Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


UNCAP Report Summary

Project reference: 643555
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - UNCAP (Ubiquitous iNteroperable Care for Ageing People)

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Aging population brought by evolution in demographics worldwide, and its associated consequences in terms of frailly, chronicity and multi-morbidity will challenge health and care systems, especially in Europe where the share of old (aged 65+) and very old (aged 80+) is expected to rise significantly over the next decades with an associated increase of dementia and other cognitive impairments. Current health and care models are proving to be inappropriate and unsustainable. This is calling for new care & assistance paradigms, which in turn may bring to valuable market opportunities for those EU ICT companies able to address the fast-growing “silver economy”.
The lack of platforms for health and care based on open standards is regarded as one of the most significant market barriers within the ICT industry. The development of interoperable technologies could increase competitiveness, allow creation of more articulated services and –eventually- it would help EU companies, especially SMEs, compete with large US corporations (often imposing proprietary solutions) as well as with low-cost Asian manufacturers.
UNCAP will address such a fast-evolving scenario through the development of an open, scalable and privacy-savvy ICT infrastructure designed to help aging people (including those with cognitive impairments) live independently, with dignity, maintaining and improving their lifestyle. In particular, UNCAP will leverage on an interoperable ecosystem of biosensors and indoor & outdoor localisation solutions, to deliver an infrastructure capable to continuously monitor –in a noninvasive way- the users and assist them when required. Wide support for well-established interoperable industry standards will allow creating a scalable ICT ecosystem leveraging on both different biosensing solutions and on existing home-automation solutions, interoperable with existing Personal Health Record (PHR) systems. Furthermore, through the integration well-acknowledged physical and cognitive assessment tools with the capability to locate objects, devices and -above all- users within outdoor and indoor spaces, UNCAP will not only allow accurate monitoring of user’s state (physical & cognitive) but it will also allow creating a range of brand new services designed to stimulate healthier lifestyle and -in general- more active aging.
In fact, the ultimate goal UNCAP is to extend the duration of high-quality life of aging, frail and cognitive impaired citizens by helping them achieve higher autonomy, independence and dignity through an open, scalable, interoperable and non-invasive ICT-powered environment.
The achievements of UNCAP will be assessed in the context of several pilots located in private homes, rehabilitation centres, daily nursing facilities and houses etc. in various EU countries, with the involvement of a large number of users and caregivers (ensuring statistical significance) within real operational scenarios for a duration of 12 months. Results collected through physical and cognitive assessment tools before and after the introduction of UNCAP will ensure clear evidence -based on quantifiable metrics- of the improvement of quality of life of the users. The analysis of results of the pilot phase will allow assessing the impact of UNCAP in terms of Return on Investment for both public and private care systems, in both financial and societal terms (e.g. reduction of social exclusion and reduction of the burden on health systems and carers, both professionals and family member).
Furthermore, UNCAP will not only analyse best practices for business and financing/procurement models which can be scalable across Europe but it will also identify innovative organisational and business models for health & care service delivery, within
both formal and informal care settings, based on the new paradigm proposed by UNCAP, thus enlarging market opportunities and increasing competitiveness of European ICT industry.
Lastly, it is worth noting tha

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project began with WP1, which was focused on the preparation of the documents and guidelines for the following activities. During those first six months a deep analysis was carried out in order to define:
• The scenarios, use cases, and requirements, as highlighted by the pilot partners. Indeed, each pilot’s representatives was deeply involved through interviews and questionnaires to clearly define their needs, wishes and expectations from the project.
• The system architecture, necessary to define the work of WP2. A large number of remote and face-to-face sessions were carried out among technical partners to agree on a common architecture and specify future development tasks.
• The technologies deployment strategy at pilot’s sites. According to the use cases and the technologies adopted, the result was an agenda depicting the deployment and testing phases of the UNCAP platform.
• The ethical and privacy related issues and requirements, that were analysed and evaluated in detail.
• Customization and translation of the Atl@nte toolkit in order to account for the different geographic locations of the pilot sites. Training of the users (mainly doctors and nurses) was also carried out.
Successively, all other WPs took place concurrently.
The development activities of WP2 have brought to the release of the Alpha version of the platform, which was released as open source and made available on GitLab. A large number of components and functionalities has been finalised and can already be tested and validated by external users and they represent a functional example of the expected final release of the platform.
WP3, during this first period, was mostly focused on the training of the users and the collection of data from the pilots’ sites according to the assessments with the Atl@nte software. A significant number of users are already involved in the activities of the project. As a result, the pilot personnel can now effectively use the platform. Details about the progress were collected every two months through editing of an internal survey by the pilot partners.
With regard to WP4, its activities have already started with the initial definition of the indicators that will be used to assess the efficiency of the health and care system and the impact in terms of improved conditions of patients and caregivers. An initial analysis of EU legislation has been carried on with specific focus on procurement procedures in order to identify the preparatory conditions for definition of improved business and procurement models, as planned in WP5.
WP5 has seen the start of all its tasks. This included definition of a roadmap for the identification of new business, service delivery and procurement models. With particular regard to the latter, particular attention has been paid to defining an overview on European Procurement and Tendering Regulations affecting the eHealth and eCare sector. With particular regard to business plans, market scalability, licensing models and service level agreements the task leader has already defined a roadmap for the accomplishment of all activities during the reminder of the project. Particular attention has been also paid to the creation of an innovation ecosystem with the official appointment of the Innovation Management Team (IMT), made of engineers and market experts, whose activities were kicked-off in July 28th, 2015, in Darmstadt, Germany. In the July meeting, also the so called UNCAP Innovation Award was granted through a competition which involved several startups from all over Europe. In addition, the coordinator has already spinned off a company, Nively SAS ( which has the explicit mission to bring to the market the results of the project. The company has been established in Nice, France, due to the strategic agenda of the city administration to promote the silver economy domain.
Last, but not least, in terms of standardisation the project has already promoted several

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

UNCAP is moving beyond state of the art in that it is developing a solution which allows creating value-added services, specifically targeted to old persons, in order to support their activities of daily life. This is done through creation of an interoperable middleware that allows leveraging on existing consumer technologies. The added value of such an approach is significant in industrial terms, in that it allows scaling up easily, based on technologies readily available on the market (including biosensors, home automation systems, indoor localisation systems, etc.) yet ensuring provision of added value services.
The project, which is strongly SME-driven due to the composition of the consortium, has a very market-driven approach and tries to respond to requirements of the market.
The middleware follows an approach which promotes a “connected home” vision whereby services, for monitoring and supporting elderly people, are made available as remote features (technically as web services) from a community of service providers. The result is a comprehensive ecosystem capable to provide services such as: fall detection, monitoring of bio-parameters, reminder services, PHR (Personal Health Record), document management, communication services, billing services, etc.
In addition, a set of well defined open APIs (Application Programming Interface) not only allow extending the system with additional technologies, but it also allows creating further features by extending those available within the toolkit. The middleware, is being delivered as Open Source and heavily relies on open standards including, among others, KNX (for home automation systems), HL7 and Open mHhealth. In addition, the project is contributing to standardisation by creating a dedicated profile for exchange of data of relevance for monitoring ageing people. This is being defined as a comprehensive data protocol which includes a range of psycho-physical indicators. The data profile is currently being proposed to the standardisation community at OGC - Open Geospatial Consortium, in the context of the activities of the Health Domain Working Group (DWG) with the provisional name of AHA-ML (Active and Healthy Ageing Mark-up Language).

Related information

Record Number: 186656 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14