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Virtual Coaching Activities for Rehabilitation in Elderly (vCare)

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To lower the high risk of relapse following a serious acute illness in elderly, an active and motivated change of lifestyle is necessary. The project "vCare - Virtual Coaching Activities for Rehabilitation in Elderly" aims to show how the actual health information, data from the living environment and from regular interaction with concerned people, can be provide  information to ensure patients a feasible transition from rehabilitation phase to their own home. The overall objective of vCare relates to the value of the project for the patient which has to recover impairments and disabilities to regain a level of quality of life as closer as possible to his/her previous healthy status. In particularly, it addresses the value of personalized rehabilitation programs aiming to lead to better quality of life by anadvanced virtual coaching system.

Background

stakeholder schema 1One out of six people in the European Union has a disability, usually caused by an acute episode or a chronic disease. Providing a suitable rehabilitation is the main issue for people as they age as it helps people to live independently and enhance their Quality of Life. However, as the rehabilitation period usually last some months, the continuity of care often is interrupted in the transition from the hospital to the home. Virtual Coaches can help these patients to proceed with a personalized rehabilitation that complies to age-related conditions, as the key technology for empowering patients through the enhancement of the adherence to the care plan and the risk prevention. The project “vCare” (Virtual Coaching Activities for Rehabilitation in Elderly) addresses two major shortcomings of the status quo: a participatory design driven by users’ needs and the personalization of the care pathways enabled by technology.In fact that rehabilitation is an ideal setting as “users” (physicians and patients) interact together for a “long” period into the clinic (from two weeks to two months): this is a good opportunity to embed into the knowledge of the system the clinical profiles and the pathways that will drive the behaviour of the virtual coach at home. Well-elaborated services for tele-rehabilitation of former EU projects, such as eWall or Miracolus Life, will be adapted. Therefore, the system will integrate a semantic layer (universAAL) including a reasoning engine that merges all patient-related and context information together. The advanced services of vCare will be deployed on a reference platform of MYSPHERA (FIWARE-based) and implemented in four reference sites, dealing with commonly impacted domains (neurological and cardiological). The results of vCare shall stimulate the European Healthcare & ICT sector for innovations in the field of integrated care. In sum, vCare will contribute to the EU goal to increase healthy life years of Europeans by two until 2020.

Objective

The main objective of this project is to unite technical, social, research aspects concerning patients, health care and IT-healthcare sectors. These five areas are the main stakeholders of the project vCare.

Work Schedule

The duration of the action will be 48 months and will be subdivided into nine Work-Packages (WP). Six WP focus on the display of the content with regard to the technological implementation of the virtual Coach, one WP with the clinical concept and regulation, one WP with the communication and dissemination, one WP with the project management, one WP mit science-ethical requirements.

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Work-Packages

WP 1: Clinical Concept and Piloting

Driving the project according a real “user centric approach”, in order to demonstrate user acceptance on one side and learning capabilities on the other side. This will be achieved by a high involvement of a multidisciplinary clinical team.

WP 2: ContextIntegration

Main objective is the design, development, and prototype implementation of the smart house open scalable sensor infrastructure that supports the Virtual Coach services for the use cases.

WP 3: Design and Development of Recipient and Caregiver Interfaces

Design and development of the recipient and the care giver system-user interaction of the virtual coaching platform is the main objective. Recipients will be able to use natural, human-like communication techniques with the virtual coaching system.

WP 4: Knowledge Integration and Learning

Development of a robust while expressive knowledge representation framework for the specification and realization of the semantic baseline models and the different ontologies for the Virtual Coach.

WP 5: Coaching Services

Integration and adoption of previously developed coaching services by the technical partners and development of new services for the end-user acc. to the requirements.

WP 6: Pathway System – Semantics driven Pathways Development and Execution Services

To design, develop and deploy a semantically integrated care pathway service that provides all necessary functionalities that are needed to create and manage care pathway templates, to execute the pathway, and to adapt the pathway by the means of the reasoning service.

WP 7: Service platform backbone

To design the system architecture and the interfaces of its elements in detail on a conceptual level.

WP 8: Project Management

A professional and permanent project management is crucial for a successful and effective execution and management of the project. Therefore, work package 8 is designated as an on-going activity over the full project duration.

WP 9: Communication and Exploitation

diffusing information and raising awareness at European and national level about project’s ambitions, creating interest in the scientific community to prepare the clinical, economical and societal impact assessment of the project results.

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