eHealth services can contribute to individuals’ self-management, that is, performing lifestyle-related activities and decision making, to maintain a good health, or to mitigate the effect of an (chronic) illness on their health. TNO’s work in the field of eHealth focusses on aspects such as self-management, eHealth support and organization of health care.
Healthcare demands and costs in Europe and the Netherlands are rising and could become unmanageable on short term. Nowadays the prevention of diseases by a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever. In addition, predicting (the course) of diseases and the introduction of personalized interventions provide new opportunities for advice and therapies. eHealth is an important tool to enhance the self-management of healthcare. TNO applies her knowledge and expertise on individual behavior adaptations to develop, support and evaluate effective eHealth applications together with partners (e.g. serious gaming applications to increase awareness of lifestyle choices). The evaluation of eHealth is becoming increasingly important in the upcoming market of digital services and applications. We therefore find it important to not only develop or support the development of eHealth applications but also evaluate eHealth services. TNO makes optimal use of our expertise by combining our knowledge and technologies. By doing so, we create innovations that encourage sustainably the competitiveness of companies and the wellbeing of the society. Below we describe three eHealth use cases from our extensive and divers portfolio.
Health-related behaviorism (such as food intake and exercise) can fluctuate dramatically over time and can be influenced by intrapersonal as well as environmental factors. In addition, regular surveys which monitor health-related behaviorism are often subject to memory bias. Therefore, TNO has developed and evaluated the life style smartphone app “mEMA” (mobile-based Ecological Momentary Assessment). This app monitors behavior and possible factors than can influence behavior, using short question lists, GPS data and a built-in movement sensor. This approach enables real-time, real-world data collection which can be used to accurately predict which intrapersonal (e.g. cognition) and environmental factors (e.g. physical- and social environment) can influence behavior.
Children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) are constantly managing their condition. For them, it is important to be able to do this independently at a young age. This requests development of knowledge, skills and motivation in addition to involvement of parents and healthcare professionals.
The PAL project develops an IT-platform for children with T1DM (aged between 7 and 14), their parents and healthcare professionals. This Personal Assistant for healthy Lifestyle platform consist of several components: a personal robot buddy (physical and virtual) which performs activities with the child (e.g. quiz and sorting game), mHealth applications (e.g. online diary), a monitoring tool for parents and an authorizing tool for professionals. These components contribute to the knowledge and skill development by the children at a fun, educative and motivating manner. In addition, professionals can control the content of the education and parents can keep a watchful eye on their child.
PatientCoach is a web based self-management system that provides support to patients with chronic conditions. The platform facilitates interaction between patients and healthcare providers and includes modules for the self-monitoring of health problems and objective measurements (e.g. lung functionality for patients with asthma or COPD). PatientCoach is applicable for a variety of conditions, which enables healthcare providers with just one application instead of several platforms. The system enables patients and or healthcare providers to set, monitor and adjust lifestyle goals. Furthermore, the patient can automatically receive personal feedback based on the imported answers to questions or measurements and login on their personal online account. Currently, we are extending this platform for patients with a risk profile for COPD and the integration of this platform in the healthcare process between patient and provider.
If you would like to know more about our eHealth activities, get in touch with us. We would like to get into contact with parties interested in our eHealth applications and services.