In order for SPLENDID to achieve its aims and produce a system that helps in the prevention of obesity and eating disorders for its target uses (i.e., SPLENDID @ School and SPLENDID for Adults), a specific set of detailed scientific, technological, validation and business objectives have been identified.
• Correlate human behavioural (i.e., eating and physical) patterns with the risk for developing or increasing the severity of obesity and eating disorders: SPLENDID aim to investigate how continuous recordings of eating and physical activity (motion, rest, etc.) correlate with the risk of developing obesity or eating disorder symptoms. SPLENDID will emphasise on behaviours measured in real-life settings rather than in controlled laboratory environments. Existing measurements from healthy individuals and patients are basis for building statistical models to achieve this objective.
• Automatic evaluation of how close the subjects are to reaching their goals: The prevention of obesity and eating disorders requires retraining of eating and physical activity. While the behavioural goals will be set by health professionals, the progress of the individual toward these goals will be automatically monitored by the SPLENDID system. In order for the system to measure the distance between the recorded behaviour and the goals of the individual, more information is needed on the relationships among different behaviours during a day. Existing data, past scientific knowledge and novel data produced during the project will be used to create comprehensive models of daily eating and physical activity behaviours. These models will then be used to evaluate the data recorded from individuals using the SPLENDID system.
• Design, development and real life testing of sensors to record eating behaviour and activity patterns: Three types of sensors will be included in the SPLENDID system, namely, the Mandometer® for recording eating behaviour, a chewing sensor for recording chewing and swallowing and an accelerometer for recording physical activity. The SPLENDID system will require the seamless integration of the different sensors with a smartphone.
• Design and development of a personalised monitoring and guidance platform: The creation of a platform that allows a smooth, two-way communication between user and system is one of the biggest challenges of SPLENDID. Partially running on a mobile device and partially located on a remote server, this platform will have three main functions: (a) communicate with all the sensors, (b) run the algorithms used to identify behaviour, (c) provide feedback and guidance to the user.
The feasibility of the project will be validated on three levels: (a) the accuracy of the assumptions for the relationship among daily behaviours and obesity and eating disorders, (b) the functionality of the algorithms used by the system to evaluate the captured signals and to identify behaviour, (c) the usability of the system (sensors and software) in real-life environments for both uses of the system .
Creation of an effective business and exploitation plan in line with the two targeted uses. The business models, workflow and key elements for the two uses will be defined in detail. A cost-benefit analysis will be conducted to identify the costs and benefits to all stakeholders during the complete lifecycle of the service.
SPLENDID intends to focus its scientific research on the following topics:
- Behavioural aspects of subjects with eating disorders & obesity
- Modelling eating & activity behaviour
- Sensors for eating patterns & activity
- Processing of eating & physical activity related signals
- Assessment of risk for developing obesity or eating disorders
- Goal description, setting and monitoring
- Personalised health systems