miércoles, 18 de diciembre de 2013

i2Health Sant Pau collaborates with DAA project

Design-led innovations for active ageing (DAA) is an INTERREG IVC funded project that aims to create a  network of cities that need to find economic and innovative yet sustainable solutions for senior care. Each city brings a best practice in the field of senior care and a need for a policy. In the case of Barcelona, the focus is provided to improve the quality of life of senior citizens suffering from dementia.

We were invited by Barcelona Centre de Disseny (BCD), the local partner of DAA project, to show our expertise in provide user driven approaches, as Living Labs, developing ITC solutions to face dementia problems for these patients and their careers. 

Some participants during the workshop

On November 26th we conducted a practical workshop in our facilities to explore the use of tablet computers in providing new services that could help these dementia patients and their careers to improve the communication and to get the feeling of a "closer" service from healthcare and social care areas.

lunes, 11 de noviembre de 2013

eHealth & Telecare Services: An actual overview

A brief insight into current market trends in telecare services

Telecare Services
Telecare services mainly means the provision of social care services from distant locations supported by telecommunications. Through the use of alarms, sensors and other equipment, telecare systems help people to extend independently living, mainly for elder people. Telecare services can be classified in different generations:
  • First-generation: simple telephone unit and a necklace with a button that can be triggered by the user when help is required. Rely on already existing technologies, and represent the most mature market segment in the field of ICTs and ageing in Europe.
  • Second-generation: adds a 'passive' or automatic alarm dimension enabled by the implementation of sensors such as smoke, fire and flood detectors, among others at home. This generation is considered a growth market, involving provision of additional sensors to enhance basic social alarm services (only in the UK can the situation be considered to be approaching anything close to a mainstreamed one). 
  • Third-generation: more advanced services, which collects everyday activity data automatically through various sensors in an integrated way to monitor wellbeing and assesses the need for help and support. Considered an embryonic market, related to the 'Ambient assisted Living' concept, whose main activity to date is in the form of pilots/trials.

Components of Telecare Systems
[Source: P. Baum, F. Abadie. Market Developments – Remote Patient Monitoring and Treatment, Telecare, Fitness/Wellness and mHealth. 2013. JRC Scientific and Policy Reports, European Commission]

Some market figures
In a report from the market research company Frost & Sullivan, the value of the telecare market was estimated to be worth €82.45 million in 2009. The estimated value is expected to nearly double in value until 2015 to reach €160.75 million.

The United Kingdom is the leading country for Telecare revenues with a value of €19.4 million in 2009 and a forecasted value of €49.1 million by 2015, and its leading position is explained by the strong commitment of NHS (National Health Service) to deploy telecare which has been translated by favorable funding and policy conditions so far. Given that, understanding demand by private end-users is particularly decisive in countries where neither health nor social insurance reimburses the costs for the telecare service and device.

Barriers and Drivers
The Telecare market is characterized by a diversity of device suppliers and service providers, but competition remains low as there is no mainstreaming happening yet. Ageing, need for continuous care, deployment of AAL programs and government action promoting awareness of telecare, as well as more conducive regulatory and policy frameworks, are considered as main drivers for the segment, while lack of interoperability, lack of public funding and unclear perception of benefits hinder its development.

Next diagram show a briefing of drivers and barriers:

To sum up, telecare is a growing market which will have a significant impact in eHealth sector and social services for the coming decades, involving partners from both ICT and health sector. However, a stronger public awareness is needed, along with governmental support and suitable policies, in order to create and integrated and well-defined environment for the provision and reimbursement of social care services through the use of ICTs.

jueves, 10 de octubre de 2013

World Mental Health Day

ICT solutions for Mental Health

World Mental Health Day is annually held on October 10, this day aims to raise public awareness about mental health issues worldwide.

From i2cat, we are aware of the impact of this problem on the society and for this reason in the last years we have been involved in several initiatives aimed to support the health conditions of patient with mental health issues like in ConnectAlzhemier designed for patients who suffer Alzheimer and their relatives or in Help4mood, which offers a platform to support the treatment of depression.

