The number of people over the traditional retirement age of 65 in the South-East of the UK will increase by almost 50% in the next 20 years. This older age profile exceeds national averages in Kent. The regional health strategy identifies the need to promote well being, independence and ease of access within this group.
In France, the Catholic University of Lille together with the Lille Urban Community, the towns of Capinghem, Lomme, Prémesques has a project “Humanicité” involving territorial development, social innovation, populations mixing-up, creation of activities and new jobs, pooling of equipments.. Furthermore, due to the increasing importance of issues related to disabilities, ageing and dependence, the Catholic University of Lille has decided to commit itself strongly in these topics by setting up a medico-social pole called (Disabilities, Dependence and Citizenship » for which « Humanicité » will be an ambitious and novel application field.
SYSIASS project is integrated within this local and regional strategy.
SYSIASS works, conducted since December 2010, are based on two observations as follows:
- Significant improvments in patient care and quality of life may be achieved by allowing patients who experience difficulties in mobility, especially the flexibility to move without requiring human assistance.
- Another significant development is also to allow health professionals to access medical data, personal data and other important data about patients wherever they are.
The project partners have set three major objectives therefore closely linked:
• The first is to design an electric wheelchair with an intelligent module for the autonomous guidance of the chair and thus improve the mobility of patients.
• The improvement of mobility also means ease of use that is to say, the creation of human-machine interface simplifying guiding the wheelchair user.
• The intelligent wheelchair should also be communicating such in particular for transmit and receive patient medical data and make them available to health professionals. The exchanges must of course be done in a secure way, wireless, and without affecting the operation of any other medical equipment.
All these features will not only need to be scalable to fit the user status (such as changes in disability, fatigue …), but also usable on any type of wheelchair electric.