SMART: Self Management supported by Assistive, Rehabilitation and Telecare Technologies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Ulster
Department Name: Sch of Computing & Mathematical Sci


Chronic health conditions are those that a person has over an extended period of time, or for life. The sufferer and their family have to learn to live with the illness and its consequences. The UK government is concerned about the extent of chronic ill health and the cost of providing quality services to all who need them. This has led to a major rethink. As a result, there are a number of new requirements for health and social services. These include recognising the expert knowledge that the person with a long term (or chronic) condition has developed over time and introducing ways to help them to manage their symptoms. Professionals are being asked to work in partnership with people with long term conditions, so that the individual is in control of their treatment and care plan and what happens as a result. More and more of us are using technologies in our everyday lives. This four year project will look at how technologies can be used to help individuals and their families to manage the consequences of long tem conditions and maintain quality of life, supported by professionals. It will involve:- 1.Identifying the technologies that are capable of providing relevant information to users with long term conditions so that they can be helped to achieve realistic life goals, agreed through their therapy plan2.Working with users and health care staff to test which are the best technologies for this purpose, how devices can be most appropriately used and what the best forms of information feedback are.For this project, we have decided to focus upon three very different conditions. The first is stroke. People who have a stroke were often fit and well beforehand. Stroke can leave the person suddenly physically disabled. Treatment and rehabilitation can continue for a long time to help recover mobility and ability to communicate. The second condition is chronic pain. This is a symptom of many long term illnesses and leads to very poor quality of life for sufferers. The third is heart failure. People with heart failure are restricted in what they can do and often have to go into hospital if their condition suddenly gets worse.We have chosen these conditions because the technology we develop will have to be capable of meeting differing needs. The last phase of our project will involve asking people from each of these user groups to test the technology in their own homes so that we can find out the extent to which it is helpful in assisting them to make necessary changes to their behaviour. An example of how the technology might be introduced to a person following stroke is as follows; Following discharge from hospital a community therapist visits the person in their home. The therapist undertakes a full assessment of need. They then log onto the home based computer and customise a programme of activity to meet the needs of the user using the 'stroke toolkit' element of the system, The person and the therapist then look at the library of life goals on the system and agree which the user would like to achieve or maintain over the next few months e.g. they may wish to be able to go to their allotment, to church or simply be able to get up from their bed to the bathroom during the night without falling over. The therapist then shows them how to wear a small sensing device which will record over time the amount or type of activity they are doing (walking, sitting, standing) and the quality of the activity they undertake. Once the user has practiced the programme of activity with exercises, understands how to score the achievement of their agreed goals and can attach the small sensors they will be left to manage their own individualised therapy plan. They are able to obtain feedback on progress through their computer and through email messages sent by the therapist who will be monitoring the user's progress from their place of work.


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Beattie, M (2014) Self-management of COPD. in ACM. 53

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Duggan GB (2015) Qualitative evaluation of the SMART2 self-management system for people in chronic pain. in Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology

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Harrison P (2016) Quantifying turnover in biodiversity of British breeding birds in Journal of Applied Ecology

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Huang Y (2011) Feature selection and classification in supporting report-based self-management for people with chronic pain. in IEEE transactions on information technology in biomedicine : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

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Huang, Y (2009) Classification of health level from chronic pain self reporting in Computer Science and Information Systems

Description This project has created a Personalised Self Management System (PSMS) which is an integrated technology for use in the
home and community. The device has been developed to meet the self management needs of people with three complex
long term conditions; namely congestive heart failure, stroke and chronic pain. The PSMS consists of a touch screen
'home hub' and a mobile device with additional functionality to meet the specific needs of people with each of the three
conditions. For example, for people with congestive heart failure the system provides integrated weighing scales and a blood pressure monitoring with the specific aim of helping users to retain or improve their quality of life by increasing physical activity and, through this, attainment of identified life goals.
Exploitation Route The final few technical elements of this work, in addition to its full evaluation, could and are being undertaken under other research projects supported by the South Yorkshire Collaboration for Collaboration in Applied Health Research and Care.
Sectors Education,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism

