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.

DAY 1: Monday 29 August: 10-18, Break at 13.00 and 16.00 

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


 10.10: Keynote speech: Shifting the balance of care 

George Crooks: 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. 



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

Hannes Schlieter, Head of Digital Health Research group, TUD, Germany 

 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.  

 10.50: The vCare stories and promise 

Moderated by Rachelle Kaye (vCare Advisory Board, Assuta Medical centers, Israël) 

 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 

  • Overview of the validation methodology: Massimo Caprino, Head of Research & Innovation, Casa di Cura privata del Policlinico, Milano, Italy 


  • USE CASE 1- Stroke: Riccardo Re, Physiotherapist, Casa di Cura privata del Policlinico, Milano, Italy 

    • External expert:  
      • Jessica Barlinn, Head of the Saxon Stroke Network and leader OF the stroke group  within the university hospital Dresden, Germany (TBC)  


  • USE CASE 2 : Heart Failure: Andreea Lacraru, Cardiologist, Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie “Carol Davila” (UMFCD), Bucharest, Romania 

    • External experts: 
      • Professor Josef Niebauer, Cardiology Chief and University Chair – Universitaetsklinikum Salzburg, Austria (TBC)
      • Martijn Scherrenberg, cardiologist, PhD candidate Digital Health in Cardiology,Jessica Hospital, Hasselt, Belgium 

  • USE CASE 3: Parkinson:Rocio Del Pino, Ph.D Clinical Neuropsychologist at Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Bilbao, Spain 

    • External experts:  
      • Dr. Alvaro Sanchez Ferro, MD (Neurology), Co-founder & CMO @ Leuko, Madrid, Spain
      • Alice Nieuwboer, Neuromotor Rehabilitation Research Group, KU Leuven, Belgium
      • Gianni FRANCO, Vice-President of the Belgian Brain Council,
      • Mayva Marin, Parkinson Patient Association, Madrid, Spain 


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, several 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. 


13:00 Lunch Break 

14:00 Connecting vCare with the wider ecosystem 

Moderated by Jean-Christophe Mestres (Advisory Board, IBM Client Engineering, France) 

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.  


  • Overview of the vCare architecture and its scalability: Alvaro Martinez (Innovation Engineer, MYSPHERA, Spain) and Emmanuel Sandner (Research Engineer at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria) 


  • Key lessons learnt by vCare: Massimo Caprino, Head of Research & Innovation, Casa di Cura privata del Policlinico, Milano, Italy  


  • Presentations by 5 invited projects: 

    • e-VITA: Sarah Janböcke (Assistant Visiting Professor at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan and as General Manager of SARAH JANBÖCKE ODR GmbH, Essen, Germany) 

The aim of the e-VITA Virtual Coach for Smart Aging is to combine sociological, medical, and technological excellence to produce  a virtual coaching system that can provide personalised recommendations and everyday help improve olderadults’ life quality in Europe and Japan while also delivering opportunities to SMEs and NGOs to derive knowledge,  services, and products from this joint research force.  

The pilot 6 of the Shapes project targets older adults that either need to recover from a certain accident or health issue (e.g.: stroke, fall, surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, orofacial disorder etc.) and aims at safely conducting physical activity and physical rehabilitation routines  and at boosting motivation of digital tools, robots, 3D Depth Camera and Wearable Motion Monitoring Device.


Patient-HF is an integrated eHealth product enabling self-care of chronic HF including self-prescription of medication. It will include novel features such as a decision support engine, interactive physician avatar interface, serious gaming tools and self-learning feedback system.  


The project proposes an interactive, personalised model, developed to meet users’ needs, to adopt healthy habits, maintain a daily routine and follow advice from care teams. The target group is formed by people over 65, mainly with a diagnosis of a Parkinson’s disorder or Parkinsonism and the care teams. 


BeHome develops and oversees projects throughout Germany that enable people to live safely and independently in their own four walls. BeHome is a modular system that adapts precisely to the needs and makes sure that a smoothly  interlocking system is created in the end. BeHome works together with numerous technology partners.

  •  Moderated panel discussion with all projects’ representatives 


 16:00 Coffee Break 

 16:10 Taking vCare one step further on the road 

Moderated by  Thom Hoedemakers (Passion-HF), Business consultant and SME strategist, the Netherlands 

 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. 

  •  vCare Exploitation paths: Luc Nicolas, vCare Exploitation Lead (EHTEL, Belgium) and Sofoklis Kyriazakos, Innovation manager (CEO, Innovation Sprint Sprl, Belgium) 


  • Cost-efficiency evaluation of the vCare solution: Rocio Del Pino, Ph.D Clinical Neuropsychologist at Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Bilbao, Spain 




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.


  • The vCare market: Focus on four existing solutions:  


    • Products on market: 

      • Rehab Guru: is a tried and tested patient management platform, including exercise prescription, remote monitoring of health, telehealth and clinic management software. Founded by clinicians, for clinicians, the platform is now the product of choice for the UK’s Ministry of Defence, numerous NHS Trusts, PMIs, and many private clinics across the globe: David Barrow, Director and co-owner, physiotherapist. 


      •  Axomove:  is an application designed by health professionals to improve the rehabilitation and prevention of physical health pathologies and diseases. The care team creates tailor-made exercise programs for each patient supported by videos, educational material and teleconsultation. A dashboard provides daily feed-back: Boris Leveque, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, ex professional sport man. 


