Inter-organization cooperation for ambient assisted living

By Novais, P.; Costa, R.; Carneiro, D.; Neves, J.

2010

Abstract

In the last years we have witnessed to a substantial increase on the number of people in need of care services, espe-cially among the elderly, a phenomenon related to population ageing. However, this is becoming not exclusive of the elderly, as diseases like obesity, diabetes, and blood pressure have been increasing amongst young adults. This is a new reality which needs to be dealt by the healthcare sector, specifically the public one. Given these new scenarios, the importance of finding new and cost-effective ways for health care delivery are of particular relevance, especially when it is believed that these new patients should not be removed from their natural, day-to-day life, environment. The evolution of the, so called, new technolo-gies may pay here a very important role as they may become part of the solution for this new problematic. Actually, they are already been used as, in recent years, several projects have raised in this relatively new area of work. These projects, although legitimate ones, were essential for delineating a path to pursue for others to come, as they were in some case, very simple ones (e.g. panic buttons), and, especially, reactive ones. In this paper, we are going to present how we are trying to evolve these projects a step further, through the introduction of proactiveness as a key factor, taking advantage of “new”, as in applied to this areas, techniques of decision making, idea generation, argumentation and data quality, applied, not only to the in transit information, but also to the one provided by the several intervenient as well as themselves. In order to be able to pursue this delineated path, a new approach for knowledge representation, reasoning, and even for problem solving is proposed. To achieve these goals, the VirtualECare environment is presented, together with its sustaining infrastructure and architecture. Particular attention will be paidto how it may be used to simulate a virtual Assisted Living Environment in order to, later, bet-ter monitor real ones, attending to its customers’ needs.

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