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A Bio-Medicare House of the Future, at the UTC Innovation Centre

While costs incurred in caring for dependent persons are constantly on the increase, increasing efforts are being devoted to installing monitoring equipment and connected aids. In order to test and certify the new equipment, the E-BioMed Chair of the University Institute for Health Engineering (IUIS) has set up a scale one test platform at the UTC Daniel Thomas Innovation Centre.

A Bio-Medicare House of the Future, at the UTC Innovation Centre

The cost for caring for elderly, dependent persons today amounts to 25 billion euros but could rise to 35 billion euros by 2060. In this context, all the projects that aim at keeping our seniors in good health and in their homes and familiar surroundings are priority schemes. The installation of a test platform at the UTC Innovation Centre will provide for full-scale modelling of a "life environment", to experiment all sorts of aids and assistance for dependent persons. With an array of sensors (cameras, microphones, position sensors and other, specialized devices), as well a series of connected bio-medical apparatus, a 70m² space is subdivided into separate 'normal life' rooms.

The Bio-Medicare House of the Future ...

This test facility is being developed in the framework of the E-BioMed Chair of the University Institute for Health Engineering (IUIS), in a partnership with the UTC-Costech laboratory and the Institute for Communications Sciences (ISCC). "Partnerships already exist with senior citizen associations or persons suffering from diabetes, so that we could have volunteers for the tests", details Professor Dan Istrate, titular holder of the E-Biomed Chair and a research scientist at UTC-BMBI (bio-mechanics and bio-engineering). The Bio-Medicare House of the Future is currently being commissioned and will also serve to certify various biomedical connected devices and tools as well as health-care robots that are being developed in various IUIS laboratories.

... will serve to test all sorts of equipment

For example, experiments are envisioned with the kind of sensor used to assess the quality of sleep of elderly persons. Other tools are being prepared, for instance, a "smart plate" that will measure exactly the amount of food a person ingests. "Equipment like this relates to concerns like diabetes or obesity and proposes not only to measure the total amounts ingested, but the pace, the speed and frequency", underlines Dan Istrate. Another experimental project aims at facilitating the movements of a companion robot round a home - by fitting the robot with specialized sensors. In a partnership with the Institute of Intelligent System and Robotics (ISIR), these projects involve using an 'off-the-shelf' robot that can be programmed to carry out various domestic tasks to aid dependent persons. "The development of this scale one platform - built in collaboration with the Picardie Region e-Health Cooperative Group is not what is sometimes referred to as a "living lab", stresses Dan Istrate. There can be no question here of creating a real "liveable" home, but offering an environment that simulates the real living conditions. Notwithstanding, a real living lab is being assembled, to be located in the Charles-Foix Hospital at Ivry-sur-Seine (just South of Paris), provisionally in August 2016. This project, financially supported by the Ivry-sur-Seine Townhall, will create an experimental environment in order to test in situ real life-related conditions using new connected medical tools. The aim is not to replace the UTC Innovation Centre facility, but rather to supplement the UTC findings and possibilities. The prototypes will first be tested and certified in Compiegne before the decision is taken to transfer them to the Charles-Foix scale one laboratory.