Trial support services, using videotelephony, for people who needed professional care






European Commission (EC)


RACE II Programme

In January 1992, the RACE II project TeleCommunity was started, to trial support services, using videotelephony, for people who needed professional care.

The Advanced Communications Experiments (ACEs) of TeleCommunity investigated the use of residential videotelephony in the Social Sector to maintain the care of the ever increasing older population and to promote the integration of older and disabled people into society, work and education.

These ACEs used a mixture of CATV, Analogue Broadband and ISDN networks. The sites of experiment are in:

  • Belgium – Kortrijk ACE with Stad Kortrijk, BARCO, Gaselwest and OCMW (75 CATV users);
  • Germany – Frankfurt ACE with Alcatel SEL, empirica and Frankfurter Verband für Alten- und Behindertenhilfe e.V. (15 CATV users and 5 ISDN users) and in Meinerzhagen ACE with Ev. Perthers-Werk and Bosch (30-60 CATV users);
  • Finland – Tampere ACE withVTT, Sondi Oy, City Mission of Tampere, Tampere Telephone Company (43 Analogue Broadband users); and Vantaa ACE with VTT, Sondi Oy, City of Vantaa, Helsinki Telephone Company (11 ISDN users)
  • Norway – B rum ACE, with SINTEF REHAB and B rum Kabel Rykkin Health & Social Care Centre (10 CATV users and 10 ISDN users);
  • Ireland – Sligo ACE with CMIS and North Western Health Board (15 CATV users)
  • The Netherlands ACE with Instituut voor Doven (15 ISDN users);
  • UK ACE with Interaction Design Ltd, Royal National Institute for Deaf People and Camden Council (5 Analogue Broadband and 15 ISDN users)
  • Portugal – Lisbon ACE with Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa (FMH), TLP and INESC (10 ISDN users);
  • and Sweden ACE with Telia, DALTEK and University of Stockholm (15 ISDN users).

The total number of users was nearly 400.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to set-up experiments that examine the ways both the community at large and the social welfare institutions can use videotelephony based applications to reduce cost of social care, both directly and indirectly as well as aiding the integration of older people, people with hearing impairments (especial those who are deaf) and people with an intellectual impairment, into the community at large and especially into schools and work places and away from specialist and residential institutions;
  • to identify the usage requirements for enhanced videotelephony-based services to make them usable to majority of residential users including the older persons and people with disabilities so that they can be served without special assistive devices and such services are at least usable and universally understood as the telephone. 

1992 – 1994