Improving Home Care for Chronic Patients

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Fraunhofer FIT 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.

The POLYCARE project, which started in summer 2016, 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. Customizable apps that take into account the usability needs of older persons will support patients in their individual health management. The 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 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 is the University Hospital of Bonn.