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Services layer for tailorable, evolvable, non-intrusive home care services

Project Manager: Dr. ir. M.J. van Sinderen
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Tel.: +31-53-4893677
Email: m.j.vansinderen@utwente.nl

Project website: U-Care



The aging population of western countries puts enormous pressure on the traditional healthcare systems. Home healthcare systems are considered a promising new and complementary approach to provide sustainable healthcare and at the same time increasing the quality of life for elderly people. Home healthcare systems have the potential to alleviate care needs and decrease costs, amongst others by self-empowerment of the human user and by context-dependent monitoring and treatment. This supports independent living of elderly people in their home, and thus tries to avoid moving to care institutions that provide specialized but expensive care forms.

Today, already a range of advanced home healthcare services can be provided, including health monitoring, event-based alarm, communication of health-related information, and automated health data analysis. Although there are still several recognized technological challenges related to the deployment of efficient and usable home healthcare solutions, this project focuses on another challenge which has received less attention so far. The challenge addressed by this projects comes from the fact that current home healthcare systems are generally stand alone, for specific diseases, for a ‘standard’ patient, and for a static situation. However, in reality each person is unique in the way (s)he experiences or is affected by a disease, or a combination of diseases, not only because of his/her mental and physical condition, but also because of his/her social and physical environment. Home healthcare systems therefore should enable the personalization of homecare services according to the evolving needs and preferences of each individual user. In addition, these systems should support the automated adaptation of homecare services based on context input from sensors embedded in the home or worn by the user. This project also considers business aspects of home healthcare systems, including the economic feasibility and sustainability of home healthcare solutions, and other requirements of end-users and business stakeholders.

The main goals of the 4-years U-Care project are to develop 1) a model of the home healthcare domain and its stakeholders; 2) a technical architecture and a validated prototype of the U-Care services platform supporting tailoring of homecare services and integration of existing solutions; and 3) a business model to assure economic sustainability of the proposed solution. The project builds on the results of previous projects, such as AWARENESS, AMIGO and SPICE.

Project duration: 1-11-2008 / 31-12-2011
Project budget: 1.826 k-€ / 1.260 k-€ funding
Number of person/years: 21.45 fte / 5.36 fte/year
Project Coordinator: CTIT
Participants: UT, Orbis, IZIT NL, IBM, TKH, MobiHealth BV
Project budget CTIT: 1.386 k-€ / 1.039,5 k-€ funding
Number of person/years CTIT: 18.4 fte / 4.6 fte/year
Involved groups: Information Systems (IS), Telemedicine Group (TG)