In the FP7 Help4Mood project (www.help4mood.info), after have done several evaluations with several Healthcare providers from Spain, UK and Romania, we are fixing the last details in order to start the clinical trials, where the patients will use the platform during weeks.

The results of those clinical trials will be discussed during a workshop in Barcelona that we are organizing with the support of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (http://www.pssjd.org ) and the Cluster of Mental Health of Catalonia, formed by 27 Spanish entities (http://www.santboisalutmental.cat/ )

This session will provide an overview of the eHealth issues about to support mental health from ICT experts and will also show some innovative ehealth solutions.

viernes, 4 de octubre de 2013

CarismaTiC Presentation

CarismaTiC at m4all

On September 21st took place the m4all day in the Mobile World Centre. The fist edition of this event was focused on the accessibility of mobile solutions that help to improve the quality of life of people.

During the event i2Health Sant Pau presented CarismaTiC project that aims to bring the social and healthcare services closer to beneficiaries. Our initiative, launched jointly with Fundació Ciutat de Viladecans, uses a platform on the cloud that is accessible for beneficiaries from tablet computer devices and from web browsers by professionals. The system present several services to improve communication and allow bidirectional exchange of information between beneficiaries and professionals. It has been designed thinking in beneficiaries without digital literacy skills and, for instance, allows remotely managing of the applications available in the tablet computer device by the professionals.

miércoles, 25 de septiembre de 2013


Machine to Machine

M2M is a very broad term that refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type.

Modern M2M communication has expanded beyond a one-to-one connection and changed into a system of networks that transmits data to personal appliances. The expansion of IP networks across the world has made it far easier for M2M communication to take place and has lowered the amount of power and time necessary for the machines to communicate the information. These networks also allow an array of new business opportunities and connections between consumers and producers in terms of the products being sold.

In the health field, M2M is becoming an integral part of patient care, helping to cut costs as well as save lives. Sensors in the bathroom, by the bed or near the door can collect information without compromising the individual’s privacy. Remote monitoring devices can be used to allow clinicians to remotely monitor information about patients with chronic illness such as cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

jueves, 19 de septiembre de 2013


Keeping track of the patient adherence

i2Cat has presented the ICT's platform to support medication adherence for chronic patients. This platform was presented at the last congress "Apps per salut" of the Oficial College of Doctors of Barcelona (COMB): http://www.comb.cat/cat/altres/salut20comb/home.asp

i2cat's solution, named "AMMP", is based on a novelty application for Android smart-phones with enabled NFC technology. Many people frequently forget to take the medicine prescribed by their doctors. An incomplete or irregular administration of the medicine can have fateful consequences, even short-term, especially in some groups like the elderly people.

The AMMP-NFC project aims to give a practical and effective solution to this problem through this mobile application. This application will be used in the medical prescription, where the medicines that the patient has to take will be registered; in the medicine dispensation, so that the pharmacist has all the information about the medicines that has to sell to the patient; and in the pill's administration, where the mobile phone will notify the patient using an alarm each time they have to take some of the prescribed medicines. Each of this steps use the NFC technology, as identification of the patient and also as a trigger for actions in the different workflow scenarios. Some of them could be summarized in this video:

More information about i2Cat's NFC enabled technology to support medication adherence: http://www.i2cat.net/en/projecte/ammp-1

jueves, 25 de julio de 2013

Streaming Platform for eLearning

Technology platform for real-time surgical interventions

Streaming solutions are one of the most widely used tools for the provision of multimedia content on demand. More specifically, the use of Internet has allowed a more easy access to specific content in any area of knowledge, hence its importance in the field of eLearning. Nowadays, many learning activities are based on provision of multimedia content through virtual courses, so users/learners from remote locations can access this content and interact with the course coordinator.

In the field of eHealth, this kind of activities are becoming more and more relevant, and streaming of medical-related content is a useful sharing tool, not only for specialists recording tricky operations, but also for other health professionals to learn from the experience of their colleagues. Web pages such as www.lion-web.org are currently offering several scheduled operations of otolaryngology interventions, and the access is very user-friendly, so access is easy and prepared for different network connections.

