ICT for ageing well.



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The HELP Project consortium is designing a Health Monitoring System specifically targeted for the needs of Parkinson Disease (PD) patients. Without treatment, PD progresses over 5–10 years to a rigid, a kinetic state in which patients are incapable of caring for themselves. Death frequently results from complications of immobility, including aspiration pneumonia or pulmonary embolism. The availability of effective pharmacological treatment has altered radically the prognosis of PD; in most cases, good functional mobility can be maintained for many years, and the life expectancy increased substantially. Primarily, therapies are aimed at minimising symptoms and maximising functions and the quality of life.

However, intensive supportive care is needed, demanding the allocation of enormous resources besides the strictly medical ones. This suggests an alternative way to face PD, not only in managing patients at an individual level, but also in optimising cost effectiveness of health care plans. The HELP System (“Home-based Empowered Living for Parkinson’s disease patients”) proposes solutions to improve the quality of life of PD patients based on:

  • A Body Sensor and Actuator Network (BS&AN) made up of portable/wearable and home devices to monitor health parameters (e.g. blood pressure) and body activity (e.g. to detect gait, absence of movement), and to release a controlled quantity of drugs in an automatic fashion;
  • A remote Point-of-Care unit to supervise the patients under clinical specialists control.

The HELP project intends to provide Parkinson Patients with a system that can supply specific amounts of drug according to their physical activity requirements at any moment.  Because it is a continuous drug delivery system, drug peaks and “valleys” in the blood stream are avoided and, so, improve classical PD symptoms. The HELP system is made up of a wearable subcutaneous pump, an intraoral cartridge inserted in the patient’s mouth, a wearable movement sensor, blood pressure device and a control system that is constantly sending data, checking the patient and calculating the right quantity of drug to be supplied.

Expected results and impact:

This project intends to provide proof that a monitoring drug delivery system can improve the quality of live of Parkinson patients. We want to test whether this system is seen as an improvement in the three different countries we are setting pilots in. Because this consortium is targeted mainly towards the eHealth market, each of the partners is very interested in either commercialising or improving their prototypes, their services and devices or testing a specific drug that we are using in HELP.



Telefónica I+DTelecom R&D
University of

Coordinator: Telefonica, Spain

Duration: 36 Months

Starting Date: 01 June 2009

Total budget: € 11.625.000

Public contribution: € 1.840.000


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