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HEalth related Activity Recognition system based on IoT – an interdisciplinary training program for young researchers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HEART (HEalth related Activity Recognition system based on IoT – an interdisciplinary training program for young researchers)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-08-31

The context for the Heart project is related to the increasing use of wearable sensors to remotely monitor human activities and vital parameters. The potential innovation of the Internet of Things (IoT) in personal health coaching programs is particularly useful to prevent chronic diseases that are booming in context characterized by aging societies (as in Europe and China). Indeed, those solutions rise a number of technical, legal, cultural and socio-economic challenges, which must be solved to enable a commercial solution.
The IoT can be a key growth business area for EU firms, which need to acquire competencies and skills for the exploitation of their innovation potential abroad. China is a key destination market, but products and solutions have to be adapted to the needs, behaviors and habits of Chinese consumer and to the specificity of the market. The impact of Heart project can be found at industry and academic level, as well as in terms of quality of young researchers’ attitude and skills.
Heart aims to:
• allow the formation of a team of new researchers, with a completely new profile, based on a strong interdisciplinary attitude, technical skills, creativity and entrepreneurial allure;
• release a health integrated activity recognition platform able to detect activities from heterogeneous data, using scalable algorithms, while safeguarding the privacy of the persons;
• provide EU firms with for new profiles of young researchers having the necessary skills in the Internet of Thing domain, thus increasing their international competitiveness.
In the first two years of the project, the work carried has been in line with the Annex 1 to the Grant Agreement. The progress achieved in the training of ESRs and in the research activity is fully satisfactory. All activities have been developed according to the initial plan, except for the time of recruitment of ESR 1 and ESR2. The delayed start of ESRs 1-2 required to implement specific actions to catch up the training process and the preparation of WP1 deliverables, in a coherent way. In particular, as discussed with the REA, we decided to postpone D2.2 due on M20 (actually submitted on M24) and D2.3/ML2 due on M24 (to be submitted on M29).

In WP1, all ESRs and supervisors have worked to conceptualize the research activity. This required to: sketch the state-of-the-art of the challenges the HEART project focuses on thanks to a literature review; identify the main research gaps; and specify, for each ESR, the research hypothesis according to a genuine interdisciplinary approach.
Within WP2, the Development of the research activity was implemented. The deliverable due in the period was submitted on time. The team of ESRs have started consultation of data base, collection of data and analysis of secondary level information, both in Europe and in China. Moreover, each ESR have started using the tools of analysis that are more appropriate for the specific discipline, leveraging on an interdisciplinary approach.
WP 4 is related to the development of interdisciplinarity skills and approach. The “Definition of an interdisciplinary common approach” was supposed to be concluded in M6, but due to the delay in recruitment of ESR 1 and 3, it actually ended in M14. To promote the interdisciplinary approach, the Knowledge Platform was implemented in due time, and specific workshops were organized, as foreseen in the Annex.
WP 5 is very broad and relates to all Training activities, aiming to transfer ESRs those skills that are necessary to conduct the foreseen research activities, along with transferable skills. All tasks and deliverables within this WP are in line with Annex I. Despite the delay in recruiting two ESRs, all deadlines were met for project, both for deliverables and milestones.
Participation to local training activities, in house training initiatives and external events is totally satisfactory, as well as the participation to conferences by ESRs. Network-wide training activities foreseen in the project were implemented, namely 2 Intensive training courses on transversal skills and 2 summer schools.
WP 6 is related to dissemination, communication & public engagement, as well as to exploitation. All deliverables were submitted on time and activities carried out properly. Stakeholder engagement and project dissemination activities were conducted in a very good way in all countries of beneficiaries, as well as abroad.
WP 7 is focused on Management. All activities carried out under this WP (including management, coordination, reporting, monitoring, follow-up, evaluation, project bodies meetings) have been duly carried out, without any deviation and in a very satisfactory way.
The HEART goal is to train 6 ESRs to PhD level by means of collaborative research projects aiming to the development of a health integrated activity recognition prototype platform and its exploitation at European and Chinese level.
Key progress beyond the state of the art (SOTA) and expected results are described below.
Innovation on activity recognition algorithms and their scalability. In Heart project, a combination of active and transfer learning is approached, in order to reduce the amount of required labelled data. We aim for a generalization of combined learning methods that is able to train models with a hierarchical structure (e.g. conditional random fields), which is typically present in complex activities (composed of a collection of primitive activities).
Innovation on privacy and security. In the domains of smart homes and healthcare, the life of people is improved using IoT devices that gather personal and environmental data, which is analyzed for offering new insights into users’ lifestyle.
Heart is going to advance the SOTA by building systems with privacy embedded early on in the development lifecycle, coherently integrating health-specific privacy, security and legal requirements and enhancing the privacy by design paradigm.
Innovation on privacy and security. Security and privacy of data are the prime constraints to the acceptance of IoT. Heart is going to advance the SOTA by proposing a new way to protect the privacy early on in the development lifecycle of products and services, coherently integrating health-specific privacy, security technical and legal requirements and enhancing the privacy by design paradigm.
Innovation on consumer needs and market penetration in China. Innovative remote monitoring systems must be conceived starting from a specific and precise understanding of customer needs, habits and acceptability of TRL both in Europe and in China. Heart is going to advance the SOTA by defining appropriate Chinese consumer perspective and market analysis dedicated to the Chinese IoT and wearable sector. Partnering and cooperation opportunities with Chinese firms are considered.
Also, foresight scenarios for implementation and market development will be provided for the benefit of European firms.