Taking into account this opportunity, and the growing demand of such kind of solutions, the eHealth Area of Fundació i2Cat has developed a new service for e-Learning activities, which provides Internet access to visualization of real-time surgery interventions, with the possibility to communicate with the surgeon via chat or voice.

The principal functionalities of the platform are the following:
  • The origin of the retransmission is a surgery room equipped with a High Definition or Standard Definition video capturing system for broadcasting.
  • The system allows the broadcasting of the video stream feed coming from the capture system, through connection with a streaming server.
  • Participants can connect to the broadcast transmission over the Internet through streaming web page, with different video quality depending on the capture system.
  • Interactivity is achieved by both voice and chat, in order to allow communication among the participants.
Next picture shows the diagram of the service:

viernes, 19 de julio de 2013

Software Development in eHealth

Our experience in e-Health software development

When working in the software industry, we would always like to improve the efficiency of our developments. To do that, we try to reduce the development time us much as possible while sticking into the assigned budget but also maintaining the required quality and user satisfaction.

In e-Health projects, there are many stakeholders involved: doctors, hospital managers, patients, etc. Everyone with different needs and opinions about which is supposed to be the scope of the project, what are the most important features, and which is the better way to address a certain situation. In addition, the requirements defined at the beginning of the project are never static. They are in constant change and evolution, adding complexity to time and cost estimations and increasing the risk of project failure (understanding failure as a low quality software, a delayed delivery or a budget overrun).

In the eHealth & eInclusion unit of i2Cat Foundation we learned from all this problems and started the transition from traditional waterfall-based to an Agile SCRUM-based software development. We studied our specific problems and needs to tailor a specific strategy for the software development group. This strategy is focused on three main points:

1 – Adopt Agile Development practices and use support tools
2 – Continuously communicate with stakeholders about the development progress
3 – Develop modular and configurable software platforms

By following this strategy and improving it over time, the benefits we encountered so far are:

· Time estimations have improved, reducing the delayed delivery risk.
· Better adaptability to requirements changes.
· More frequent delivery of prototypes, keeping the stakeholders updated and more involved in the project progress.
· Improved communication between the development group and the rest of stakeholders. Always updated information for project and product managers.
· Control the development progress precisely allowing taking measures when the progress is not on track.
· Reduce development time by effectively reusing software modules and components.
· Improve the software quality without running out of time or budget.

Adopting an effective development methodology is important to improve the efficiency, but the key to success is to learn from the past, adapt to your particular field and team, and constantly evolve to improve. There is no strict rule that fits all development teams, create your own strategy and be flexible to adapt it and change it over the time

martes, 9 de julio de 2013


Confident Motion


The overall objective for COM’ON is to develop, test and deploy a digital platform and the associated services for public transportation, which help older adults to cope with the complexity of situations having mild to moderate problems with moving around.

COM’ON will enhance older adults’ sense of self-efficacy through:
1. Security and safety
2. Confidence and autonomy
3. Competence
4. Connecting


We have decided to develop the COM’PANION concept, which empowers older adults to take on journeys of their own, through motivational feedback about e.g. distance and frequency of journey, as well as appropriate and timely support from a personal or professional peer.

This service is delivered on PC, tablet or smartphone.

The core functionalities that allow companionship are:
· Opportunities to pair up between companions (older adults and personal/professional relation).
· Invitations to join a journey.
· Possibilities to receive and request location based notification.
· Live interaction and communication between the older adults and the companions while being on the way.

As part of the core service additional functionalities are:
· A special interface to GPS based guidance while on the move, taking into account the special needs of older adults.
· A motivational feedback loop providing individualised information about distance, frequency of journeys e.g.
· A planning tool that helps to structure and to carry out the everyday life in relation to journeys and destinations outside of home.

