About

BIONIC

The BIONIC concept will be a game changer in medical wearable technology integrating sensor modules in multi-purpose, configurable Body Sensor Networks introducing key enablers of user acceptance based on value, comfort, confidence and trust.

BIONIC is a European research project aiming to develop an unobtrusive, autonomous and privacy preserving platform for real-time risk alerting and continuous persuasive coaching, enabling the design of workplace interventions adapted to the needs and fitness levels of specific ageing workforce. Gamification strategies adapted to the needs and wishes of the elderly workers will ensure optimal engagement for prevention and self-management of musculoskeletal health in any working/living environment.

Loosely integrated IMUs fitted into everyday or work clothing with dynamic monitoring of overall body posture will significantly promote the wide adoption of motion tracking wearables, eliminating the need to attach sensing devices firmly to the body, thus affecting comfort and possibly impeding movement during work or everyday physical activity. The usability of kinematic data (e.g. body postures) will be significantly enriched with the addition of kinetic, physiological and environmental sensor data related to the situation of the workers and their surroundings. Depending on the specific chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) condition, body-part specific BSN modules (e.g. belts or bandages for monitoring lower back and knee chronic MSD) will be developed. Detailed monitoring of these body parts will be based on innovative localized bio-mechanical models.

A major key innovation relates to the concept of AI on a chip, which is embedding predictive Artificial Intelligence algorithms in the BSN. Raw data pre-processing at the source prevents immense flows of data being transmitted to remote gateways. The combination of ML algorithms with a model-based estimation will allow for deducing relevant and interpretable parameters for efficient real-time, in-field and long-term personalized risk/physical strain and recovery assessment from individual sensor data. Moreover, from a methodological point of view, another key innovation relies in the combination of data-driven and model-based estimation/detection algorithms for continuous intelligent sensor auto-calibration and correction, which will enable ease of use and loose coupling of sensors on every day and work clothing.

Safeguarding ethics, privacy, security and regulatory aspects.

To ensure user acceptance of the BIONIC solution, the human computer interaction (HCI) aspect will be taken very much into consideration at all levels of interaction and especially related to the design of the User Interfaces of the BIONIC applications targeting ageing workers. The methodology that will be adopted for GDPR Compliant Personal Data Management will ensure that principles like the data protection (purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, accountability), the lawfulness of processing and the user consent, are fully satisfied. The applications will respect all the rights of the data owners (the workers) like their right to object to the storage/processing of their information, their right to be forgotten, their right to restriction of processing etc.

Expected Benefits

Efficient design of age friendly workplaces

Continuous risk assessment

Injury prevention

Coaching in the living and working environment

BIONIC will significantly contribute to unlocking the inherent potential of wearable-based health monitoring for efficient design of age friendly workplaces, continuous risk assessment, injury prevention, active living and efficient coaching in the living and working environment, by removing the main barriers for wide adoption related to:

  • Converting the raw data into intelligence and ultimately action.
  • Helping ageing workers by providing them with continuous, reliable and context-based coaching based on unobtrusive devices and persuasive digital feedback that promote user acceptance.
  • Medically sound coaching incorporating personalized knowledge on users’ MS health profile, as well as cumulative strain induced on their joints and spine while performing specific activities.
  • Helping elderly workers not only during their working time, but also at home, in the city, during their leisure time, exercising, etc. in highly motivating and engaging manners (gamification approach to exercising).
  • Supporting ageing workers in unstructured, not easily controllable working environments.
  • Convincing elderly users about the potential benefits of the technology.
  • Convincing workers that they are not being “spied” during their work and their personal data are not being misused. This is a particularly sensitive issue for senior workers. GDPR compatible technologies for Data Protection will provide the individuals with full control over their personal data.