MyHeart is a VI FP EU Project intended to support the early diagnosis and treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases. In this project, our lab developed a solution for mapping and executing formal Care workflows for guiding healthcare professionals, care givers and patients.
“Fighting Cardiovascular Diseases by Preventive Lifestyle and Early Diagnosis” (MY HEART), is another project included in the VI EU R&D Framework Programme, in the area of the Information Society and Health Technologies (e-Health) of the IST Thematic Priority. It has a planned duration of 45 months and work began on 1 January 2004. Total funding is around Є35m, of which Є16m has been provided by the European Commission.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death in the west. In Europe over 20% of all citizens suffer from a chronic CVD and 45% of all deaths are due to CVD. Europe spends annually hundreds billion Euros on CVD. With the upcoming ageing population, it is a challenge for Europe to deliver its citizens healthcare at affordable costs. It is commonly accepted, that a healthy and preventive lifestyle, as well as the early diagnosis, could systematically fight the origin of CVD and save millions of live-years. The MyHeart mission is to empower citizens to fight cardiovascular diseases by preventive lifestyle and early diagnosis. The starting point is to gain knowledge on a citizen’s actual health status.
The principal objective of the MyHeart project is to give people more control over their state of health so as to be able to combat cardiovascular diseases (ECV) by means of prevention and early diagnosis. For this, services are used that combine advanced technology in fields such as intelligent textiles, which incorporate electronic systems in clothes for signal processing, advanced user/professional interactive devices and communication systems.
Five work areas were established corresponding to each of the main risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases: CardioActive, to combat sedentarism, CardioSleep, to improve sleep quality, CardioRelax, to combat stress, CardioBalance, to combat obesity and CardioSafe, to combat morbidity by early diagnosis.
Within these areas, 16 different concepts were designed, developed and evaluated in the first phase of the project. Of these, four were selected for product development in subsequent phases.
Our lab participates in the development of the Activity Coach product in the CardioActive area. This consists of a personal training service designed to promote physical activity and exercise in people of all ages at any time and anywhere by training programmes and personalised dynamic guides. The system is based on intelligent monitoring of biomedical signals and feedback in real-time during exercise in a highly motivated immersive ambience rich in gratifying experiences.
In the CardioSafe area, Our lab participates in the development of the Heart Failure Management product, which is aimed at improving mortality and morbidity rates in patients with cardiac insufficiency after a cardiac episode. The system permits patients to recover and rehabilitate in their own homes in a state of controlled independence and good quality of life. Hospital re-admittance is avoided and patients are able to make a rapid return to work.
Cardiosafe is based on providing long term support and assistance during recovery, helping patients to take exercise in the form of periodical walks – with risk monitoring and professional help – and also on developing continuous cardiac monitoring tools for when the patient is discharged from hospital. These tools evaluate functional capacity during the walks and assess the risk of suffering cardiac episodes such as arrhythmias or coronary ischemia.
The system will allow doctors to monitor the patient’s state of health and will give patients the reassuring sensation of support during recuperation and subsequent return to their normal daily activities.
The project, led by Philips Research Laboratories, of Aachen (Germany), is being carried out by a consortium consisting of 33 members, including many well-known organisations such as Medtronic, the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique, the University of Pisa, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the San Carlos Clinical Hospital of Madrid, the University Hospital of Coimbra, the Vodaphone Corporation of Spain and Universitat Politecnica de Valencia.