A new European project, NextPerception, is developing intelligent sensing technology for the next generation of solutions for the healthcare and automotive industry. On the one hand, the focus of the project is on patient-centered care, in which improved monitoring systems aim at early detection and prevention of deterioration in health. On the other hand, sensor solutions are being developed for the automotive industry to improve pedestrian safety and automated driving. During this project, Evalan focuses on the first use case, healthcare, and is developing a respiratory rate sensor specifically for cardiac care.
Sensing technologies have become part of everyday life and people increasingly rely on smart systems to make decisions that can directly affect their health. This is especially evident in healthcare, where systems can monitor the slightest changes in patient health, and in traffic, where automated driving solutions gradually take control of the car. The accuracy and timeliness of decisions depend on the systems’ ability to build an understanding of both people and their environment. It is critical that these detection and sensing technologies are safe and reliable. The NextPerception project responds to this and aims to develop versatile, safe, proactive and smart sensor systems for three different use cases.
Improve patient-centered care
The first use case focuses on continuous health monitoring that supports patient-centered care and the active role of patients in the care process. This mainly concerns integral vitality monitoring, whereby technologies are developed that measure and monitor the health, behavior and activities of patients, especially those who require more medical attention or care. Evalan’s role in this use case is to develop a respiratory rate sensor, specifically for cardiac care. This sensor can ensure that patients can go home faster and are better guided so that the chance that they have to go back to the hospital is small.
Sense solutions for the automotive sector
The aim of the second use case is to develop a monitoring system that not only classifies the cognitive state of the driver and thus “notices” when a driver is distracted, tired or drowsy, but also detects emotions such as fear, panic or anger. The system tracks the driver’s intent as well as the activities and position of the driver and other occupants in the vehicle. This information will be used for autonomous driving functions, including takeover request and driver support.
Finally, the third use case improves safety and comfort for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, at intersections so that they can avoid potential conflicts. The system detects the presence of road users, determines and follows their position, movement and intention.
The NextPerception project started in May 2020 and will run for three years. In total, the consortium consists of 43 partners from seven countries, representing both industry and academia. The project is coordinated by the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and jointly funded by the European Commission and the national funding agencies under the ECSEL Joint Undertaking.