Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ehcoBUTLER Report Summary

Project ID: 643566
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ehcoBUTLER (ehcoBUTLER. A global ecosystem for the independent and healty living of elder people with mild cognitive impairments.)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The ehcoBUTLER project emerged with the aim to develop an innovative ICT-platform that would improve the health and social care of elderly people, especially those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), through self-learning and with the system support. The Consortium is formed by a group of public and private organizations: Everis, CIBER, Telefonica, INTRAS Foundation, and Idea SL from Spain; National Foundation for the Elderly from the Netherlands; YourDATA and Aima Napoli Onlus Association from Italy; SenLab from Slovenia; E-Seniors Association from France; VIDAVO from Greece; ASISTEL from Serbia; and Clalit Health Services from Israel.

ehcoBUTLER offers an innovative platform with a friendly interface that contains both leisure and care educational apps for the elderly population, facilitating and promoting self-learning. In addition, the platform is also provided with a module of cognitive training in order to help the users with MCI.

The ehcoBUTLER platform will be tested in seven different countries: Italy, France, Serbia, Israel, Greece, Spain, and Netherlands, in order to demonstrate the socio-economic benefits of the platform and the utility of this tool to improve the memory, wellbeing, autonomy, and quality of life of the elderly population through self-learning.

One of the strengths is the versatility and flexibility of this platform to be exploited by different organization types and its scalability for the whole European Market. Some of the key results expected from the implementation of the platform are: breaking the technological barrier between the elderly and the ICTs by creating a platform adapted to the elderly, taking into account ergonomics and usability issues; improving the wellbeing of the elderly users by providing them with psychological and cognitive techniques and support procedures inside the ehcoBUTLER platform; generating an ecosystem for apps to integrate both leisure and healthcare activities, integrating the healthcare in daily activities; and developing several ad-hoc features adapted to specific needs of the users with applications to elderly with cognitive impairment.

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

From the beginning of the ehcoBUTLER project, the results obtained during Y1 have been oriented into the definition of the foundations of the technological platform that will be piloted during Y2 as well as the rules that that pilot stage will have to follow.

Consequently, from the WP1, led by EVERIS, the management and quality assurance rules for the consortium have been defined under the D1.1 Quality Plan (submitted by February 2015) as well as the different actions (3 consortium meetings) and deliverables (activity reports, management reports, and risk plan) in order to coordinate the actions among that the different partners have been performing during 2015.

Finally, an also under WP1, the Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) has been working on the:

• The conduction of an initial study of the ethical implications of the project for the establishment of possible additional action plans (Deliverable D.1.16 Ethics Initial Study)

• Preparation and validation of templates for informed consent / participant information forms to provide information on the objectives, the nature of the data collected, procedures, risks, and potential benefits of the (information included in D1.4 Ethics Report v1)

• Discussion and approval of proposals for pilots (D2.5 and D2.6), inclusion/exclusion criteria, formulation of recommendations for changes to the design and/or to related documentation (information included in D1.4 Ethics Report v1)

• Coordination with partners for submitting information to local ethics committees (assessment produced for pilot partners submitting information)

• Coordination and preparation of the ethics reports which will be forwarded to the EC (collaborative documentation produced for D.1.16 Ethics Initial Study and D1.4 Ethics Report v1)

CIBER, leader of the work package dedicated to Ergonomics and Human Factors (WP2) has carried out during this first year task T2.1. (End user definition, requirements and use cases [M1-6]) and task T2.2. (Analysis of low and high fidelity mock-ups of Web [M7-M9]). Also, T2.3. Iterative usability assessments during development [M4-18] and T2.4. Evaluation of the Beta (Beta Test) [M14-16] has been initiated.

The following documents, which establish the requirements (foundations) of the ehcoBUTLER platform, have been the result of these previous tasks:

• D.2.1.Specification of use-cases. This document defines the use-cases of the BUTLER system for the different users (elderly users and care users) [M3]
• D.2.2.Requirements and specifications of BUTLER system. Document that gathers the main design specifications from the ergonomics and usability point of view of the system adapted to the end user. [M4]
• D2.3.Requirements and specifications of NEW features. Document that gathers the design specifications from the ergonomics and usability point of view for the new functionalities/modules of the BUTLER system [M9]

Also, under the umbrella of WP2, NFE and IDEA have been working together and closely with the consortium partners in the tasks of T2.5. (Pilot site assessment) and T2.6. (Pilot and validation planning), which will define the rules to follow during the pilot stage in order to keep consistency and valid data for the research process that will begin in Y3. The outcomes of these tasks are the following deliverables:

• D2.5 Assessment protocol and procedure [M11], submitted in December 2015.
• D2.6 Pilot and validation framework [M12], submitted in December 2015.

With the outcomes of the requirements defined by CIBER in D2.1, D2.2 and D2.3, and through reciprocal feedback between WP2 and WP3, EVERIS, SENLAB and INTRAS have been collaborating into the development of the ehcoBUTLER Platform (T3.1, T3.2, T3.3), including the inclusion of API mechanisms to expand the platform for its use by other developers, which will have to follow the rules defined in the deliverable D3.3 (Guideline for Developers) as well as the recommendations on the use of the platform. The deliverables submitted under the umbrella or WP3 during 2015 have been:

• D3.1 ehcoBUTLER system requirements report, due by month 4 and submitted on 30/04/2015
• D3.2 Alpha version of the ehcoBUTLER system, due by month 9 and submitted on 30/09/2015
• D3.3 Guideline for the developers, due by month 9 and submitted on 30/09/2015
• D3.4 Beta version of the ehcoBUTLER system, due by month 11 and submitted on 30/11/2015
• D3.5 ehcoBUTLER version 1.0, due by month 12 and submitted on 29/12/2015

Also, the adaptation of the IoTool by SENLAB (T4.2) and GRADIOR by INTRAS (T4.1) have started under the WP4 since October 2015, both of them adaptations taking into account the API developed under WP3.

