Prevention in the form of educational programs and lifestyle interventions can limit the current epidemic growth of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
In this perspective, the European Commission has decided to fund the SEMEOTICONS project. "The project will develop innovative methods and tools and integrate them into a self-monitoring system", project coordinator Sara Colantonio of the Institute of Information Science and Technologies in Pisa explains. "This system will provide personalized guidance against improper or dangerous life-styles."
Moving medical semeiotics to the digital realm
According to medical semeiotics, the human face is a precious revealer of key information about the healthy or unhealthy status of individuals.
Scientific coordinator Giuseppe Coppini says: "The central idea of SEMEOTICONS, which stands for SEMEiotic Oriented Technology for Individual’s CardiOmetabolic risk self-assessmeNt and Self-monitoring, is to exploit the face as a major indicator of an individual’s wellbeing by tracing traits of physical and expressive status."
"We will design and construct an innovative multi-sensory system integrated into a hardware platform having the exterior aspect of a mirror: the so-called "Wize Mirror". This will easily fit into users' home or other sites of their daily life such as fitness and nutritional centers, pharmacies, schools and so on."
Daily self-monitoring of your wellness
The Wize Mirror will collect data mainly in the form of videos and images. These will be processed by advanced dedicated methods to extract biometric, morphometric, colorimetric, and compositional descriptors derived from the individual's face.
The "wellness index", derived from the integration of such descriptors into a Virtual Individual's Model, will trace and monitor the daily evolution of the individual's status.
The system will provide suggestions and coaching messages to foster the maintenance of a correct lifestyle or reduce noxious habits. Users will be enabled to share data in their diary with health professionals so as to receive, when needed, direct expert guidance and support.
Wize Mirror validation
Medical experts will validate the system with respect to the reproducibility of measurements, the efficacy in detecting changes in well-being and cardio-metabolic status as well as the acceptability by the end-users.
Dr Colantonio: "We expect that the exploitation of the Wize Mirror promotes new aggregations between health and wellbeing actors including industry, fitness, and schools. We also expect significant effects towards the development of new prevention strategies of cardio-metabolic diseases, with positive impacts on the reduction of avoidable disease burden and health expenditures."
The costs of current European health systems grow exponentially with the widespread use of complex, and often inappropriate, diagnostic procedures, as well as with the population ageing. This is particularly true in the case of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
The SEMEOTICONS consortium includes ten partners from seven countries (France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom).
Six research institutions, both ICT and medical, and four industries are involved in the project that will be coordinated by the Italian National Council of Researches (CNR).
Three medical centers located in Pisa, Milan, and Lyon will support research and industrial partners and will host the Wize Mirror testing.