PEGASO - Personalised Guidance Services for Optimising lifestyle in teen-agers through awareness, motivation and engagement

The aim of the project is the development of personalised services, which enable individuals, from the younger to elder population, to become co-producers of their health and maintain good health status. These will include: (i) a "virtual individual" model, which comprises personal characteristics of an individual (e.g. personal profile, preconditions, risk factors, unhealthy behaviour, preferences, physical activity, sleep, mental status etc.); (ii) advanced sensors to acquire data on lifestyle aspects, behaviour and surrounding environment; (iii) intelligent systems for recognition of behavioural trends and prediction or early detection of health risks on the basis of heterogeneous data, including data acquired by sensors and individual self-assessment; (iv) supportive environment to engineer awareness on healthy behaviour, which would offer personalised guidance and provide support for a behavioural change; (v) development of a new ecosystem of stakeholders, which would comprise actors from fitness, food and lighting industries, schools, health insurance companies, policy makers and media; (vi) innovation in organisational models and business models for ICT-enabled disease prevention.
 
Rapidly increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents evolves into a global ‘epidemic’. Due to associated serious medical conditions, it is estimated that obesity accounts for up to 7% of healthcare costs in the EU, in addition to the wider costs to the economy caused by lower productivity, lost output and premature death. Obesity in younger age has not only been recognised as an alarming key predictor for obesity in adulthood, but also entails a number of short-term health complications in juvenile age, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, sleep disturbances and greater risk of social and psychological problems. As a consequence, juvenile obesity is a complex disorder with many interconnected factors related to the regulation of energy balance and body weight. Massive environmental changes in the last few decades have caused increase in sedentary activities, decrease in physical activity and increased energy intake.
 
Among the principal strategies tackling the risk of obesity in young individuals, a great relevance should be given to actions enhancing motivation for and awareness on healthy diet (dietary) and physical activity (active lifestyle). Effective management of this "epidemic" should thus emphasise changes in the environment where the youngsters live and should be equally adapted to the lifestyle of the family by taking into account family income, ethical and cultural background, or lifestyle patterns. Finally, such a behavioural management should be also sensitive to social factors, such as relations with peers through social network media and personal opportunities focused on increasing awareness and personal involvement in the issues of healthy lifestyles to contrast body mass excess.
 
In response to these requirements, the project’s aim is to develop a multi-dimensional and cross-disciplinary system to contrast and prevent overweight and obesity in the younger population by means of encouraging and motivating them to take an active role in their healthcare management. The proposed system gives guidance on good habits and could be capable of changing the behaviour of the target group in terms of stimulating their willingness to engage actively in the health management since they are the only person who experiences their daily life.
 
The amount of data related to the physical and psychological status of young obese patients, once integrated and analysed through the mHealth multi factorial system, offers a platform for creating and developing a new ecosystem involving the principal stakeholders of the healing process (Fitness and Food Industry, Schools, Health Insurance companies, Policy Makers, Media).

Keywords

lifestyle management, health, weight management, obesity prevention, game technology, social network

Outcomes

Website of the project

http://www.pegasof4f.eu/

Project Information

Partners (universities, business companies and government organisations): European project - falls within the framework of the "Cooperation" branch of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union for Research and Development. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

Participant organisation name Country​
Politecnico di Milano​ ​IT
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche IT
CSEM CH
​Università de Lleida - Institut de Recerca Biomédica de Lleida ES​
Gruppo SIGLA IT
​University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) CH
BDigital ES
Agencia d'informarcio avaluacio i qualitat en salut ES
Lombardia Informatica SpA IT
Neos Sistemi srl IT
​University of Nottingham UK
ROPARDO srl RO
i-maginary IT
​LIFEGATE ​IT