With changing demographics and the expectation that an aging population will wish to live independently, assisted living services are increasingly important. Many research projects and trials involving service providers, operators, hospitals and other assisted living providers are focused on innovative healthcare services that will address rising demand for healthcare support and independent living.
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The provisioning of innovative e-health offerings, including hospitalization and surveillance services as well as personal training programs, is key to enabling this vision and can be realized with the OSGi Service Platform, which simultaneously reduces development costs and time to market.
The OSGi Service Platform specifications enable a standard service delivery and execution environment that enables any manufacturer, service provider or operator to implement a highly flexible service platform for any device and allows any developer to write application software for it. The OSGi Service Platform achieves the vision of the connected device, reduces end-to-end costs and enables the same service to run seamlessly on a variety devices inside and outside of the home environment.
OSGi Service Platform specifications define a managed environment in which many applications can execute and cooperate. This environment is similar to an operating system like Linux or Windows. The difference is that the OSGi Service Platform was specifically designed to be:
- Secure, so you can trust it with your valuable data and programs
- Reliable, so there are no unnecessary support calls
- Remotely manageable, so that the platform can be remotely serviced and maintained by the provider to increase user satisfaction
- Universal, so it is deployable on a wide range of hardware and operating systems. Since Java technology provides a virtual machine environment, it means that the OSGi Service Platform can run on almost any operating system or processor
- Manageable, so that you can easily provide total lifecycle management for your services
AALuis – The AALuis project (http://www.aaluis.eu/, co-funded by the AAL Joint Programme, the BMVIT, the Programm benefit, the BMBF and ZonMw) brings rich, innovative user interfaces to services in the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) domain, by capitalizing on the strengths of the OSGi Platform. The OSGi based AALuis Layer enables service providers and user interface developers to easily integrate new and existing solutions in a standardized way, to accomplish a user-centric, dynamically personalized service experience, especially for older people. The aim of the project is to build these services, user interfaces and the connection layer on top of open and established (OSGi based) AAL middleware platforms. This enables the adoption of a design-for-all principle, improving elderlies’ access to and acceptance of ICT-based solutions. AALuis will foster the focus on accessibility, adaptability and usability of user interfaces and AAL systems. It aims to facilitate the connection of different services to different user interfaces and thus to enable future users of AAL systems to use services interacting in their preferred way.
CONTACT– The project CONTACT (http://www.contact-projekt.de), which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), aims to develop an assistive system to stimulate social interaction of palliative patients who live alone in order to promote the implied communication and the exchange of non-verbal situations (emotions and activities) between patients, relatives and friends. In addition, human-machine-interactions are formed multimodal, affectively and all pervasively for the home environment which adapt to the person and the situation. This project will be built on the OSGi Alliance specified platform with all used sensors and actuators being integrated via the OSGi Service platform.
Hearing@Home – The HaH project (http://www.hearing-at-home.eu/), funded by the European Commission in its 6th framework program, focused on the needs of the hearing-impaired in home environments. Based on OSGi technology, formerly separated devices like the personal computer (PC), hi-fi systems, TV sets, digital cameras, telephones, fax machines, intercoms, and services like internet access, Voice over IP (VoIP), Personal Information Management (PIM), Pay TV, and home automation grow together. These devices and services are accessible via a TV set that is connected to a PC or set-top box (STB) that implements interfaces to network gateways as well as to home automation scenarios. The TV set becomes the central Home Information and Communication (HIC) platform of the household in the communication society. The HIC platform will support the hearing-impaired with easy-to-configure supportive audio signal processing (SASP) and visual support on a TV screen. The final demonstration has been made available to the public and further used in other projects and smarthome environments.
OSAmI Commons – The ITEA OSAmI-Commons project (http://www.osami-commons.org) is based on OSGi technology and has developed a universal networking platform enabling reuse of software components across vertical application domains. This is crucial when tackling urgent social challenges such as energy sustainability or the ever-growing care costs for an aging population. The open modular platform is based on OSGi and can be used across many sectors and has been trialed and exploited for applications in various domains. Among others, the first products in the health domain will be launched in 2012/13. They include a new medical handheld sensor as well as a rehabilitation programme for cardiology patients with the potential for saving many lives. This programme enables heart-attack patients to continue training on an exercise machine at home after rehabilitation, connected to the doctor online. The doctor can not only monitor the training and a patient’s vital signs, but also control exercise-machine settings online.
universAAL – the universAAL project (http://www.universaal.org ) is a large research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th framework program. It aims at developing an open platform and reference specification for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions. AAL refers to intelligent systems supporting people for a better, healthier and safer life in their preferred living environment (AAL Space). AAL applications as envisioned by universAAL are manageable, distributed and context-aware services; they cooperatively use the context information gathered by the devices and sensors embedded in the AAL Space. The OSGi framework with several of its service specifications is used as middleware to build the software infrastructure that hides the heterogeneity and distribution of resources and enables context sharing. Moreover, OSGi is also used as intelligent gateway to integrate Wireless Sensor Networks. In particular, it focuses on integrating ZigBee technology according the Continua Healthcare end-to-end architecture and guidelines.