· Copenhagen Living Lab
· Xtel
· Actimo
· Laurea University of Applied Sciences
· Nearparent
· Enthoven Associates Design Consultants
· Concept Factory
· i2cat

Website: www.comon.lu

Supported by:

miércoles, 26 de junio de 2013


RFID technology applied to the patient tracking

One of the main issues in the healthcare systems, which directly impacts in the operational efficiency and productivity of health services, it is the identification and location of patients. Currently there are several ICT solutions in the market, but without so much success. Generally, it is not possible to know the path of the patients or how long the patient has been inside the room, so it is really difficult to manage and optimize the care processes. It is estimated that between 6% and 10% of the errors that occurs in a hospital, are caused by an error in the identification of subjects.

In this context, CUIDATS project aims to develop an integrated system based on RFID technology that allows to monitors and register the location and several vital signs of the patients. The platform is low cost and minimally invasive for the patient, as well as the software platform, which will be integrated to the information system of the healthcare system.

As result of the project will be created a system-prototype that will be evaluated in the pilot inside a real hospital or in a similar scenario in order to validate the usefulness of the system in the context of the management of services. The solution will achieve to reduce the lack of efficiency in the management of resources, the localization ad the tracking of patients.

At this project i2cat Foundation leads the requirements and dissemination work packages and it is also involved in other tasks related to the integration with the health care system. For more information, visit the CUIDATS project website (cuidats.i2cat.net).

jueves, 20 de junio de 2013


ICT based platform to promote elderly wellbeing

CarismaTiC project aims to promote an easy and accessible access of senior impaired people and her/his caregiver to healthcare and social services in order to improve their quality of life and autonomy.

The initiative will provide the target group with an ITC based platform accessible through a tabletPC application integrating several resources such as: medication tools to improve adherence, messaging platform to promote direct contact between beneficiaries and healthcare/social services, videoconference service between social/healthcare providers and beneficiaries, register of relevant data from patients’ evolution…

During the development, the most important stakeholders identified have been contacted in order to find out the most relevant specifications that can affect the initiatives and assure highest diffusion rates and impact on the society at the end of the project.

Initial mock up of CarismaTiC apps interface

CarismaTiC project started on September 2012 and is expected to finalize it at the end of year 2013.

The project is promoted by “Fundació Ciutat de Viladecans” and eHealth area of “Fundació i2CAT”, supported by the local healthcare and social services of Viladecans city (Barcelona) and funded by “Obra Social La Caixa”.

For more information about CarismaTiC please contact us or refer to:
CarismaTiC Project website: http://www.carismatic.cat

miércoles, 19 de junio de 2013

HCDIS formative session

Improving health processes

Yesterday we held a formative session where Healthcare Dynamics explained the functionalities of their Hospital Information System, also named HCDIS. The session was runned by Luis Cordero and he presented all the capabilities of their product to a group of clinicians of the Sant Pau Hospital.

For more information about Healthcare Dynamics and HCDIS consult www.hcdis.com

lunes, 10 de junio de 2013

Telemedicine apps target audience

Developing accessible apps for elderly people

As technology and comunications evolves we find more oportunities to help aged people improve their quality of life reducing speciallist presence and time dedication requeriments. Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.

When we develope an application to help elderly people, we must play attention not only to its main functionalities, we must also be aware that the interface and navigation should be easily understood and accessible for this particular audience. Otherwise we will run in to the risk our app might become useless.

Keeping a check ist with the main guidelines is a good practice to get good results.
VISION, Problems & Solutions

Problem: Reading problems because of disability to detect light, color and details.

Solution:  Follow this type recommendations to prevent visual problems when reading text

Use a sans serif typeface.
Use a typeface that is not condensed.

Type size

Use 12- or 14-point type size for body text.
Make it easy for people to change the text size directly from the screen.

Type weight

Use medium or boldface typeface.
For headings, increase the size and weight or use a color. If you use bold for body text, make headings stand out with size or color.

Capital and lowercase letters

Put all text in uppercase and lowercase letters. Never use all capitals. All capitals take up more space. It is also more difficult to distinguish different letters in capitals.
Letter Styles
Avoid using italics
Italics are hard to read, especially online.


Left-justified type is best for older adults.


  • Use dark type or graphics against a light background.
  •  Avoid patterned backgrounds.


