Interaction with a Virtual Coach for Active and Healthy Ageing

Michael McTear, Kristiina Jokinen, Mirza Mohtashim Alam, Qasid Saleem, Giulio Napolitano, Florian Szczepaniak, Mossaab Hariz, Gérard Chollet, Christophe Lohr, Jérôme Boudy, Zohre Azimi, Sonja Dana Roelen, Rainer Wieching

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    36 Downloads (Pure)


    Since life expectancy has increased significantly over the past century, society is being forced to discover innovative ways to support active aging and elderly care. The e-VITA project, which receives funding from both the European Union and Japan, is built on a cutting edge method of virtual coaching that focuses on the key areas of active and healthy aging. The requirements for the virtual coach were ascertained through a process of participatory design in workshops, focus groups, and living laboratories in Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. Several use cases were then chosen for development utilising the open-source Rasa framework. The system uses common representations such as Knowledge Bases and Knowledge Graphs to enable the integration of context, subject expertise, and multimodal data, and is available in English, German, French, Italian, and Japanese.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2748
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    Issue number5
    Early online date2 Mar 2023
    Publication statusPublished online - 2 Mar 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    With life expectancy increasing dramatically over the last century, societies are becoming increasingly confronted with new difficulties associated with an ageing population and the need to develop smart living solutions for the care of older adults and the promotion of active and healthy ageing []. This paper describes an innovative virtual coaching technique that is presently being developed in a three-year joint European (H2020) and Japanese (MIC) research project []. The e-VITA project has received funding from the European Union H2020 Programme under grant agreement no. 101016453. The Japanese consortium received funding from the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC), Grant no. JPJ000595. With the objective of enabling older persons to better manage their own health and daily activities, the virtual coach provides support and motivation in the critical areas of active and healthy ageing in cognition, physical activity, mobility, mood, social interaction, leisure, and spirituality. This will lead to greater well-being and enhanced stakeholder engagement. The virtual coach will provide individualized profiling and personalized recommendations based on big data analytics and social-emotional computing, detecting risks in the user’s daily living environment by collecting data from external sources and non-intrusive sensors, and providing support through natural interactions with 3D-holograms, emotional objects, or robotic technologies using multimodal and spoken dialogue technology, and advanced Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Base research. Ref. [] presents a summary of the project in general.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2023 by the authors.


    • active and healthy ageing
    • dialogue system
    • knowledge sources
    • sensors
    • participatory design
    • Article


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