The outdoor activities, like walking and exposing to sun light, play a key role in maintaining an high life quality during old age. Some of the key consequences related to a lack of outdoor activities are poor cardiovascular health, osteoporosis and sleep deprivation.
NaturAgeing is an innovative solution supporting outdoor activities in order to prevent this kind of diseases in elderly population (>65 years of age).
Smart mobile solutions and Earth Observation satellites are exploited in NaturAgeing to manage outdoor physical activities, to monitor the health status and to suggest corrective actions for maintaining optimal health conditions.
NaturAgeing’s mobile app and wearable will provide seniors with advice on avoiding excessive sun damage and adverse weather outdoors, whilst at the same time regulating the vitamin D level from sun exposure.
Tools to prevent falls will also help to prevent injuries outdoor, GPS data can track the location of the person if they do experience a fall.
Users and their needs
The key needs of the end-users addressed by the project can be classified into three main categories:
- Medical or care decision making
- Home telemedicine for skin cancer therapy
The key needs the project wishes to answer are the following:
- Allowing seniors to benefit from outdoor activities whilst also reducing possible risks
- Preventing seniors from getting lost and allowing them to be easily located by caregivers
- Controlling how much time they spend indoor and outdoor for assessing their psychological status
- Preventing falls by reducing the causes (lack of vitamin D, lack of physical exercise, etc.)
- Early detection of falling incidents, with tools to track location
- Preventing chronic/disabling diseases, in particular cardiovascular and osteomalacia
- Avoiding hospital visits for specialist therapy administration by home telemedicine services
In this scenario, the potential B2B customers engaged are professional organisations providing assisted living services that can include into their portfolios the NaturAgeing prevention of ageing-related diseases. Dermatological clinics could include the new home telemedicine skin cancer therapy in their offered services.
Service/ system concept
NaturAgeing has a multidisciplinary approach to the healthy ageing issue, amalgamating different technological fields, such as wearable health sensors, EO satellite environmental measurements, navigation satellite assisted location-based services, user activity recognition and contextualisation, and behavioural user pattern by big data analysis.
Integral personal and environmental health monitoring of factors related to the lifestyle of the user are extracted by both the personal wearable sensor and EO satellite imagery. NaturAgeing system provides seniors and caregivers with:
- innovative support to active life style to minimise use of pharmaceutical products (e.g. food integrators) and maximise the use of natural resources by remote assistance of healthcare professionals (e.g. innovative osteoporosis disease prevention and cardiovascular diseases prevention, immune response strengthening & sleep disorders prevention)
- environmental emergency and alerting services for safe outdoor activity (e.g. heat waves, high winds, low ozone/high UV radiation, etc.) together with automatic outdoor fall detection and geographical localisation of the user
- specific IT solutions designed for caregivers for remote and local assistance and digital preventive medicine consultancy services by integrated personal health and environmental parameter KPIs analysis
- innovative EO satellite-based home telemedicine for skin cancer treatment (patent pending)
NaturAgeing system concept
Space Added Value
The EO and NAV satellites can be used to calculate health-related environmental parameters (e.g. vitamin D effective solar radiation) in real-time, knowing the exact location. This is important as the environmental parameters that are taken into consideration have an impact on the user's health.
The main assets used by NaturAgeing are Earth Observation satellites for assessing the key health effects of solar radiation, like vitamin D synthesis, UV-A effects on cardiovascular system, topic effect of therapeutic cream for Actinic Keratosis.
The added value from the use of Earth Observation in combination with Navigation satellites is three-fold.
Firstly, the number of optical sensors to be used for measuring all the health effects of interest would be too high to be managed easily with a smartphone. Moreover, it would be a huge impact on costs, on the wearable’s size and it’s power consumption.
Secondly, non-expert users (especially elderly people) could have many difficulties in operating the sensors to obtain reliable measurements.
The key EO satellites used in the first phase of the project are EUMETSAT MSG and Copernicus Sentinel 5p. Copernicus Sentinel 5 and Sentinel 4 are planned to be used in the operational phase.
The kick-start activity has been completed.
The initial targets of the kick-start activity have been successfully accomplished, thanks to the close relationship with potential customers that could be the early adopters of the NaturAgeing. In particular, potential customers belonging to the following sectors have been interested:
• Professional Health Care service providers
• Assisted living service providers
NaturAgeing was presented at the annual AgeUK Oxfordshire meeting on 20th April 2018, where a high volume of positive feedback was received and the huge potential in supporting work of the charity for assisted living solutions and ageing diseases prevention was recognised.
Although the business plan allows for profit, the business model needs to be further improved, including and engaging additional B2B user categories (e.g. health insurance providers, pharmacies, etc.) in order to enable access to a wider number of potential end-users, making the business plan more robust and profitable. Therefore a follow-on demonstration project will not be pursued.
NaturAgeing sponsor at AgeUK Oxfordshire annual meeting (https://www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire/ )