    •  Products on the road to market: 

      • Captain Coach provides a radically new UI for empowering and motivating people in need of guidance and care. It supports setting goals, getting feedback along the process until the goal achievement. Goals are referred to four domains (physical, cognitive, social and nutritional )that enhance wellbeing in everyday life: Evdokimos Konstantinidis, Leader of ASOSS Research Group at Medical Physics and Digital Innovation Lab, Greece.  


    • Incasa is a Smart Home platform created so that any home can be transformed into an intelligent environment, which in addition to helping the elderly today, can evolve with their needs in the future. The Home Center has its own intelligence, based on the Home Care ERAS (Emergency, Risk, Activity, Status) protocol, assessing situations in which it must provide help, inform family members or caregivers or communicate with assistance services: Alejandro Cavaliere, founder at InCasa Smart Senior Living, Spain. 


  • Panel discussion with products owners and the audience

    • With also the participation of  Cláudia Louro (Kinetikos) andLucia Pannese  (Imaginary)  
    • We ambition this exchange to be the starting point of new possible collaborations with external industry partners and clinical sites. 


 18:00 CONCLUSIONS and introduction to DAY 2 Workshop 

Werner Esswein: Project coordinator (TU Dresden, Germany) 




Day 2 Tuesday 30 August 9.30 -12.30: vCare & Lifebots workshop

“Shaping a new approach to home-based rehabilitation and care: Future approaches and technologies ”

This workshop is also organised in a hybrid format and can thus be attended either physically or remotely. The same degree of participation cannot, however, be guaranteed to remote attendees.

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

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 plays a role in connecting together virtual coaching, physical coaching, the use of social robots, and the wider ecosystem(s) of health data and digital health in the context of home-based rehabilitation and care. It focuses on human-machine interaction; what is common to all human-machine interaction initiatives/projects, and what are their outcomes and consequences. Most practically, it emphasises what works well – physical interaction, virtual interaction, or a mix of both.  

This half-day workshop follows on from a full-day conference organised by the vCare project held on 29 August 2022. Implicitly, therefore, the workshop involves an outward-facing exchange of the learnings from the vCare to other initiatives and projects in terms of lessons learned about innovationcare pathways, and potential new use cases 

This workshop is structured as a moderated debate among the participants. Each debate is triggered by short presentations made by presenters from either or both the vCare and the LIFEBOTS Exchange projects. Several specific topics will be debated around artificial intelligence (AI)components integrationserious games, and the differences between virtual and physical coaches. The workshop will conclude with a short session focusing on outcomes and next steps 

 9:30 Welcome and introduction

 The speakers welcome attendees to Scotland House and the workshop. They introduce the collaboration between vCare and Lifebots Exchange. They also provide a rapid overview of the outcomes of the previous day’s discussions run by vCare: vCare’s unique value proposition; vCare stories and its promise; connecting vCare with the wider ecosystem; and – ultimately – what is needed to take vCare further along the road through an exploitation roadmap 

An introduction is given to LIFEBOTS Exchange’s work on social robots in Europe, and outlines how the project aims to facilitate interactions between personnel in workforces in academe and industry. 

This morning’s session shows where social robots, AI, serious games, and various forms of coaching are all headed.  

 9:45 Conditions for effective deployment of AI technology in projects 

Moderated by Rachelle Kaye, Assuta Medical Centers, Israel 

  •  What conditions are needed in European projects to ensure that AI-based technologies will be successfully deployed? Views on the conditions needed are offered by a speaker from vCare, followed by a speaker from Lifebots Exchange. These findings and opinions are compared and contrasted. A short debate / discussion among attendees follows.  
    • Jin Liu, FZI Research Center for Information Technology (FZI), Germany  
    • Artur Serrano, Professor in Welfare Technology, NTNU, Norway  

10:20 Challenges for components integration: Points for attention”

Moderated by TBC

  •  Getting all the various components in any system integrated can pose considerable challenges. The vCare project has plenty of experience of how a wide number of system components have been brought together under one umbrella. Firms working with social robots also have experience in this field. A short debate / discussion among attendees follows.  

11:00 Coffee break 

11:15 Serious games for rehabilitation: State-of-the-art 

  • Serious games are a growing field of activity in many markets. An outline is offered of the current state-of-play in virtual reality, and use of videos, computers, and mobile telephony. When healthy and active ageing is key, the focus needs to be on prevention, personalisation, and patient empowermentA short debate / discussion among attendees follows. 
    • Lucia Pannese (Chief Executive Officer) and/or  Vito Nitti (Co-Founder) imaginary S.R.L., Italy 
    • One LIFEBOTS Exchange presenter [TBC)

11:45 Virtual versus physical coaches: Pros and cons 

  •  Increasing numbers of initiatives, including projects, are focusing on coaching – whether physical or virtual or both. Examples include AGAPE, Good Brother, Pharaon, SmartWork, ValueCare, and the Portuguese national initiative, ActiVas. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, upsides and downsides. Issues of keen interest involve co-creation with the users and different types of stakeholders. Of core importance is the validation and assessment all results. 
    • Emmanuel Sandner, Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria  
    • Elisabete Pitarma, Innovation Department Project Manager, Caritas Diocesana de Coimbra, Portugal  

12:20 Outcomes and conclusions 

 A rapid overview will be given into the main outcomes and conclusions from today’s half-day workshop, especially with regard to potential future exploitation. This session offers attendees insights into what are the next steps to be anticipated from the vCare follow-up and LIFEBOTS Exchange during 2023. EHTEL will brief attendees on its coming suite of “Imagining 2029” webinars and highlight the main themes that will be explored in its EHTEL 2022 Symposium to be held in November 2022.  

 12:30 Lunch 

 A lite buffet lunch is offered to attendees present in Scotland House