Great AAL Lean Canvas workshop

In October, H2HCare AAL-project attended a two-day workshop with the META Group as coaches in a webinar. The workshop’s objective is to get AAL-projects started with mapping out our potential business-models and ways of commercialising the project.

At the workshop we learnt about the Lean Canvas, which is type of SWAT-model that can help businesses develop a unique value proposition for their business. In addition this Canvas helps you think through what problems your product or service solves, what customers to sell to and creating a revenue model. We were also helped by our designated EU-coaches to develop our own Lean Canvas. By splitting into groups and doing case-studies, we experienced first hand how to do this exercise.

In the second work-shop in November the theme was how to develop a unique selling proposition through using a Value Proposition Canvas. By thinking through the customer segments work tasks and understanding their pains, we could establish what they would gain from using our products or services. And by identifying the pain relievers what gains could the customer achieve. Also in this work-shop we had great help from our coaches from the META Group in Rome, Italy. By extracting key metrics from the Unique Value Proposition Canvas we were able to easily put together a sentence that states our Unique Value Proposition in a simple “elevator pitch” in a professional way. The last work-shop is in the end of December, and will form a solid basis for our work going forward.

End-users requirements findings

During the activity analysis of the intended audience (i.e. seniors, formal and informal caregivers) several needs have appeared. These needs, converted into requirements, have been prioritized in order to keep the most important information and feasible features regarding to the digital assistant-based possibilities. To give a more precise idea of what has been identified, here are some of the collated requirements, presented separately between the basic information and the customizable tools that the digital assistant will provide.

In a general way, the digital assistant will be able to track and record daily life data and to set several reminders considering: medical visits, medicine and treatment intakes, physical exercises and diets. On another hand, the digital assistant will provide other kinds of reminders to reinforce information about care procedures and health practices. The digital assistant will thus include instructions on how to react in case of emergency, who to reach and how (list of phone and email contacts related to their care), and give a simple and permanent access to the frequently asked questions, in case of doubts. Those general requirements represent an added value because they will insure and increase the patient’s chances of rehabilitation by providing seniors and informal caregivers understandable information by a regular non-invasive monitoring. The other added value of the collated requirements is the possibility to offer a digital assistant able to provide personalized services. Nearly all general requirements listed above, will be parameterized according to specifically end-users needs and therefore can be considered as customizable. Moreover, other requirement such as psychological monitoring can also be personalized. Given that each senior has often mental health problems in addition to heart failure, it would be nice to offer them a personalized psychological support. Last but not least, to improve the use of the digital assistant, the intended audience have also to be trained on a simple and fast way on digital assistant’s operation, as this tool is unknown to them. Those personalized trainings, each end-users having their own difficulties and needs, will be given through videos and booklets.

H2Hcare – what some Norwegian seniors think

We have interviewed some seniors in Norway as to their thoughts of the usefulness of the H2Hcare system – all in the name of user-driven-design. The seniors were selected from voluntary members of the NGO Seniornett and 6 patients and 5 informal caregivers were interviewed. They were all in the age group 69 to 82 years of age – and living well with their heart disease. Since the subjects were selected from a group of volunteers to begin with, the findings do not necessarily represent a valid cross-section of the senior population with heart disease. One possible result of this recruitment procedure (immediate response and eager to participate) may be that we have an overrepresentation of persons who are relatively healthy both mentally and physically.

The interviews were split into two parts:  thoughts and experiences with the hospital discharge process and then the time thereafter. And also if the subjects could envision the benefits from a robot-help system in the processes – like the H2Hcare.

Today’s seniors were born before or at the time of the invention of the transistor and are immigrants to the digital world. As far as the (near unlimited) possibilities opening up with the introduction of high-technology (robots in this case), it is in general difficult to envision the uses and their value for people in the upper age groups.

The seniors could see little differences between the two post-operative faces: pre- and post- discharge. Their perceived needs were overlapping in the two faces.

Access and information were two key words. The discharge process itself was applauded in general, although it contained a fair amount of difficult tribal language (medical). But the individual needs and questions would arise afterwards – and after a while:

What happens now? What to expect? What to look out for? Who to contact in case of emergencies – 24/7? Who knows my case good enough? Who’s responsible? What if I forget to take my meds? What are possible side-effects? What if I get a cold? And, in Norway: can I go outside on (very) cold days? What to do to get my former life back?

A majority of the senior participants were positive to the introduction of an H2Hcare-type of robot. And would also consider using such a device – depending on it’s functions.  The robot must be tailor-made to each individual patient and be available for pre-discharge training (and tailoring) in the hospital.

There was a broad consensus as to the useful functions of the robot system:  Communication (help with connecting to responsible person for help), Information (like “Siri” but tailor-made to the person and the medical situation), Motivation (“You are doing fine”. “All is normal”. “Your training is good”), Remainder (for medicine intake, hospital check-ups, training sessions).

H2HCare state of the art and vision journal paper

TUC published a review paper about smart environments and social robots in a Q1 (top) web of knowledge journal, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Impact Factor 2.84.

Anghel, I.; Cioara, T.; Moldovan, D.; Antal, M.; Pop, C.D.; Salomie, I.; Pop, C.B.; Chifu, V.R. Smart Environments and Social Robots for Age-Friendly Integrated Care Services. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 202017, 3801.

H2HCare kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of the Active and Assisted Living (AAL) European project H2HCare (Social robot-based solution for elders’ Care management and coaching after discharge from Hospital to Home) took place Wednesday 22.04.2020. The meeting was organized by the H2HCare coordinator, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and due to the current EU context, was held online via Skype for Business. All project partners participated, met each other, discussed the project vision and planed the work for the coming months.