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Ambient Living with Embedded Networks

Project Manager: Prof. dr. Pieter Hartel
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Tel.: +31 53 489 2411
Email: p.h.hartel@utwente.nl

Project website: http://www.alwen.nl/


Alwen is synonym for “noble friend” and its origin predates the time the Romans came to England.


The ALwEN project can become a noble friend to us all. We have set a noble course: technology to assist people in its day to day chores.

Science and technology has helped us to become older. As such world population is aging dramatically. Already over 15 percent of the European population is over the age of 65. This trend will grow. In the Europe of 2030, the age group 65-80 will account for approximately 17.6% of the total population; the age group of 80 years and older for 7.5%. To sustain the quality of life, as we grow older we cannot rely having a nurse for every person, nor can we rely on the fact that the hospitals will have enough capacity to provide the same level of treatment and care as we experience today. The elderly population is now much more aware of their position then in the past. They have the obvious wish to live as independently as possible within their health restrictions.

Also improvements in the treatment of Alzheimer, chronic diseases like cardiovascular related, COPD and diabetes have increased the average age of people. Altogether, this puts a great pressure on our healthcare system: it faces an increasing population with multiple disorders who require care for a long period of time, whereas presently the focus is largely on cure. It is also clear that, already in the near future, there are not sufficient funds and neither sufficient people to respond adequately to this challenge.

Besides the elderly people, a large group (one out of nine Dutch people) is suffering from a physical impairment.

Technology might contribute to lessen this burden by contributing to a more independent life of this population and making the use of personnel more efficient.

Only 8 percent of new students look for a job related education in healthcare. With the current growth rate of aging people at least 16 percent should look for a job in healthcare. It is clear that this is impossible to implement and would lead to economic disaster. It is mandatory to implement novel solutions of assistance in and around the home to avoid chaos. These approaches should address the improvement of the quality of life and reduction of prolonged care at the healthcare institutions.

Ambient Living with Embedded Networks, the combination of Body Sensors, Ambient Sensors, Wireless Networks and Telemedicine implements a novel approach to zeroth, first and second line care and addresses the widely recognized fact that care must be organized differently.

Project duration: January 2008 until December 2010
Project budget: 4.1 M-€ / 1.8 M-€ funding
Number of person/years: 35.7 fte / 11.9 fte/year
Project Coordinator: DevLab
Participants: DevLab, Philips, ESI, TU Delft, VU, UT, TU/e, Holst Centre/IMEC, Roessingh R&D
Project budget CTIT: 397.4 k-€
Number of person/years CTIT: 3 fte / 1 fte/year
Involved groups: Distributed and Embedded Security (DIES)