot Dates and Venue
Blue dot Summer School Background
Blue dot Summer School Topic
Blue dot Expected Audience
Blue dot Registration Procedure
Blue dot Summer School Accommodation
Blue dot Travel to Edinburgh
Blue dot Summer School Speakers
Blue dot Detailed Programme

Summer School Theme

The summer school will deal with technologies for home care:

  • a UK and international perspective on home care systems
  • user requirements and stakeholder perspectives on technologies for home care
  • home networks and service platforms in support of home care delivery
  • telecare data acquisition, processing and visualisation
  • multimodal interfaces to support easy use of home care systems
  • speech technology for natural interaction with home users.

Dates and Venue

Monday 1st June 2009 - Friday 5th June 2009

Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Summer School Background

The problems arising from an ageing population have been recognised at an international level. In the UK, for example, older people accounted for 16% of the population in 2000; by 2040 this is estimated to rise to 36%. This pattern is being repeated across all developed countries. It is economically infeasible for society to provide specialised care facilities for such a large number of people. It is also socially undesirable for older people to leave their own home and enter a care facility especially since older people are increasingly healthier and largely able to look after themselves.

There is therefore a strong need to help people prolong independent living in their own homes. A significant number of other people could also gain from being able to stay at home (e.g. those with physical or mental impairment, or those with long-term medical conditions). A strong element of human involvement must remain in care delivery to the home. However, appropriate technologies can greatly help to support someone receiving care at home. These technologies can inform the dialogue of care, provide the user with advice, identify trends or anomalies that may require intervention, monitor potentially undesirable situations, provide reassurance to family members and informal carers, and relieve professional carers of routine low-level monitoring tasks. Technological support can also bring economic benefits. For example, the cost of looking after someone in a care home is expensive and the level of such facilities will become increasingly inadequate. The need for telecare has been recognised at the highest levels across the world.

Technologies in support of home care go under a number of labels. 'Assisted Living' refers to devices and services that allow users to prolong independent living at home. 'Assistive technology' covers all kinds of devices that help with daily living. 'Telecare' refers to localised devices and services that support daily living, but with a remote link to support services such as a call centre. 'Telehealth' involves remote monitoring, consultation and diagnosis of health issues. 'Telehealthcare' also includes social implications of home care. 'Smart Homes' focus more on home automation and monitoring. 'Home Care Systems' is the term used in this summer school to emphasise the devices and services deployed in the home to support care delivery.

The MATCH project (Mobilising Advanced Technologies for Care at Home) is supported mainly by the Scottish Funding Council from November 2005 to October 2009. The Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling are working on MATCH to develop a research infrastructure for supporting care delivery to the home, with each University contributing its distinctive research expertise.

Summer School Topic

The summer school will deal with the broad subject of home care systems, but focusing mainly on applications in social care (i.e. helping people with daily living). Healthcare aspects will be addressed indirectly through their effects on social aspects and how these can best be supported. The summer school will reflect the unique expertise of its organising Universities, and will build on the distinctive set of skills and techniques that they have extended through the MATCH project. The summer school will also have access to external speakers thanks to the strong partnerships that have been built up by MATCH with professional care providers, manufacturers of assistive technology, and academic researchers in this area.

Expected Audience

The summer school is designed for postgraudate students with an interest in a broad range of technologies that support care delivery to the home. As these technologies are generic, students with an interest in other applications besides home care should still consider attending. Students from a variety of disciplines outside computer science should also find the summer school of interest.

The summer school will be pitched at a level appropriate for postgraduates. The focus will be on high-level functions in a home care system, and on use of specific computing technologies for home care: networks, services, sensors, data visualisation, speech, human-computer interaction. Practical experience of computer systems and networks is therefore desirable. However, students do not need to be experienced in the design or development of computer software, hardware, systems or networks. The summer school offers a unique mix of lectures with practical work.

Given some practical computing experience, students in non-computing disciplines should find the summer school of value. For example, the summer school should appeal to students in areas such as architecture, design, economics, electronics, healthcare, housing policy, management, nursing, psychology, social science or social work. Care professionals (e.g. community nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, telecare developers) might also wish to consider attending.

Although the summer school will be attractive to UK postgraduate students, the global nature of the subject matter is also relevant to postgraduate students internationally (particularly Europe, Japan and North America).

Registration Procedure

Fees for the summer school do not include travel or other subsistence costs, which will need to be paid by the student's home institution. However, the fees do include the following:

  • four nights in a University of Edinburgh residence
  • continental breakfast (it appears that the residence is no longer offering this, so we will try to arrange it at the summer school venue)
  • lunches, tea/coffee breaks, welcome reception, farewell dinner
  • a printed copy of speaker slides and summer school material.

Thanks to sponsorship by SICSA, up to 13 students at Scottish Universities will be able to attend the summer school without paying fees. A fee of £200 will be payable by other students: Scottish University students beyond this limit, students from outside Scotland (including the rest of the UK), and non-University students. This fee is a significant reduction on the true cost thanks to sponsorship by the MATCH project.

Places on the summer school may be limited, so early registration is advisable. To register for the summer school, the student's institution (e.g. the student's supervisor) should contact the summer school organiser:

Prof. Ken Turner
Computing Science and Mathematics
University of Stirling
Phone: +44 1786 467 423
Fax: +44 1786 464 551

Two template letters have been provided, depending on whether the student is from a Scottish University:

Registration (and payment if required) must be completed by 1st May 2009. Cancellations and refunds are possible up to this date, but no cancellation or refund is possible after this point. Substitution of students from the same institution may be made before 25th May 2009.

If a student needs to apply for a visa, this should be stated in the registration letter. A letter of invitation will be sent to the student's institution once the summer school fee has been paid.

Summer School Accommodation

Accommodation in shared, twin-bedded, same-gender rooms will be provided in Fountain Court Apartments (EQ-2, 1 Lower Gilmore Bank, Edinburgh, EH3 9QP). Cooking facilities are available in the accommodation. Do not book the accommodation directly as it will be booked as part of the registration process. Accommodation arrangements can be varied at the time of registration:

  • arrival earlier than 1st June 2009, or departure after 5th June 2009 (subject to availability, increasing the summer school fee)
  • single-occupancy or family room (subject to availability, increasing the summer school fee)
  • no accommodation (reducing the summer school fee).

Travel to Edinburgh

The summer school will be held centrally in Edinburgh, about 15 minutes walk from the main railway station (Waverley) and airport bus terminus. Edinburgh is well served by buses, trains and flights. See the Edinburgh International Airport web site (Flight Information tab) for details of scheduled, low-cost and charter flights to Edinburgh. It would also be feasible to fly to Glasgow International Airport, but public transport from there to Edinburgh would take roughly 90-120 minutes. (Note that Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a significant distance from Glasgow and would add roughly 60 minutes to this journey.)

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