vCare Final Open Event

Shaping a new approach to home-based rehabilitation with the support of a virtual coach
vCare final event announcement on 29+30 August 2022
vCare final event announcement on 29+30 August 2022



The main event will take place in Brussels on August 29 in the Scotland house, Rdpt Robert Schuman 6, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium, next to the main European Commission building (Berlaymont). We very much welcome a physical participation but a remote participation is also possible.

A workshop with the project Lifebots exchange will follow the final event on August 30 in the morning. This event is also open to all interested people upon preliminary registration. It will explore more specifically the question of interaction between humans and robots, be them digital or physical.

The event has not been conceived as a promotional one. Rather we hope to create a vivid opportunity for people, organisations, companies and projects to shape to further integrate all the actors of the @Home paradigm. All attendees, both present on site or connected virtually will have thus the opportunity to interact with the speakers and the audience. You may register separately for the final event on day 1 and the workshop on day 2.


Preliminary programme:

DAY 1: Monday 29 August: 10-18, Break at 11.30 13.00 and 15.30

Welcome, presentation of the consortium and general overview of the event

Keynote speech: GEORGE CROOKS: Shifting the balance of care

Professor George Crooks is the Chief Executive of the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Scotland’s national innovation centre for digital health and care. He also directed the Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare.

This introductory speech will reflect on the rapid emergence of the @home paradigm and more generally of hybrid models of care (and the many structural and specific reasons which explain this evolution). It will also analyse the relative failure of solutions which focus on telerehabilitation “only” without a patient-oriented approach which takes into consideration all factors which influence adherence.

Setting up the scene: addressing a major gap in the care process with the virtual coach

Secondary prevention aims to reduce the impact of a disease or injury that has already occurred. This is done by encouraging personal strategies to prevent reinjury or recurrence, and implementing programs to return people to their original health and function to prevent long-term problems. The Virtual Coach developed by vCare not only supplements the usual rehabilitation processes but also adopts strategies to empower the patient and his/her caregiver.

The tailored rehabilitation clinical pathway activated by the clinician evolves thus constantly in function of the patient choices and rehabilitation goals he/she can reach. It builds on the concrete clinical experience of 4 medical sites in four different countries and addresses neurological and cardiological diseases.

We will tell you how this ambitious proposition has been built initially, how it has evolved along the project lifetime and what were the expected results. It will also explain you how the system has been built in such a way that it can accommodate other use cases than those which have been tested in the project.

The vCare stories and promise

In this session we will have a deep dive into each of the use cases piloted by the project: stroke, heart failure/ischemic heart disease and Parkinson.

Each pathology has its specificity and the coach and all the enabling environment which empowers it needs to be fit to purpose. For each use case, we will explain how we have designed this environment, the rationale for the selection of the activities supervised by the coach. We will also explain who are the patients who can benefit most from the virtual coach experience and what have been the concrete results observed during the pilots. We also discuss what kind of consequences the use of a virtual coach has on the concrete work of the care team and what it implies in term of workload and roles.

The patient voice will also be heard: real patients enrolled in the pilots will provide a direct testimony of their vCare experience.

During a moderated discussion, six external experts representing all the clinical domains covered will be invited to comment on the solution proposed, the results achieved, the conditions and challenges for a wide deployment of the solution.

Lunch Break

Connecting vCare with the wider ecosystem

Many projects have a specific focus and are still very often built-in silos, targeting a specific disease or a specific aspect or care process in the disease. This is of course acceptable from an innovation point of view. However, from the patient and health system points of view this is not however ideal and not very cost-efficient. In this session, we will see how vCare could integrate itself in other platforms which deal with multiple use cases and we will try identify common building blocks and challenges. We will thus focus more in detail on acceptability and usability issues.

We have selected a number of projects which share with vCare either an indication, a use case or a technology (such as the virtual coach in particular). Together with them, we will discuss how the several barriers between the @home implementations can be progressively reduced both from a clinical and technological perspectives.


Taking vCare one step further on the road

The objective of vCare was to develop a system prototype demonstrated in an operational environment.

This session will provide an overview of the different possible exploitation paths for the vCare system and its main components. It will provide the audience with a more detailed overview on how the different vCare components have been selected, developed and integrated. It will also explain what have been the main problems encountered, how they have been solved in the project lifetime and what will need further improvement in order for vCare to reach a higher maturity level and to be able to support a large-scale randomised controlled trial (RCT). An agreement has indeed been reached within the consortium to guarantee the maintenance of the vCare system after the end of the project. We will also disclose the results of our socio-economic impact analysis.

We have invited a number of solutions already on the rehabilitation market to join us for a lively discussion to unveil the key success factors for an innovation to find today its market. Together with them, we will be looking at short- and medium-term prospects, considering also the consequences of the evolution of the legal framework and the possible business cases.

We ambition this exchange to be the starting point of new possible collaborations with external industry partners and clinical sites.

Conclusion and introduction to DAY 2 Workshop


Tuesday 30 August 9.30 -12.30: vCare & Lifebots workshop

The workshop is also organised in a hybrid format.

LIFEBOTS Exchange aims at enhancing cross-sector, international and interdisciplinary collaboration in the area of social robotics technology. The project focuses particularly on the health and care sector, and examines how social robots can be included into people’s life.

LIFEBOTS Exchange is a project financed by the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), which is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The RISE programme promotes cross-border and cross-sector collaboration through sharing knowledge and ideas from research to market and vice versa.

The workshop will organise a moderated debate between the participants triggered by short presentations from by both projects. 4 topics will be debated.

A first list of topics has been established but might evolve according to suggestions from the attendees.

  • Conditions for effective deployment of AI technology in projects
  • Challenges of components integration: Points of attention
  • Serious game coaching: State of the art
  • Virtual versus Physical coach: Pros and Cons

You are thus most welcome to provide via the registration form a suggestion of topic and to indicate if you would be interested to introduce it. Both projects will need to support the topic in order for it to be selected for the discussion. We will however publish a list of all the topics proposed.