  • Use high-contrast color combinations, such as black type against a white background. Avoid layering shades of the same color, such as dark blue type on a light blue background. Avoid colors that clash. For example, dark blue on red is very difficult on the eye.
  • Avoid yellow and blue and green in close proximity. The differences in these colors are difficult for many older people to see.
  • Use colors to group information visually.

Problem: Often making reading from a computer screen difficult as the eyes become less sensitive.
Solution: Make a good use of space
  • Allow sufficient white space on the web page to ensure an uncluttered look.
  • Put a space between paragraphs.
  • Allow enough space around clickable targets, such as links and buttons, so that each one is easy to target and hit separately.

COGNITIVE ABILITIES, Problems & Solutions

Problem: Little training in the use of computers and the Internet

Solution:  Make it clear how the information on the website is organized. Users should easily be able to determine what information your site offers and how it is organized. They should be able to figure out a starting point and predict what type of information a link will lead them to. It should also be clear how they can find more information as well as how to return to previously visited pages.

Problem: Working memory limitation affects the ability to simultaneously grasp, retain, and manage new information

Solution: Break information into short sections. Giving people a small amount of content at one time makes it easier for them to grasp and recall information.

Problem: Declines in perceptual speed can increase the time it takes to process information

Solution: Group related topics visually. Use page layout to show how information is organized.

Problem: Text comprehension can make it harder for older adults to understand written material that is not expressed in a straightforward or concrete manner

Put key information first. The most important information should be located where people can find it most easily
Put the sections in logical order. Think about how older adults might look for information.
Limit the number of points you make. Stick to one to five messages in each section. Keeping your information brief can make it easier for web users to stay focused.
Keep paragraphs and sentences short. Paragraphs should express one main idea. Sentences should be simple and straightforward.
Write in the active voice. The active voice puts the focus on people and actions.
Write in the positive. Be especially aware of words that have negative meaning such as "forget," "until," and "unless." Instead of combining them with "not," rewrite the sentence with a positive word.
Explain clearly; don't make people guess what you mean. Be direct.
Give specific instructions.
If the instructions have more than one step, number them.

Problem: Many older adults may be unfamiliar with technical language and jargon.

Solution: Use understandable words and avoid technical terms.

Case study: Global Tele Rehabilitation System

GTRS project recently won the Young Talent Forum Award at the IV Jornades R+D+I en TIC i Salut.

The GTRS project aims to allow the patients, using a telerehabilitation system, to do the rehabilitation exercises at home.

To achieve this objectives designers and developers worked on an accessible interface, making good use of space, contrast, simple images and easy readable text. 


Older users are used to connecting with people, not machines. Your design needs to have a sense of warmth and humanity in order to appeal to this demographic.

And remember: Help the aged, because one day you'll be older too

National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013

Project REMEI

REal-time MEdical Reporting ServIce

The goal of the project is to implement and validate an asynchronous, real-time and online medical case report service built upon a secure, fast and reliable telemedicine platform for remote assistance and telediagnostic of diseases in emergency scenarios.

This service facilitates the cooperation and coordination among professionals of different medical centres; as well as it aids to the diagnosis by associating medical images to the case report. In addition, the platform also provides a videoconference service increasing thus communication capabilities for remote assistance between e.g. medical specialist and the emergency physician.

The figure below depicts the hardware system components and illustrates the deployment of the service with the remote and reference hospitals.

The service is being tested and clinically validated at Sant Joan de Déu Hospital (http://www.hsjdbcn.org) in a teleophthalmology scenario among ophthalmologists, opticians and neonatologists.

The principal functionalities of the service built upon the telemedicine platform are:
· Asynchronous and real-time edition of medical case reports using Flex technology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Flex).
· Use and sharing of medical images associated to medical case reports, incl. DICOM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicom).
· Videoconferencing technology allowing real-time communication.
· Use of HTTPS and RTMPS (videoconference) secure protocols to protect patient data.

This project has been funded by Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament d’Innovació, Universitats i Empresa.

