Health Testbed

The DAI-Labor eHealth test bed follows our vision to evaluate and force development of novel, intelligent services in the health domain following the common objective of the Competence Center NGS (Next Generation Services). In 2005, the DAI-Labor in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom AG laid the foundation for the test bed with the cooperative research project Smart Health Assistant (SHA). The project had a dual focus, as its goals comprised of both evaluative and implementation aspects. One the one hand the potentials and research possibilities of an intelligent, agent based eHealth framework were to be evaluated, one the other hand there should also be a real implementation of this framework, derived from the theoretical work.

The backend level of the eHealth framework uses an improved version of the aforementioned eHealth-framework. Besides this software base, the eHealth testbed consists of several cutting edge hardware devices, allowing easy evaluation and prototypic implementation of new novel, intelligent services within realistic limits.

The abstract base of the test bed is formed by an extended version of the SHA system design, which provides intelligent framework services on the different system layers, allowing the use and integration of open standards. This abstract design and its implementation in terms of the hard- and software parts of the SHA framework allows different usage scenarios for the framework, revealing its power:

  • Use for research: The DAI eHealth test bed enables researchers to implement new, visionary service concepts in an effective way, allowing evaluation of these concepts with real hardware devices and within the context of the SHA health portal. Thus, both real usability and synergy potentials with other services stays in focus, where the individual service can be evaluated in terms of intelligent connection with others, forming an open system and also allowing a later realisation of the service concept.
  • Use in Teaching: The DAI-Labor of the TU Berlin regularly offers many different courses, ranging from lectures and seminars to projects. The teaching project SHA has already been offered multiple times, including the use – and also the extension – of the DAI eHealth test bed with the aim at developing and implementing new service concepts for eHealth. Thus, beyond this exciting possibility, students are also able to learn about and contribute to the different aspects of framework development.

Recapitulating all these different scenarios, it becomes evident that the DAI eHealth test bed can be used for long-term development of service prototypes and concepts for research and teaching on the one hand, and for commercially aimed shorter-term research on the other.

The Health Assistant Demonstrator

Based on the SHA framework, the DAI research staff developed multiple demonstrative services that intelligently support the end user with his everyday health care and prophylaxis, especially with fitness and diet planning. These demonstrators use the full potential of the SHA framework and work in cooperation with each other. Besides these services for end users, the usage of the system by other user groups was also analysed. This resulted in the development of group-specific services which are adapted to the individual needs and characteristic of the different groups. Thus, there is a specialized Content Provider Toolkit for Content providers, allowing development and testing of content intended for use within the system. Also, content providers can graphically analyze the user feedback for their content. Medical experts, on the other side, can use the ONHES service (ONline Human Expert Surveillance) for remote monitoring of users and the Disease Diagnosis component to let the system automatically analyze vital data such as ECG signals, thus reducing diagnostic effort.

The concurrent development of demonstrators and the software-framework side by side allowed a constant check on the power and usability of the framework, as its services are used by the demonstrators. Naturally, the demonstrators themselves only display a fraction of the frameworks possibilities.