U-Care: User-Tailored Care Services Platform

Principal Investigator

Prof.dr.ir. H.J. Hermens

Abstract

The U-Care project will develop a services layer for integrated homecare systems, which provides tailorable, evolvable and non-intrusive home care services. This U-Care platform will provide technology-independence, in the sense that it will shield application developers from underlying software and network technologies. The U-Care platform differs from current platforms in that it will provide basic context-aware functions that can be used as service building blocks, by utilizing information derived from sensors for biosigns (activity level, heart rate, blood pressure, oximetry, weight, etc.) and sensors for physical context (location, temperature, humidity, etc.). We will focus on wellness and healthcare applications and services to assist people of 50 years and older in an "integrated living" environment.

Research

The goal of the project is to develop a services layer for integrated home care systems, referred to as the U-Care platform, which provides tailorable, evolvable and non-intrusive care services. The U-Care platform provides technology-independence, in the sense that it shields the service users from underlying software platforms and network solutions, and it encapsulates existing care and well-being applications. The creation and provisioning of services will be based on pre-defined service building blocks, which provide basic context-aware functions, by utilizing information derived from sensors for biosigns (activity level, heart rate, blood pressure, oximetry, weight, etc.) and sensors for context (location, temperature, humidity, etc.). The services are targeted to wellness and care applications to assist people of 50 years and older in an "integrated living" environment. Typical applications are in emergency monitoring, lifestyle monitoring and advice, exercise monitoring and co-training, and enabling social interaction.

The U-Care project therefore addresses the following technical problems:

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current automated home care support systems are often technology-driven, with the inherent drawbacks of being hard to use by the non-technical end-user, difficult to manage by the service providers, and hard to change or adapt when new requirements have to be met.

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technology solutions currently on the market are generally very specific and dedicated to a single goal, resulting in multiple non-interoperable systems in case a range of care conditions needs to be addressed.

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most systems cannot be tailored to the particular and often changing needs of their users, or do not (automatically or through manual intervention) adapt to fit their daily routines and personal situations.

Background

The costs for healthcare in the Netherlands are growing faster than the GPD, while at the same time the Netherlands has an increasingly ageing population. It is desirable, from an economical and a social point of view, to provide automated care support to people in their own homes whenever possible, in order to encourage, support, and maintain activities and participation of elderly in their familiar social context. The U-Care project aims at developing solutions that facilitate a prolonged active life and independent living of an ageing population.

Research theme

From Human Sensor-Motory Function to Patient-Practitioner Interaction

People working on the project

Hermie Hermens

Bert-Jan van Beijnum

Jan-Willem van ‘t Klooster

Grants

SenterNovem, IGC0816

Project website

http://ucare.ewi.utwente.nl

Timespan

2009-2012

Publications

http://eprints.eemcs.utwente.nl/view/project/U-Care.html

Results

See publications section and project website in right column.