People Behind the Council of Coaches – Episode 2

In the first episode of the series “People Behind the Council of Coaches”, the University of Twente was presented. In this second episode, we travel to Spain to meet one of the key technology partners of the project, namely Universitat Politècnica de València.


Universitat Politècnica de València

UPVLC is a 45 years old institution adding up over 42.000 people, comprising 10 technical schools, 3 faculties and 2 higher polytechnic schools in three campuses, one in the city of Valencia and two externals. UPVLC-SABIEN (Technologies for Health and Well-Being) is the major research group in e-Inclusion and e-Health of the UPVLC, and one of the most relevant ones at the national level, with a research trajectory of 18 years. UPVLC-SABIEN has an extensive expertise in the application of ICT to the social and healthcare systems, in Ambient Assisted Living technologies (AAL), and Internet of Things (IoT) and also in reengineering and evaluation and validation of social and health care processes and solutions in real environments, not only dealing with the generation of indicators but also user and business centred data, including a long experience in using mobile technologies for health and social purposes.

In Universitat Politècnica de València we met with Vicente Traver Salcedo, Director of the Technologies for Health & Wellbeing (SABIEN) at the ITACA Institute, Gema Ibañez Sanchez and Alvaro Fides Valero and talked with them about UPVLC involvement in the project:

Out of your previous R&D activities, was there something that has influenced your involvement in the Council of Coaches?

Yes, very particularly the project universAAL. This was an EU-funded AAL project that would use smart environments to aid in healthy aging. It consisted on developing an entire platform, so there is a lot of knowledge about architecture, integration and pilots that we can contribute. This was followed by project ReAAL that deployed universAAL in even bigger pilots. In addition, of course, we will assist in integrating Council of Coaches with universAAL itself.


Let the audience know a story behind the existence of universAAL and its uniqueness.

One story, if you can call it that way, that we often get, is hearing from developers and service providers of healthy-aging-related services how hard it is to develop, and how having a platform and tools could help them. That is in part why universAAL came to be, but is also something we must consider when developing Council of Coaches.


How do you see the interaction with end users and particularly for the Council of Coaches.

The focus on direct interaction with the end users is something very interesting, especially having been a developer whose main “client” in previous projects were other developers. All the knowledge about how to interact, dialog and influence end users will be very interesting.


How do you judge the usual outcome of healthy-aging projects and what is there in the Council of Coaches that is happening differently?

The results of projects related to healthy-aging, or at least those we have been involved in show that, despite being helpful or meeting their objectives, they somehow always fail to gain traction in the end. When it comes to making an impact in the market, and therefore in society, it becomes very difficult to succeed. Here’s hoping that Council of Coaches innovative approach can have better luck.


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