Author: Alberto Vidal Rodríguez
Rosita is a project developed by the Balneario de Cofrentes (Valencian Community) within its longevity school. This app is incorporated into the resources that the Mancomunidad la Vega offers to the elderly for the improvement of health conditions and personal well-being.
The main objective of Rosita is to prevent and reverse the part of cognitive and physical deterioration that is avoidable, also doing it in a way that users enjoy and practice activities of their choice.
Rosita selects the appropriate activities based on the level of activity and physical capacity of the user, and offers different times in which to practice them with other people of the same level. In this way you can share the experience with family, friends or other Rosita users and see the progress of each one.
In order to analyze and be able to carry out an evaluation of the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. The tests have been carried out on a Samsung Galaxy S8 device (Android 8.0.0) and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.4.1).
OPERATION OF THE APPLICATION
Once Rosita has been downloaded from the respective mobile device application store, it can begin to be used normally.
As soon as we open the application, we will be shown several screens where it is briefly explained what Rosita consists of and why its use is recommended. In addition to the messages that can be seen in the images at the bottom, the application will voice motivational messages for the user while those screens are displayed. This is a good idea to achieve a friendly format for the elderly since it gives a feeling of greater closeness than showing only messages on the screen.
To begin, we will be asked for a phone number. Subsequently, an SMS message with a code will be sent to that phone number that we have given. This code will only be used if there is a problem during registration, as once the phone number is entered it will automatically skip to the next step.
Next, we will be asked to answer some questions about our age, gender, height, weight, who we live with, or, compared to people our age, how we would rate our health. This has the objective that the suggestions of activities that the application proposes later to us are more personalized.
Finally, we will be asked to accept the data protection and use policy after having read it carefully.
It should be noted that throughout this process the keyboard that appears on the screen to write text or numbers and the buttons used are quite large. This is a positive aspect since it makes it easier for older people who have lost vision over the years to correctly and easily register in the application.
A first step to start using Rosita is to watch the welcome videos that will be shown at the top of the home screen. These three videos serve as an introduction to learning how Rosita works.
It is important to watch these videos since they give relevant information and we will be asked to give information about ourselves, through a few simple questions.
In the first place, we are shown a video of about 3 minutes in which it is explained what Rosita consists of, what benefits it has for aspects such as coordination, balance, resistance or the cardiovascular system and it is explained that these programs are prepared by doctors , physiotherapists and specialists in the health sector.
Secondly, we will be shown another video of about 4 minutes in which Dr. Fernández Torán, director of the Cofrentes Spa, gives a brief talk about the so-called 5 pillars of satisfactory aging.
To conclude this introduction to Rosita, there is a last video in which the importance of exercise and the physical problems that could condition us not to do it is explained. During the video a series of questions are shown that will have to be answered so that the application knows our current situation better and can prepare an adequate plan, thus avoiding the risks that excessive exercise or poorly performed exercise could cause.
PHYSICAL CONDITION LEVELING TEST
At this point, the application will offer us to perform a placement test, to further adjust its knowledge about our current physical level.
In addition, in this way the application can take into account the contraindications that certain exercises may have and recommend exercises of our level and without risks.
To perform this test, just swipe down until the activity is found Physical Condition Leveling Test. Once located, all you have to do is click on Start activity.
This test consists of 6 questions to be able to personalize the weekly physical exercise program. To carry out this test, you only need a chair and enough space to be able to lie on the floor.
The test is very easy to carry out since it consists of questions and answers with several simple options and is guided at all times by a video in which a doctor explains the different points. This is also an important aspect for the accessibility of people with reduced or no visibility, since it facilitates the monitoring of the activity.
Once this test is finished, we will be assigned a level from 1 to 3 depending on the physical condition that the system estimates based on the answers we have given.
Another functionality that we find in Rosita is that of a virtual assistant. This always appears at the top of the screen and in order to interact with it, just click on the white bar.
This virtual assistant is a good way to guide users in the use of the application or to transmit some kind of information to them.However, it is the assistant itself that guides you through the questions it asks you and only allows you to give answers. preconfigured. This is a limitation as it does not allow users to ask their own questions or report problems with the application.
In fact, since there is no section in the application where the user can report problems that arise during its use, which is missed, it has been found that many users take advantage of the chat of live activities to transmit, for example, if the application has not allowed you to access a class or has given them some kind of problem.
One of the options that Rosita offers are different classes, activities and live talks.
As soon as you access the application, just below the virtual assistant, you can see a table that collects the live activities that take place that day. If these have already taken place, they will appear crossed out.