Under T4.1, INTRAS started the analysis of requirements from the technical and clinical point of view promoting different meetings with developer partners, in special with EVERIS and different contacts with CIBER, in order to analyse how to adapt GRADIOR for use in ehcoBUTLER (how to adapt in the ehcoBUTLER philosophy, integrate in the API), considering the importance of presenting two versions for integration, a Leisure Advanced Module and a Care Advanced Module.

Among the sub-tasks already performed under T4.2 by SENLAB are included:

• a new modular services platform - sensor services are now stand-alone and communicate with IoTool independently. That allows external developer to make their own services for sensors without asking SenLab to change anything on the IoTool platform, even more - external services are automatically integrated into platform.

• a real-time server communication is fully rewritten (much faster – up to 24.000 sensor readings / user /s)

• a new optimized database structure, scripts for communication, smartphone communication module

Finally, under T4.3 (Others MCI modules), SENLAB started with an internal review, where additional MCI modules can be integrated into ehcoBUTLER platform, researching technical possibilities to integrate an Android TV, as TV is a device is generally also suitable for our target users.

Finally, in order to disseminate and communicate to the wide audience the progress and the results within the ehcoBUTLER project several dissemination activities have been performed under WP7 with the led by YourDATA and ESE and where all partner have been contributing:

• Presentation and dissemination of ehcoButler activities and its results in website project ( and social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Mendeley.
• Oral presentation and posters of ehcoButler in Medical and Technical Conferences.
• Publication of ehcoButler information in specialized and non-specialized newspapers.
• Distribution of ehcoButler information through flyers in several Conferences. These activities have raised the awareness among experts in their specific fields, enhanced the collaboration opportunities, approached and informed the potential stakeholders and promoted ehcoButler activities and findings.
• Creation of Confluence Space: it is a tool that will be used to manage the project Knowledge, as indicated into the Deliverable 7.3 (Knowledge and Data Management Activity) with security and policy rules established by this document and any other project document

The detailed list of dissemination activities performed during 2015 is annexed in the Deliverable 7.2 (Dissemination and Communication Activity). Both D7.2 and D7.3 can be downloaded by the project website.
The rules of the dissemination activity that will be developed during the last 24 months of the project lifecycle have been revised and improved. Consortium also planned the dissemination activities that will be developed by ehcoButler consortium partners during this period of time.

In particular, on-line and off-line dissemination activities have been better identified in terms of contents, audience and deadlines in relation to the relevant project milestones.
During the first year of the project, to avoid biased expectations among stakeholders and general public audience, dissemination activities have been limited to the main key concepts and the expected activities and impacts to be carried out during the whole duration of the project. As soon as trial results will be available, dissemination activities will be enhanced.

Also under WP7, in April 2015, the Data Management Plan (D7.4) was released in order to:

• support the data management life cycle for all data that will be collected, processed or generated by the Project,
• provide an analysis of the main elements of the data management policy that will be used by the applicants with regard to all the datasets that will be generated by the Project;
• provide detail and guarantee about the preservation of the data collected during the Project, as well as any results derived from the associated research;
• provide detail on how we plan to address the Ethical issues related to data that will be collected during the Project timeframe;
• create a document which explains the management of data collected during the Project.

As a summary, the deliverables submitted under the WP7 have been:

• D7.1 Dissemination and communication plan v1, due by month 6 and submitted on 30/06/2015
• D7.2 Dissemination and communication activity v1, due by month 12 and submitted on 29/12/2015
• D7.3 Knowledge and data management activity v1, due by month 6 and submitted on 30/06/2015
• D7.4 Data Management Plan, due by month 4 and submitted on 30/04/2015

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)

At this moment CIBER, leader of the Ergonomics and Human Factors work package (WP2), is developing a crucial task for the project (T2.3. Iterative usability assessments during development [M4-18]) and getting ready the usability pilot test (T2.4. Evaluation of the Beta (Beta Test) [M14-M16]).

The usability is a crucial variable in the user experience and the satisfaction with technology. It is a key feature of a system that users could perform tasks with minimal effort and high satisfaction.

Usability returns many benefits (return on investment, or ROI) to products developed for either internal use or sale (Bias & Mayhew, 1994): The development of user centered design systems with high usability features produces a high socio-economic impact at different levels:

• COSTS: Decreases costs of design and development.
• TIME: It allows saving development time anticipating usability problems. Also, it reduces the time dedicated to rework due to incorrect design.
• RISKS: It decreases the product failure risk in the market. A study carried out by Nielsen (1998) reported that online customers spend most of the time on sites with high usability.
• COMPETITIVE EDGE: It increases the competitiveness competitiveness of the product, and even the sales. A bad usability could produce angry costumers and a reduction of sales. A study by Kearney (2001) reported that 82% of users attempted to purchase but declined because of a bad design and usability. (Forrester Research, (1998) reported that due to the Internet users not finding the information they needed, 50% of potential sales were lost.

Therefore, we can state that satisfied customers are directly related to increment in online sales and software products. Satisfied customers stay longer on sites and consume more.

Also, 80% of all software lifecycle costs occur during the maintenance phase (Bias & Mayhew, 1994). A usability system decreases the costs of maintenance and user support. Forrester Research (1998) reported that usability techniques allowed to reduce the time spent on development tasks by 40%.

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