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Ubiquitous iNteroperable Care for Ageing People

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - UNCAP (Ubiquitous iNteroperable Care for Ageing People)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Ageing 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 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”.
UNCAP is addressing such a fast-evolving scenario through the development of an open, scalable and privacy-savvy ICT infrastructure designed to help ageing people (including those with cognitive impairments) live independently, with dignity, maintaining and improving their lifestyle. In particular, UNCAP leverages 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 allows 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 not only allows accurate monitoring of user’s state (physical & cognitive) but it also allows creating a range of brand new services designed to stimulate healthier lifestyle and -in general- more active ageing.
In fact, the ultimate goal UNCAP is to extend the duration of high-quality life of ageing, 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 is being 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).
The project began with the preparation of documents and guidelines for the other activities to follow, in particular scenarios, use cases, and requirements, as highlighted by the pilot partners; the system architecture; the technologies deployment strategy at pilot’s sites; the ethical and privacy related issues and requirements; and the customization and translation of the Atl@nte toolkit in order to account for the different geographic locations of the pilot sites and training of the users (mainly doctors and nurses).
Successively, the development activities have brought to the release of the Alpha version of the platform, as open source and 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.
In parallel, the training of the users and the collection of data from the pilot sites through the assessments carried on with the Atl@nte platform before UNCAP was installed have been carried out. This strategy was targeted at creating a baseline for later assessment activities. Concurrently the activities included the preparation of the pilot sites, including the activities necessary to start the validation planned during the real piloting phase (which started in 2016 and that will extend onto 2017).
Ensuring the assessment of the impact of UNCAP, in terms of improved efficiency of the health-care system, quality of life of involved used and caregivers, and the analysis of the impact in terms of business and financing models have been focus of further activities. Moreover, relevant business and service delivery models, as well as new procurement models, starting from the experiences and impacts gained from the pilot have been developed.
Additionally, a number of activities have been promoted to ensure maximum awareness of the project and its achievements, including a conference in Dublin and several workshops. In addition, four additional issues of the project newsletter have been released and a number of presentations/publications made at events such as conferences and symposia to disseminate the results of the project to the different communities (industry, academia, etc.).
UNCAP is moving beyond state of the art in that it is developing a solution to allow creating value-added services, specifically targeted to old persons, in order to support their activities of daily life. This is done through the creation of an interoperable middleware that allows leveraging on existing consumer technologies. The added value of such an approach 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 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 allows extending the system with additional technologies, but 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.
UNCAP Architecture
UNCAP Architecture