Just below this box will appear the live activities that are still to be carried out today. To join them, just click on the purple rectangle with the text Join us .
Below the live activities we find those that are available at any time of the day, which provides greater flexibility to the user when deciding when to do them.
As mentioned, there is a great variety in the types of activities that there are and in the topics that they touch: trainings adapted to different levels, talks on cardiovascular health, yoga, classes to learn to dance jazz, gentle physical exercises ...
This is one of Rosita's main strengths, since users have a wide variety of activities taught by different teachers or monitors. In addition, there is some customization in the activities that the application will offer us to carry out, since it will recommend us to do those that agree with our physical level and it will not show us those that we cannot do, for example, having joint pain when performing certain movements or heart problems.
In addition, in the lower right part of each activity there are a series of colored circles with a symbol inside. These circles give us information about the activity, such as the level to which they are directed or other characteristics of interest. By clicking on the icon in question, the description of the information you want to give us will appear. Some examples of this can be seen in the images below.
There are numerous icons that allow the user to have more information so that he can decide whether or not an activity is interesting for him or her.
Perhaps it would be interesting if these icons were a little larger, as this would make them easier to see for those users with reduced vision.
These tests are intended to verify if the application has bugs that do not allow it to perform its functions.
The application has been tested for several days. In both the Android and iOS operating systems, the download of the application, its installation, registration and all the steps until the completion of the physical condition test included have worked correctly. Access to live classes and prerecorded classes also works fine.
In general, no serious reliability problems have been detected in the application, so the reliability of the Rosita app can be said to be good.
In this section, different criteria have been applied to assess whether the application can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.
-Cognitive accessibility: The application is, in general, very easy to use. This means that, in principle, it can be used without difficulty by a large number of users.
-Accessibility for people with reduced or no vision: The application does not present a settings section where you can change the theme or the font or contrast options. However, the size of the font and the different buttons is quite large throughout the application. This makes both the texts and the different buttons easy to read and identify even for people who have lost some vision capacity over the years.
In addition, with the accessibility functions that different devices usually offer, the screen can be zoomed and / or the font size increased, which greatly facilitates use for people with reduced vision.
In general, the contrast between the app's font color and the background is adequate, combining dark colors for the font and light colors for the backgrounds, which makes the texts easier to read.
To complete this section, some tests have been carried out with the screen reader systems available on Android and iOS devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons that Rosita has. In the tests carried out, it has been verified that the buttons and the different screens that make up the app are well labeled. The only buttons that present a small problem in their labeling are the circles that add information regarding the different activities.
-Accessibility for people with hearing difficulties: People with hearing difficulties may have certain limitations when using this application, since many of Rosita's content such as talks or activities have an important part that is developed by voice and the application does not allow to activate subtitles. Perhaps this problem can be solved with an external application that allows these subtitles to be displayed on the screen.
This application can be a very useful tool for older people to lead an active and healthy life through directed activities and personalized exercises.
As explained by Rosita, all these activities have been designed and supervised by doctors so that they can be used by users with problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis or cardiovascular problems, in addition to being designed to prevent aspects such as possible falls during the development of the activities.
One of the most interesting aspects that we find in Rosita is the wide variety of exercises and activities that are proposed and that are available to users. In addition, the combination that exists between live activities and others previously recorded and that users can carry out at any time is very interesting.
It is also interesting that in the application we not only find physical activity exercises, but also others intended for mental stimulation and relaxation, such as yoga, tai chi or meditation. These activities are aimed at facilitating relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, while improving the flexibility of the body and the balance of the mind.
Finally, we find talks on aspects related to health, such as the relationship between cardiovascular health and aging. These types of talks can be very interesting and very useful for the group of older people, since they give advice on health, guidelines for leading a healthy life and help to identify symptoms of possible health problems derived from aging .
Since the main users of this application are older people, once the application is being used, a very interesting idea is that the mobile phone in which Rosita will be installed could be connected to the television through a cable or Chromecast-type device . In this way, the images on Rosita's screen could be displayed in a much larger size and more friendly for these elderly people, for example while carrying out a directed activity.
Finally, one aspect that could be improved is the accessibility for the hearing impaired by not having the videos with subtitles. Perhaps it would also be interesting for the accessibility of this group if activities were carried out in which the monitor gave instructions using sign language, which would facilitate the use of the app for people with zero hearing.
- In the application we find a huge amount of different exercises, live broadcasts, talks and personalized activities.
- The application is totally free.
- The interface is well designed, it is simple to use and its use is very user friendly in general.
- It would be interesting to add a section where users could report incidents or problems that arise while using the application.
- Accessibility for people with hearing problems can be improved.