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Pilots for Healthy and Active Ageing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PHArA-ON (Pilots for Healthy and Active Ageing)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-05-31

In Europe’s rapidly ageing society, Pharaon provides personalized and optimized healthcare and quality of life improvements, standardized platforms, and platforms from application domains like energy, transport, or smart cities. It is built upon mature existing state-of-the-art open platforms and technologies/tools that are customized to fulfil the specific needs and requirements coming from its users, then implemented using the latest cloud technologies. The platforms, of which interoperability and openness will be key design principles, incorporate AI techniques and traditional algorithms to implement customized intelligent analytics and pattern detection for big data.
Pharaon will follow a user-centric approach for maximum usability and acceptance of all users and stakeholders. User feedback will be monitored and used to shape the customization and evolution of the system. A specific evaluation framework will be used to assess impact. Consortium experts will provide guidelines and requirements regarding data privacy legislation, ethical and legal issues, as well as cybersecurity and privacy designs, which will become key objectives to pursue.
Pharaon’s integrated platforms will be deployed and validated in three stages, (1) in-lab, (2) pre-validation for early-stage debugging, and (3) large-scale pilots (LSPs). Pre-validation and LSPs will take place in six different sites: Murcia and Andalusia (Spain), Portugal, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Italy.
Through the 6 planned pilots and the activities addressing ecosystem expansion, the Pharaon project will demonstrate the suitability of the platforms to integrate digital technologies and the capacity of these technologies to keep people at their homes longer, while using institutional care facilities only when intensive care is needed.
The first reporting period covers the first 18 months of the project that were mainly devoted to the conceptualization of the pilot deployment, from the analysis of the users’ needs and technical requirements and definition of the Pharaon ecosystem architecture and its implementation with appropriate monitoring and developmental methodologies, to the design of pragmatical approaches for pre-validation, deployment, and related evaluation. During the period, actions related to the preparation of the pilots (WP2), such as ethical approval requests (WP10), analysis of the technical and financial sustainability (WP7) and creation of a framework for ecosystem evolution with cascade calls (WP6), were performed.
The very first phase of the project (WP2) was focused on methods for elicitation and representation of user requirements, that were applied to the engineering of user requirements for the pilots. User requirements were represented as goal models, use case scenarios, and user stories.
This phase was affected by the Covid outbreak that created the need to change the methodology for the users’ and pilots’ requirements activities (no face-to-face meetings with users were possible).
Based on the pilots’ configurations and needs, a preliminary conceptual sketch of the Pharaon architecture was defined. The architecture includes also certain key cross-cutting topics, like security and high-level interfaces among the functional components. The general specifications of the architecture were mapped into the different Pharaon pilots, tailoring the way it can be deployed into the different proposed scenarios, technologies, and applications.
Then, the preparation and implementation of the Pharaon pilots got to the heart of the project. The pilot preparation (WP7) focused on the consolidation of the use case scenarios, also considering stakeholders to be involved (including their inclusion and exclusion criteria), Pharaon partners and their roles. In this phase also the interoperable platforms and technologies to be used, and the general framework for pre-validation, deployment and follow-up, along with a description of the individual plans of each Pharaon pilot to implement the general framework and achieve the expected outputs and impacts were defined. 25 Pharaon Use Case Scenarios (PUCS) addressing the 10 Pharaon Challenges (PCH) have been consolidated among the 6 different pilots according to their preferences, target user’s needs and previous experiences. Also, complementary activities/processes from other key topics, such as legal and ethical assessment procedures (WP10), training (WP9) and data management (WP1) were initialized.
The activities related to the technical development, integration and related methodologies (WP3, WP4, WP5) produced the first results, identifying methods and concepts for the interoperability solutions in each pilot, describing their advantages and features that make them favourable to the pilot’s requirements.
A project-internal information repository about the technologies and services provided by the technical partners of the Pharaon Consortium on a website was created, to support the ongoing matching of technologies to the pilots (WP8).
Among these activities a well planned dissemination plan was defined and implement during the period; despite Covid outbreak, the Pharaon project achieved successfully most of the dissemination KPIs. Finally, also relevant actions toward standardization were performed, starting from a basic research on existing standards at European and international level e.g. CEN, CENELEC, ISO, IEC, ITU in the thematic field of Pharaon (WP9).
The impact of the Pharaon project is assured from an iterative approach that aims to guarantee an evaluation reference from each pilot with active involvement of relevant stakeholders from different perspectives (patients, decision makers, healthcare service providers, clinicians, researchers, and businesses) for customization, refinement, validation, integration and update of the KPIs identified to be used in assessment.
During the first 18 months of the project, the foundations of an organic approach were laid starting from the definition of a control room for impact assurance (WP1) and to the definition of methodologies for impact assessment and demonstration (WP7) and impact maximization (WP6,8,9). The main achievements in this sense concern mainly:
• the consolidations of scenarios and services for active and healthy ageing that cover different application domains,
• the study of cross-pilot or cross-country use cases for innovative ecosystem implementation and exploitation on the basis of needs from different stakeholders,
• the initial study and definition of guidelines for ethical compliance in such heterogeneous scenario,
• the collection and investigation of a database of standards for further development and integration with related standardization bodies,
• the collection of technologies, including platforms, to be used in the pilots and their positioning in an online catalogue as basis for future market analysis and business development,
• the setting of an evaluation framework of the Pharaon ecosystem that will be implemented by means of cascade calls,
• an efficient dissemination strategy at European level and at pilot level with a relevant touch points with local stakeholders external to the Pharaon consortium,
• a constant active presence in the Health and Care cluster with initiative in the topics of architectures and standards and in use cases as leaders.