Work Packages

Description of the work packages of Take-A-Breath:

The main objective of the WP 1 is to determine the overall user needs, architecture and system specifications that will be able to meet the requirements of existing and future users taking into account all medical and technological perspectives by applying anthropocentric methodology approach. In particular, the current technological level as well as cutting-edge best practices for the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases (e.g. COPD, Asthma) that can be adopted within the Take-A-Breath project will be analysed. In addition, the related context, the framework of use and the interface will be defined. Contacts with members of user groups will be established to better note their requirements and needs using a patient-oriented methodology. The sensors and special devices to be used as well as the technical specifications of the system will be determined on the basis of user needs and usage scenarios. The detailed architecture of the system will be determined too.

Within WP 2, patient modeling will be done under an appropriate testing protocol and measurements will be taken to quantify and refine the medical sub-systems. Initially, emphasis will be given on the identification of normal physiological, behavioral and environmental metrics for the evaluation of the patients involved, using models and algorithmic techniques. The characteristics of different users will be studied and the users’ improvement in relation to the proposed system will be explored. Standard clinical measurements will be recorded to conduct clinical inspection of patients diagnosed with obstructive lung disease. During the initial meeting, the medical history, as well as health examinations will be recorded. In addition, spirometry will be performed to complete the patient's health records. Subsequently, patient awareness and information in respect with the correct use of inhalations will be updated.

WP 3 aims to successfully design and develop, a wireless personal add-on system using sensors and technologies that can be adapted to any drug inhaler (pMDIs, DPIs). In addition, sub-systems for moni-toring of the proper use of inhalers will be implemented, aiming to eliminate "critical errors", to consid-er important behavioral and environmental parameters of the patients, as well as to send useful data to a local processing system of medical inference. In particular, a wireless personalized bio-network will be set up to monitor and support the adequate use of patient devices. Appropriate wireless communications protocols, in conjunction with relevant rules for the protection security of sensitive personal data, will be selected to render the network robust and avoid malfunction due to interference and fading. The WP 3 will then focus on the development of algorithms and embedded software to detect, collect, process and transfer data from sensors to the mobile device and the cloud. Several techniques will then be applied for local data processing and identification of critical errors or environmental hazards. Moreover, algorithms for the analysis of acoustic signals generated by the use of inhaled drugs will render the system competent to extract knowledge about patient’s technique. Finally, laboratory tests of functionality and performance will take place.

WP 4 concerns the implementation of a personalized monitoring, guidance and patient’s training plat-form on a mobile phone/ tablet that can be used as a platform for personalized guidance and support to prevent a possible exacerbation of a chronic respiratory disease. Additionally, it performs patient monitoring and on time detection of critical updates regarding the interaction of significant environmental factors. Guidance and support will be implemented with gamification techniques with rewards. Virtual and augmented reality with interactive narrative tools will lead to personalized planning of their treatment (personalized coaching and interventions). The user will be able to monitor disease progress through built-in self-management and maintenance services (calendar, reminders, action plan), interaction with other users and physicians and to access to useful information in real time (dashboard) and medical condition’s history data.

The WP 5 will identify new indicators and update the system database. Furthermore, useful conclusions will be deducted regarding the assessment of the patient's condition, the etiology of symptom’s exacerbation, the modification of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions, altercation to environmental conditions etc. Strategic and decision-making algorithms will be designed and developed based on the data received from the patient monitoring system. In addition, an innovative clinical monitoring and medical support system will be implemented and will be able to take into account and combine raw signals of biological and environmental parameters, the behavior of the user and the evolution of his health condition. Filtering and data processing techniques will be crucial for improving patients’ care, avoiding mistakes and undesired situations arising from the faulty use of inhaled drugs. With the expected completion of the development of the clinical monitoring and medical support system, the physician and the patient will be able to monitor how the drug is received, exchange messages and benefit from a range of other functionalities.

Within the WP 6, the Take-A-Breath system will be tested against realistic scenarios, ensuring compli-ance within ethical norms. Evaluation at small-scale semi-controlled environments will precede a broader one with patients to verify whether Take-A-Breath technology effectively encourages self-care on respiratory diseases. In the field trials, the patients will use the Take-A-Breath system in their daily lives for a specific period, also having close support provided by the research team. In the end, logs will lead to the generalized analysis of the service's results by examining the operation and effectiveness of the application, its usability, acceptance by users etc.