Improving home care for chronic patients


Fraunhofer FIT in St. Augustin and the University Hospital of Bonn are among the partners in the new European POLYCARE project, which is developing an integrated care system that will improve the care of chronic patients at home. The University Hospital of Bonn will be one of three pilot sites for the project.

Photo: Caregiver talks to an elderly woman at home on the sofa; Copyright:

POLYCARE aims to improve living conditions at home of people who have a chronic disease; ©

The POLYCARE project, which started recently, aims to develop and test an integrated care model that is patient-centered and supported by advanced ICT systems and services that allow monitoring and caring for older chronic patients in acute phases at home.

One important element of the project is to develop a monitoring system that will capture the patients' vital parameters without interfering with their everyday lives. Customisable apps that take into account the usability needs of older persons will support patients in their individual health management. Our services will improve how patients, relatives and friends on the one hand, and physicians and nurses on the other hand, work together. Furthermore, special training programs for the medical staff will be designed to make sure that the new systems are well received and utilized.

Additionally, the project aims to implement a decision support system that will use the most advanced machine-learning technologies for data analysis, to improve individual medication and to forecast future patients' health problems.

"The POLYCARE services on the one hand will improve the living conditions of chronic patients and aim to increase sustainability and economic viability of the health care systems. They will be designed not to replace existing ICT systems of hospitals and nursing services but to work with them via open interfaces", says Dr. Yehya Mohamad, who heads the POLYCARE project at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT.

The main task of Fraunhofer FIT is to develop distributed systems and services based on a middleware that will link the project components to the patients' vital parameters that are captured by sensors. FIT will also develop the project's algorithmic components and integrate them with the POLYCARE systems.

The POLYCARE systems will be tested and evaluated in three pilot sites in Germany, France and Spain. The German pilot site will be the University Hospital of Bonn. Technically and organizationally, the solutions developed in the project will differ significantly between pilot sites, due to the large differences between the national and regional health and social frameworks involved.

Besides Fraunhofer FIT, the POLYCARE consortium includes Everis Spain SL, SALUD (Servicio Aragonés de Salud – Sector Sanitario de Barbastro), Comarca de Somontano de Barbastro, University Hospital of Bonn, Echosanté, Interactive4D and PLUX – Wireless Biosignals.

POLYCARE (POLY-stakeholders integrated CARE for chronic patients in acute phases) is a project partially funded by the European Commission in their Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.; Source: Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
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