eCAALYX provides a complete solution to improve the quality of life of elderly patients with chronic diseases, by monitoring their health condition, assessing their health risk, promptly detecting and controlling any decompensation episodes, and offering them focused education on leading a healthy lifestyle, so that their independent life at home can be extended and their hospitalisation or admission in nursing homes are avoided for longer periods.
eCAALYX—Enhanced Complete Ambient Assisted Living Experiment (June 2009 - June 2012) is a three-year project funded by the European Commission under the AAL Joint Programme (Strategic Objectives addressed: ICT-based Solutions for Prevention and Management of Chronic Conditions of Elderly People). The project builds on the strengths of the infrastructure and functionality already developed in the original CAALYX project (2007/2008).
The project participants are:
- FUNDACIÓN CETEMMSA, Spain (project coordinator): http://www.cetemmsa.com
- Corscience GmbH & Co KG, Germany: http://www.corscience.de
- Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin: http://www.charite.de/
- Fraunhofer Portugal: http://www.fraunhofer.pt
- Fundació Privada Sant Antoni Abat: http://www.fundacioabat.cat
- INESC Porto – Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores do Porto, Portugal: http://www.inescporto.pt
- National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland: http://www.nuigalway.ie
- Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo, Spain: http://www.tid.es
- TeleMedic Systems, UK: http://www.telemedicsystems.com
- University of Limerick, Ireland: http://www.ul.ie
- University of Plymouth (Enterprise Ltd), UK: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk
Description of the way to implement the initiative
eCAALYX will allow comprehensive and coordinated global management by different clinicians of patients suffering from comorbidity, resulting in a much more efficient and effective treatment. Practical deployment aspects such as remote management and auto-configuration mechanisms will also be developed such that long-term large-scale deployment is possible with reduced operating costs. Another novel feature in eCAALYX is the use of smart garments. These are comfortable washable garments with specialised conductive areas that can, for example, function as heart rate/ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes when in contact with the skin. Finally, eCAALYX will be easily integrable into the contemporary technological infrastructure of most European network operators and homes, and will also be available when users visit their second homes, e.g., while on holidays in Southern Europe or during extended stays with relatives living in different locations, including in other European countries than the person’s home country.
eCAALYX system is performed by the home and mobile monitoring systems, their associated health, activity and fall sensors and the caretaker site.
- Tricorder: combines the most relevant sensors for monitoring the prevalent chronic conditions and health risks.
- Smart garments: Using conductive textile materials, a comfortable garment will be developed for improved user acceptance and will have conductive areas that can, for example, function as heart rate/ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes when in contact with the skin.
Main results, benefits and impacts
eCAALYX offers a Chronic Disease Management Platform in which services are categorized in four levels depending on the gravity of the patient: Continuous Care Service (t-shirt), Extra Primary Care Service (smart home services), Primary Care Service (home monitoring system) or Soft Care Service (calendar, drugs agenda and treatment information, questioners, videoconference).
eCAALYX allows people with chronic conditions to live independently while clinicians can take care of them in the background, allowing to reduce the intrusion.
eCAALYX’s objectives can be summarised as follows:
- Health monitoring of older and elderly persons with multiple chronic conditions, at home and on the move (the original CAALYX did not cover the health monitoring and management of older people with comorbidity).
- Improve the quality of life of elderly persons by increasing their freedom and safety. This is achieved by promptly detecting and controlling any decompensation episodes, so that their independent life at home can be extended and their hospitalisation or admission in nursing homes are avoided for longer periods. Besides improving the elderly person’s quality of life, this approach will also result in various cost reductions and in relieving some of the growing burden on acute care/healthcare systems.
- Prevent deterioration of the patient condition by providing continuous support, guidance, and relevant health education (the original CAALYX did not have such strong home-based components for the delivery of education on leading a healthy lifestyle).
- Achieve all of the above goals by providing a solution that is commercially viable, acceptable by all users/stakeholders, reliable, long-term, flexible, scalable, and virtually maintenance-free in non-technical environments, thus suitable for real-world deployment.
The eCAALYX system is also being used as reference model for a large AAL national standardization project in Portugal. The objective of the QREN AAL4ALL (www.aal4all.org) project is to define a reference architecture for AAL products in Portugal and to create a sectorial/domain certification entity for AAL products. eCAALYX extension of the TR-069 protocol is being proposed as a contribution for the national standard.
Track record of sharing
Please refer to the Table regarding Track Record of Sharing that can be found under additional documents.
- eHealth solutions must be clearly addressed to the market from its conception.
- The end-users involvement is crucial from the beginning of the project.
- The legal requirements (different for each country) should be taken into account well in advance.