The Vodafone España Foundation (FVE), the Spanish Red Cross (CRE) and Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) through its Wireless ReachTM initiative, today announced an alliance to launch a pilot project. 3G For All Generations aims to take advantage of 3G mobile broadband technology to connect the elderly to their caregivers and families by unifying voice and videoconferencing through a familiar device like television.
Using a video conference system that works as a TV monitor, a webcam and a phone with mobile broadband Internet connectivity (HSPA), the elderly can stay connected and interact with their friends, family and caregivers, allowing them to remain independent for a longer time in their own homes.
“The elderly are a rapidly growing community in our country,” said Juan Manuel Suárez del Toro Rivero, president of the Spanish Red Cross. “Many of these people need assistance for daily activities and the new technology provides innovative ways to enable them to easily keep in touch with those who care for them and the people they trust.”
Through the video conference system, participants in 3G For All Generations can establish personalized video communications with the Contact Center at the Spanish Red Cross, which answers their questions and motivates them with consistent social interaction. Additionally, the Red Cross is able to conduct periodic and personalized follow-up video calls to check the health and well being of participants and ensure they feel included.
3G For All Generations also provides participants' families with 3G phones to communicate with their elderly family members via video calls, which is particularly helpful since participants in the program do not live near their family.
In addition to communicating with the Red Cross and family members, 3G For All Generations enables participants to use their 3G video communication platform to meet and communicate with other people in order to expand their social circle. They also can learn to download multimedia content, including physical exercise videos and interactive games, which help them stay active. The devices will be available at selected elderly community day centers, enabling participants to connect with friends when they are unable to access the devices.
"3G For All Generations not only provides the elderly with tools to lead independent lives, but it also grants access to the latest communications technologies, giving them the opportunity to actively participate in the 21st century,” said José Luis Ripoll, president of the Vodafone España Foundation.
One hundred elderly people will participate in the pilot, of which the majority live alone and far from their families. The initiative also involves family members or day centers from more than 10 provinces in nine independent communities, including, Barcelona, Huesca, León, La Palma, Madrid, Salamanca, Toledo, and Valladolid.
3G For All Generations was based on the experience gathered by the Spanish Red Cross and the Vodafone España Foundation through the PLATAS project, which was financed by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce as part of the 2006-2007 Advance Plan.
Qualcomm is supporting 3G For All Generations through its Wireless Reach initiative, designed to bring 3G technologies to underserved communities around the world.
“We are proud to team up with the Vodafone Foundation and the Red Cross in Spain to launch our first Wireless Reach initiative in Europe,” said Andrew Gilbert, executive vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Internet Services, MediaFLO Technologies and Qualcomm Europe. “We are pleased to help the elderly feel more assisted at home and connected to their families. 3G Mobile broadband technology enables these new digital services even in low populated areas, where it would be very difficult and expensive to bring them this type of communication system any other way.”
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. The Company's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to underserved communities globally. Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care and reach global markets. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 100 Index, the S&P 500 Index and is a 2008 FORTUNE 500® company. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com.