Description Outputs from the work have been widely disseminated to the lay public, to health care practitioners, to technologists and to industry, including through the work of the EPSRC funded KT-EQUAL Knowledge Transfer Consortium ( We have sought a variety of means of raising awareness, the most recent being an Internet based film of our work which we will use for a variety of purposes including to attract industrial support for device commercialisation. The outcomes have lead to a variety of publications and have enable the researchers to attract further funding further the work in Self-Management and other related firelds.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Education,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description Self-Management Platform for Connected Health
Amount £482,584 (GBP)
Funding ID 1304/101154796 
Organisation Government of Northern Ireland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 07/2016
Description LIfestyle Guidance services to reduce childHood obesiTy LIGHT 
Organisation Situs Holdings, LLC
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This was a consortium formed to submit a STREP proposal ICT Call 10 FP7-ICT-2013-10. The Smart Environments Research Group of the University of Ulster (ULSTER) has a national and international reputation for undertaking and leading fore-front high-quality research in the area of Ambient Assisted Living. It has competencies in the design, development and evaluation of smart homes, assistive technologies, pervasive and mobile computing and intelligent assistive systems. ULSTER lead the design of LIGHT PGS, which includes virtual multidimensional individual model, data collection system, data analysis system and supportive system.
Collaborator Contribution The proposal incorporated a number of skills sets from a variety of partners in: 1 -high risk and multi-disciplinary research, integrating and developing further, where necessary, safe hardware or software technologies; 2 - sufficient user participation, realistic implementation environments and involvement of representatives of care authorities, to support the validation of the developed solutions and adapted organisational models. 3 - validation of prototypes to demonstrate, quantitative indicators, the proof of concept, quality of life and care efficiency gains and, if possible, cost effectiveness of the proposed solution. 4 - privacy and ethical safeguards in the use and further development of existing open platforms and open architectures and interoperable infrastructures at both the semantic and technical levels.
Impact None
Start Year 2012
Description Self Management 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
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Collaborator Contribution dghdk
Impact jvskjfjhkj
Start Year 2013
Description Connected Health Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact • Run three seminar events over the period April 2013 to March 2014;
• Each seminar hosted an average of 94 participants;
• Each event will included a number of keynote speakers from different disciplines chosen to align with the Province's strategic direction in Connected Health;
• After-seminar collaborative events were held with the specific function of establishing collaborative partnerships and generating at least one research application which would be submitted for external funding support.

The seminars aimed at raising awareness of the value and contribution of 'Connected Health' could make in areas of contemporary healthcare treatment and management. The first seminar was held on 27th March 2013 on the subject of Connected Health in the Self-Management of Hypertension. This was followed by a seminar entitled 'Connected Health in Mental Health on 22nd - 23rd October 2014 with the final seminar held of 25th March 2014 entitled Connected Health for Obesity and Diabetics. The attached publicity information for each of the three seminars is attached in the appendices along with the specific number of delegates.

Following each seminar, a focussed post-seminar research meeting was held where potential research projects were discussed with invited delegates, keynote speakers and other researchers. The following section draws the main themes of each of the seminars and provides details on the outcomes of the research-focussed seminars

Following each seminar, a focussed post-seminar research meeting was held where potential research projects were discussed with invited delegates, keynote speakers and other researchers. Three funding proposals are currently being developed. The objective of one of these proposals (proposal title: GoTo - Go Together) is:
• to explore both a joint future of the HL7v3 CDA and CEN ISO 13606 EHR-communication standard, the possibilities of co-existence or alternative scenario's.
• to explore the common use of codes/coding systems in the structures these standards defined for the exchange of EHR data.
• to explore resources needed for a project for a large scale, cross border, planned care data exchange for both a HL7 v3 CDA and CEN ISO EN13606 implementation.
• to produce recommendations for: Standard Developing Organisations (SDO's: CEN/tc251 and ISO/tc215, HL7), other relevant SDO's, the European Member States, the European Commission and the ongoing collaborations between the EU and the US.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014