Healthy and Secure People (HSP)
Europe is living in a context of unprecedented transformations and growing global interdependencies. Society should be innovative in order to adapt to the new transformations. Challenges of innovative societies include: self-development and self-knowledge/learning; Innovation in people supporting activities, including health care, schooling and services; Development of complex adaptive systems, capable of learning from data, in order to enhance individual or group-based decisions; Collaborative approaches; and Innovation diffusion. Security and safety are fundamental conditions to promote development. Challenges include: fight crime and terrorism; provide border security; provide cyber security; respond to and manage crises and disasters. ALGORITMI centre reveals strong R&D competencies in domains associated with HSP, namely:
A) Health care information systems interoperability, security and efficiency
The overall purpose of systems developed in this field is to extract and present clinically relevant information. Medical information appears in many different forms, i.e., parameters, value measurements, time courses, images, and volume sequences. Methods to attain new types of information are continuously being developed and the detail and quality of recorded data is increasing rapidly. In addition it is necessary to be able to integrate and analyse information from a large number of patients and time instances. Efficient solutions to this problem will be crucial components in future health care arena. To develop principles and methods for such solutions is the goal of the research in the next years, in particular on the development of systems for medical decision support and medical image analysis.
Another important issues addressed in this area are the safety and security through the identification and assessment of the vulnerability of critical infrastructures and global security challenges through the development of advanced tools for information mining and analysis.
B) Ambient intelligence for well being and e-health applications, supported by RFID technology and Wireless Sensor Networks
The development of intelligent systems puts the focus on the ability to be useful to the environment where they fit. Thus, intelligent systems are a way of promoting innovation and providing solutions, to society and institutions, in real domains. Currently, it covers fields like Ambient Intelligence, in which well-being and sustainability are areas that stand out. Behavioural analysis made by non-invasive techniques for detection and tracking of stress, or monitoring of fatigue on performant critical functions, are of utmost importance for the well-being and productivity. Up efforts to sustainability, gets the commitment of computer science, in general, and intelligent systems and sensorization, in particular, in order to play a key role in the technological era that is already the basis for life in society.
C) Robotic systems and devices for health care and medicine
Several areas are explored in this domain as socially intelligent robots, autonomous robots capable of interacting actively with humans, rather than those used as mere tools. Assistive Technologies area another area of interest related to pro-active robotic systems able to assist dependent persons at home. Complementary research is made in the robotic area including surgical robotics (e.g. implantation of electrodes for deep brain stimulation and stereo-EEG, rehabilitation robotics (e.g. intelligent walkers for the elderly and blind people), robots on sports (golf balls picking up), robotics training. With recent developments in technology, new medical devices and new ways of monitoring physiological information emerge. Examples are physiological data monitoring devices (e.g. design and develop real-world physiological systems to be local and remotely operated).
D) Human factors, efficient cost control and management in health care
There are several aspects of human engineering related to health aspects of society, mainly from the perspective of work and public health; on the other hand, there are relevant aspects of human factors within the designing of solutions to deal with
the expected demographical changes. Some of these aspects will be mainly centred on the human-centred approach for the proposals aiming at promoting an active ageing, helping to improve assisted living and allow elderly and disabled people to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, including at work settings.
Economic engineering, from cost appraisal for any project or product to be developed, going through cost-benefit analysis and risk and uncertainty treatment, till the business plan for new companies to be set-up in the health and wellbeing market niche, has a relevant contribution to this stream. Stochastic Decision Models are important tools in assisting decision making in any type of project or enterprise, where decisions need to be taken in uncertain scenarios and considering conflicting objectives.
E) Intelligent decision support and data systems in health care and medicine
Management, planning and decision are based increasingly on knowledge. The collections of data that are available today (e.g. from monitoring devices) allow a more efficient support for these activities. However, their size, nature and complexity require intelligent data structures in order to create storage, processing and analytical discovery of more effective ways knowledge as to its diffusion technologies. Data mining and data warehousing fields can contribute significantly for empowering and automate the process of decision-making. Important contributions can be made in critical areas as intensive medicine (e.g. predicting organ failure/dysfunction and outcome of patients, solutions for pain monitoring and control in post-surgery patients). Real time and online intelligent decision support systems are of most importance to supply professionals and patients with important information in useful time.