AAL 2012 Abstracts


Full Papers
Paper Nr: 1
Title:

Towards Elderly Social Integration using a Multimodal Human-computer Interface

Authors:

Vítor Teixeira, Carlos Pires, Fernando Pinto, João Freitas, Miguel Sales Dias and Eduarda Mendes Rodrigues

Abstract: This paper presents a multimodal prototype application that aims to promote the social integration of the elderly. The application enables communication with their social network through conferencing and social media services, using natural interaction modalities, like speech, touch and gestures. We begin by discussing the requirements and design guidelines that were taken into account for the development of the prototype. We also present the key elements of the development stage and the results of a usability study conducted with ten elderly volunteers. The usability study reveals that such a multimodal solution can simplify accessibility to the considered services. Results indicate that this system is simpler, more natural and more enjoyable than the current user interfaces. Furthermore, the natural interaction modalities of the proposed prototype, allow elderly to be more efficient and have a better user experience, thus contributing with an easier and faster way for this population to join the information era.

Paper Nr: 2
Title:

Ambient Assisted Living Technologies, Systems and Services: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors:

Alexandra Queirós, Anabela G. Silva, Joaquim Alvarelhão, António Teixeira and Nelson Pacheco da Rocha

Abstract: This paper intends to demonstrate that it is possible to classify Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) services using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), in particular its components activities, participation and environmental factors. For this purpose a systematic review of the literature on AAL services was undertaken and existing AAL services summarized and characterized. To be included in this review articles must have defined innovative concepts or characterized innovative technologies, products or systems that can contribute to the development of the AAL paradigm, with the aim of enabling people with specific demands (e.g. elderly) to live longer in their natural environment. Results indicate that most publications regarding AAL are technology-oriented with only a few articles describing applications and scenarios. Results also indicate that it is possible to link tasks to categories of the ICF components activities, participation and environmental factors.

Paper Nr: 5
Title:

Spoken Communication with CAMBADA@Home Service Robot

Authors:

Ciro Martins, António Teixeira, Eurico Pedrosa and Nuno Almeida

Abstract: Spoken language is a natural way to control the human-robot interaction, especially for mobile service robots. It has some important advantages over other communication approaches: eyes and hands free, communication from a distance, even without being in line of sight and no need for additional learning for humans. In this paper, we present the spoken dialog framework integrated in our mobile service robot CAMBADA@Home, a robotic platform aimed at move into a living space and interact with users of that space. The proposed framework comprises three major spoken and natural language processing components: an Automatic Speech Recognition component to process the human requests, a Text-to-Speech component to generate more natural responses from the robot side, and a dialog manager to control how these two components work together.

Paper Nr: 6
Title:

Health@Home Scenario: Creating a New Support System for Home Telerehabilitation

Authors:

António Teixeira, Carlos Pereira, Miguel Oliveira e Silva, Nuno Almeida, Joaquim Sousa Pinto, Cláudio Teixeira, Flávio Ferreira and André Mota

Abstract: The creation of innovative methods and technologies for elderly is the main purpose for Ambient Assisted Living. This paper provides a description on all the associated stages and development questions required for the establishment of a new telerehabilitation service. The service intends to provide elderly people with the possibility of performing rehabilitation sessions in their houses, with constant medical supervision via video surveillance. Following the principles of a new conceptual architecture for services, and developed according to user-centric paradigms such as multimodality and high usability criteria, early evaluation results point the service as an asset for remote rehabilitation.

Paper Nr: 8
Title:

From an Autonomous Soccer Robot to a Robotic Platform for Elderly Care

Authors:

João Cunha, Eurico Pedrosa, Cristovão Cruz, António J. R. Neves, Nuno Lau, Artur Pereira, Ciro Martins, Nuno Almeida, Bernardo Cunha, José Luis Azevedo, Pedro Fonseca and António Teixeira

Abstract: Current societies in developed countries face a serious problem of aged population. The growing number of people with reduced health and capabilities, allied with the fact that elders are reluctant to leave their own homes to move to nursing homes, requires innovative solutions since continuous home care can be very expensive and dedicated 24/7 care can only be accomplished by more than one care-giver. This paper presents the proposal of a robotic platform for elderly care integrated in the Living Usability Lab for Next Generation Networks. The project aims at developing technologies and services tailored to enable the active aging and independent living of the elderly population. The proposed robotic platform is based on the CAMBADA robotic soccer platform, with the necessary modifications, both at hardware and software levels, while simultaneously applying the experiences achieved in the robotic soccer environment.

