Procur@

PROCUR@: An open platform for the support of prevention and rehabilitation of neurodegenerative diseases

CHALLENGE

Recent medical advances have led to an increased survival rate of patients with neurodegenerative diseases or acquired brain injuries. This increase in survival is linked to increased effects that are manifested at different levels, significantly affecting the quality of life of patients and their families. Neurological diseases are the leading cause of disability in people over 65 years. Respectively, acquired neurological disability after spinal cord injury or as an onset of brain damage is expected to become one of the top five health problems with greater impact in 2020. These diseases do not have a radical cure, but medical science can now control their symptoms and prevent or delay their progression. Treatments such as neurorehabilitation can reduce the degree of impairment of brain injury patients, but they are burdensome and with limited existing resources

PURPOSE

The PROCUR@ project develops a prevention, e-care and e-rehabilitation platform, focused on neurodegenerative diseases patients and their environment. Aside from integral and interdisciplinary care, PROCUR@ will promote a virtual community bringing together different health professionals, other users, home care takers, friends and relatives. In order to encourage the users’ involvement, PROCUR@ will deploy three Social Spaces for Research and Innovation (SSRI) in the three validation scenarios:

  • Parkinson’s disease SSRI, sponsored by Asociación de Parkinson de Aragón.
  • Alzheimer’s disease SSRI, sponsored by Centros Novaire in Alicante.
  • Cerebrovascular Accident SSRI focused on the research in educational, social and support aspects in clinical environments, which will be constructed among staff, patients and relatives from the “University Hospital Virgen del Rocío” in Seville in collaboration with “Hospital Juan Ramón Jiménez” in Huelva.

To design and develop the PROCUR@ platform, easy access and low cost technologies (internet, webcams, computers, gaming devices, etc.) will be used.

RESULT

We developed a platform based on an opensource social network engine: ELGG. Why not working with existing social network such as Facebook, Google+, etc. First because we don’t have full control over the application or functionality limitations and second -and most important- because we need total data privacy. Following figure shows the developed platform architecture. procur@ The Elgg platform includes several modules which provide specific functionalities, such as messaging, blog or discussion, and constitute the base of the social network. Additionally, the following functionalities have been developed:

  • An environment where specialized providers will offer their services using the tools developed during the project’s lifetime or deploying new applications.
  • A mechanism allowing health professionals prescribe exercises to their patients and, after recording how they were performed, check results in order to follow the patient’s evolution.
  • Access to resources offering information about the different pathologies.
  • A meeting point where patients, caregivers and families can talk to each other and find support
  • A bridge to connect monitoring devices communicating through standards such as Bluetooth
  • An HL7 module which allows interchanging Health Level 7 messages with external entities through the Mirth Connect middleware and accessing the Electronic Health Record
  • A SCORM module which allows for accessing SCORM courses at Scorm Cloud online learning platform

A prototype of the platform with limited functionalities can be accessed here -> http://howlabdemo.unizar.es/procura/paso_a_paso/. You can login as a patient (user: marcosmiguel/ password: pwd.marcosmiguel) or as a therapist (user: sara / password: pwd.sara)

CONSORTIUM

  • Idea Informática
  • AIJU – Centro Tecnológico del Juguete
  • Flowlab
  • Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío
  • Solutio
  • Universidad de Sevilla
  • Universidad de Zaragoza