Pleaso download this brochure for further information.

lunes, 13 de mayo de 2013

Health Interoperability Forum

3rd Meeting of Health Interoperability Forum

i2Cat attended the 3rd Meeting of Health Interoperability Forum organized by the Spanish Society of Health Informatics (SEIS) held in La Granja de San Ildefonso on days 7th and 8th of May. The conference website is: http://www.seis.es/jsp/base.jsp?contenido=/jsp/congresos/inicio.jsp&id=4.1&categoria=7&idcongreso=201

The conference, organized annually and maintaining the continuity focus of the Standardization Forum on Health, disclosed the latest advances in interoperability in health information systems statewide. In this context, the presententations of the work of various university groups, businesses, hospitals and government, with the goal of getting new platforms to enable effective and efficient exchange of clinical data of patients between different organizations and different levels (from primary , through tertiary hospitals until the Ministry of Health and the estates with the delegated competences).

In summary, we highlight some of the most discussed presentations:

Opening Act: Luciano Ayerra Saez, president of the SEIS, opened the conference, with Cristina Hernan Hernan (AENOR, technical committee for standardization in healthcare computer systems).

Ariadna Rius from Integration Competence Centre of the Department of Health of Catalonia: highlighted new Catalan public policies on enhancing the care model and with approvals (guidelines, recommendations and best practices), integration environments (Mirth, Ensemble), Terminology (SNOMED-CT, semantic interoperability and terminology services). This model of care is part of the program iSalut (http://www.isalut.cat/ ), for sharing experiences among hospitals with the implementation of ICT in the health field.

Miguel Martinez of Espronceda Public University of Navarra: about the medical devices interoperability centered in personal health systems (PHD, Personal Health Devices). Highlights the work done by his group in achieving a standard that is open, free, and not subject to royalties to provide Plug & Play capabilities and accessibility to connect medical devices focused on home health care. This work is based on ISO 11073 standard (X73) and the new version for personal health devices (X73PHD). The conclusions are the decentralization of Point of Care which has led to further work in PHD.

Pablo Serrano as Medical Director of the Hospital de Fuenlabrada: on the standardization of organizational concepts based on standard UNE EN ISO 13940 ContSys normalizing concepts to support continuity of care and its implementation in projects like epSOS.

In summary, some of the comments that concluded this conference would be: give freedom to hospitals to see if they choose models or archetypes based on HL7 and CEN 13606, development of new platforms and Telecare Telecare interoperable, and this in conjunction with the development of new projects to organizational interoperability.

lunes, 29 de abril de 2013


ICT4D Initiatives in i2HealthSantPau

The eHealth & eInclusion cluster of i2Cat Foundation has a wide experience in innovative telemedicine solutions, which have been successfully deployed in many projects within the European context. Most of these projects have been focused on professional-to-professional scenarios, where the use of different collaborative tools (such as videoconferencing platforms and shared medical reports) have proven to be a very useful approach to tackle health provisioning problems in locations with lack of specialized human resources.

However, the potential use of telemedicine not only applies to developed regions, but also to developing countries, as it can be an efficient means of improving health access in isolated areas. Taking into account different scenarios from countries in the South, it can be stated that health services are highly centralized, as specialized assistance is located mainly in the capital, thus leaving rural areas without proper basic health care service. Therefore, eHealth solutions appear to be a suitable solution for this scenario, not only improving healthcare access, but also supporting health workers in isolated settings or addressing the shortage of specialist doctors in areas without proper human and material resources.

Consequently, after a first tele-ophthalmology project in Senegal (OFTALKOLDA) and given the opportunity that this situation brings, the cluster of eHealth & eInclusion has started to explore new collaborations and joint proposals with research institutions and NGO’s from the developing eHealth sector in Africa. For instance, a collaborative proposal has been submitted with the African NGO AMREF, related to the continuation of the OFTALKOLDA project in Senegal, and also a first contact has been made with Médicos Sin Fronteras, in order to explore solutions related to mobile videconferencing systems. Last but not least, the cluster of eHealth & eDependence, together with the Media cluster and other european partners (PSNC), will presented a paper related to the HIPERMED Project and the possible application in development contexts, in the next IST Africa Event 2013 to be held in Nairobi, Kenya.
Senegalaise optician taking digital eye-fundus pictures