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

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