Objectives of the service
The adoption of unhealthy lifestyles (e.g., sedentary behaviour, unhealthy diets, ...) and environmental factors (e.g., pollution) are leading to an increasing spread of chronic diseases for which there is often a tendency to underestimate the risk of complications. Furthermore, with respect to the particular historical period, a correlation has emerged between chronic diseases, pollution and COVID 19.
For these reasons, a mobile phone-based Health service is provided 1) to support patients already suffering from pathologies in the prevention of complications, through targeted and personalized recommendations; 2) to make citizens aware of the risk of onset of chronic diseases / comorbidities, through awareness of risk factors (sedentary life, unhealthy diet, pollution).
For these purposes, users receive a series of personalized, proactive advice adapted to their personal sensitivity. Such advice can be provided by health professionals or automatically by the system based on the information collected by the app.
Educating patients with chronic diseases, with personalized suggestions and with the support of their doctors, improving their lifestyles and habits.
With this solution, therefore, both the prevention and management of chronic diseases are addressed with the following mechanisms:
- personalized coaching
- lifestyle monitoring
- patient empowerment
- patient engagement
Users and their needs
European Healthcare system is facing a variety of challenges: demographic change, increasing chronic diseases, increasing demand for care, limited resources/budgets. These challenges have even been worsened by the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: emergency department overcrowded, screening process delayed, medical instruments unavailable, contagious spread among staff. To continue to follow and take care of their patients even in this dramatic situation, but at the same time in a safe and which does not increase their current burden of tasks. HeReMo is primarily targeting Italian healthcare community.
The solution targets people affected by chronic conditions, who are at risk to be infected by SARS-COV-2, patients whose anxiety could be contained once in contact with a doctor/institution but also people whose health condition must be monitored with particular attention (e.g. considering the need to identify as soon as possible COVID cases); the customers are the Healthcare providers (e.g. Local Health Authorities - ASLs -, General Practitioners - GPs - networks, hospitals, regional task forces, private HCPs who could adopt solutions tailored to their needs); the channel to reach the users are the Healthcare Professionals (e.g. GPs, clinicians).
Service/ system concept
HeReMo performs environmental monitoring based on satellite parameters and sends feedback to patients and clinical staff in case of persistence in areas with high air pollution values. Such monitoring - combined with patients’ provided vital parameters and lifestyles - is carried out via smartphones and wearable devices, in order to provide the clinical staff a broader view of the contexts and conditions in which the patient is positioned.
HeReMo integrates data coming from different sources, including Data Clouds such as the ONDA DIAS (Earth Observation), and provides advanced analytics by integrating them with other data sources (e.g., meteorological data, demographic data).
HeReMo is made available to users through the following interfaces:
- a smartphone app to be provided to the patient. Through the app, the patient can (i) collect data on various factors (ii) receive motivational messages as to better adhere to the instructions provided by the clinicians
- a web application to be provided to clinicians. Through this portal, multidisciplinary teams can (i) assign and personalize objectives to patients, (ii) communicate with them, and (iii) visualize their data
Moreover, HeReMo offers a summary view, for epidemiologists and / or decision makers, through which they can view any correlation between the environmental parameters monitored in the area of interest and chronic diseases or COVID.
Space Added Value
Adoption of Space-based technologies and tools enables enhanced monitoring and coaching. In that sense, HeReMo leverages:
Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO)
Thanks to Copernicus Sentinel-5P observations, concentration information with global coverage can be obtained about relevant pollutants, such as Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide. Distributed by Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service, the estimation of their concentration allows HeReMo to perform the computation of Air Quality Index.
Satellite Communications (SatCom):
HeReMo provides third party satellite communications solutions (like Broadsat SmartLnb and KonnecTIM-Eutelsat SA) to allow connectivity where terrestrial communication is insufficient, in order to enable remote monitoring through transmission of sensor data. In that way, patients will connect to the internet – via satellite - while at home transparently.
Satellite Navigation (SatNav):
Real-time position given by GNSS receivers embedded in the smartphones of the patients allows, through HeReMo mobile app, geolocalized pollution-related alerts, in order to prevent dangerous effects on their health with respect to their chronic diseases in particular for respiratory ones with the double goal of increasing the awareness of the patients and of the healthcare professional towards the habits of the patient as to frequent healthier areas.
HeReMo is currently collaborating with the ASL Foggia by interacting with their healthcare and IT staff. For this reason, the project is currently actively focused on analysing and gathering meteorological and COVID-related data.
Due to the constantly changing pandemic situations, HeReMo considers a key factor the co-creation of the solution and the respective involvement of the healthcare professionals.
Following the successful Design Review meeting held on July 6th, the project team prepared actively the final verification of the solution as well as the deployment of the trial. On 25 November 2021, the project successfully passed the Acceptance Review, during which the final users' interest in the solution has been additionally emphasised. The project is currently waiting for the final approval from an ethical committee, currently evaluating the pilot description. Once blessed by the ethical committee (expected in December 2021), the project will enter the pilot stage for a duration of 2 months. The Final Review meeting is expected to take place in March.