The MyHealthAvatar project is a research and demonstration action, through which the feasibility of an innovative representation of the health status of citizens for future healthcare – 4D MyHealthAvatar, is studied. A 4D avatar is a unique interface that allows data access, collection, sharing and analysis by utilizing modern ICT technology, overcoming the shortcomings of the existing resources in Europe, which is highly fragmented. It will become the citizen’s lifelong companion, providing long-term and consistent health status information of the individual citizen along a timeline representing the citizen’s life, starting from birth. Data sharing is encouraged, which potentially provides to an extensive collection of population data and offer extremely valuable support to clinical research. The avatar is equipped with a toolbox to facilitate clinical data analysis and knowledge discovery.
As a proof of concept, the project is building a test system, featuring the following properties:
- Information collection and access.
- Internal data repositories to store individual data for the avatars
- An internal model repository to store models commonly used by all the avatars.
- Links to external sources, such as hospitals’ Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other data and model repositories.
- Information extraction from the web and data collection using mobile apps;
- Semantics and linked data to support the data/model searching and reasoning.
- Data management and sharing, which is controlled by the individual citizens. They decide how the data is shared by stakeholders. MyHealthAvatar is a tool that allows highly self-motivated data management and user-centred data collection, supported by the necessary data integrity measures. The citizens have full rights to share their own data. For example, the avatar data can be shared with physicians for clinical treatment, with research organisations to support clinical research, or with other individual patients on a volunteer basis. These are supported by the underlying ICT architecture, which have adequate measures to ensure data reliability and integrity.
- Information analysis using an integrated ICT toolbox, which is a vehicle by which medical professionals can augment their clinical knowledge with heterogeneous information from the avatar for clinical decision making and knowledge exploration.
It offers significant assistance to doctors by:
- displaying related information in a body-centric view around the avatar.
- allowing simulation via access to the model repositories, supported by the computing resource that is provided by the architecture.
- performing visually assisted data analysis (i.e. visual analytics) to extract clinically meaningful information from the heterogeneous data of individual/shared avatars, such as the patterns of symptoms, experience of treatments, medicines, self care guidelines, risk factors etc..
The 4D avatar functions as an interface to support the collection of, and access to, the complete medical information relating to individual citizen’s health status, gathered from different sources, including medical data, documents, lifestyle and other personal information, represented along a timeline. Also, it is an interface to access integrated predictive computer simulation models which foresee the growth of the disease and the effect of treatment.
The system has:
A range of modern ICT techniques facilitates the data collection and information access, including:
The consortium strongly believes that healthcare should not only care for patients but also look after the health and wellbeing of citizens. It needs to be applied to healthy people by maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and the notification of early symptoms. Hence, MyHealthAvatar targets both healthy citizens and patients.