Short Papers
Paper Nr: 3
Title:

Assessment of Ambient Assisted Living Services in a Living Lab Approach: A Methodology based on ICF

Authors:

Ana Isabel Martins, Alexandra Queirós, Margarida Cerqueira, Joaquim Alvarelhão, António Teixeira and Nelson Rocha

Abstract: A major problem inherent to the development of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) products and services is its assessment and validation. It’s crucial to involve the users in the validation/development process. In a Living Lab approach, the validation of AAL products and services is focused in user’s needs and preferences, integrating their daily lives and social roles. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) arises as a conceptual framework to develop instruments for the evaluation of AAL products and services. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is the description of an evaluation methodology of AAL products and services in a Living Lab approach based on ICF.

Paper Nr: 7
Title:

Standardized Representation of Medical Data in AAL Applications

Authors:

Myriam Lipprandt, Marco Eichelberg and Andreas Hein

Abstract: The Personal Healthcare Monitoring Report (PHMR) is a document format for representing measurements based on the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), and thus a suitable document type for the storage of data from Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) applications. However, the characteristic of medical data in AAL applications differs fundamentally from the established view on medical data. Whereas clinical data are mostly single point measurements taken under well-controlled conditions in hospital, medical data in AAL applications are continuous, of a low sensor quality and often represent dynamic activities of human behaviour. This leads to a different representation of data in structured format.

Paper Nr: 10
Title:

Optimizing Electrode Positioning in 3-lead ECG Chest Devices

Authors:

Ricardo Simoes, Joana Sousa, Cristina Nogueira-Silva and Hugo Gamboa

Abstract: Although the 12-lead electrocardiogram has become an essential medical and research tool, many current and envisaged applications would benefit from simpler devices, using 3-lead ECG configuration. This is particularly true for Ambient Assisted Living (in a broad perspective). However, the chest anatomy of female patients, namely during pregnancy, can hamper the adequate placement of a 3-lead ECG device and, very often, electrodes are placed below the chest rather than at the precise thoracic landmarks. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the effect of electrode positioning on the ECG signal of pregnant women and provide guidelines for device development. The effect of breast tissue on the ECG signal was investigated by relating breast size with the signal-to-noise ratio, root mean square and R-wave amplitude. Results show that the 3-lead ECG should be placed on the breast rather than under the breast and indicate positive correlation between breast size and signal-to-noise ratio.

Paper Nr: 11
Title:

Heart Monitoring System based on NFC for Continuous Analysis and Pre-processing of Wireless Vital Signs

Authors:

Antonio J. Jara, Pablo López Martínez, David Fernández Ros, Benito Úbeda, Miguel A. Zamora and Antonio F. G. Skarmeta

Abstract: Continuous and wireless transmission of vital signs is taking a high relevance in ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). Integration of wireless communications technologies and embedded systems into health monitoring systems are tending towards solutions defined under the denominated Internet of Things (IoT). Specifically, IoT is based on technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to provide the capabilities for identification of devices/sensors, and the evolutions of RFID with Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC presents machine to machine (M2M) communication capabilities between sensors and personal devices. Thus, this allows to carry out the communication with just approaching the reader to the devices, i.e. contactless. This offers advantages mentioned in terms of easy use for elderly people in AAL environments, in addition to the mentioned ubiquity. For that reason, it is highly interesting for the development of AAL solutions, but this also presents challenges for the performance and efficient data transmission because the constrained resources and capabilities from the devices, and the latency introduced by the NFC technology with the refresh readers to exchange NDEF records. These challenges appear since it was originally considered for identification, and not for continuous data transmission. This paper discusses the feasibility of developing a monitoring system for continuous data transmission from an electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG has been considered among the available clinical sensors because its complexity. This presents an example of NFC communication via a USB NFC reader and an Android OS Smart Phone with NFC support. Over that scenario are analyzed the problems found with the original data from the ECG, and consequently it is prepossessed a pre-processing technique for the ECG wave trace. This pre-processing analyzes the signal in order to detect possible arrhythmias and mainly to reduces transmission overload (compression) in order to make suitable the transmission of continuous data through NFC.

Paper Nr: 12
Title:

Needs and Opportunities in Ambient Assisted Living in Portugal

Authors:

Ricardo Vardasca, Liliana Ferreira and Ricardo Simoes

Abstract: The exponential raise in the age dependency rate together with the difficulties in having conventional care solutions opens the space for the appearance and development of innovative Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions. However, the development of these solutions requires a thorough understanding of user needs and wills. In this paper we present the scenarios being adopted in the context of AAL projects, as well as the products and services current available in each of the considered utilization scenarios. The needs of the Portuguese AAL users are analyzed through the discussion of some preliminary results from a survey targeted at the Portuguese population over 55 years old. These results will be used to characterize the needs and establish the readiness and willingness of elder Portuguese population in using AAL solutions.