Smart Co-Care

Short Description:

“Smart Co-Care“ is a trail demonstrating sample solutions for problems arising from demographic changes (e.g. shortage of doctors/nurses in rural regions) and from an increase in recognizing diversity (such as a trend towards a more individual, independent and self-determined life). The team for this trail studies and develops innovative, networked prototypes for provision of care at home, aiming at the needs of the elderly, people with a chronic illness, and people with a disability. This trail offers a first-hand experience to demonstrations of mobile assistive systems, risk detection, determination of vital parameters, room automation, remote controlled, haptic as well as accessible procedures and many more for its visitors. In the near future this will be implemented in a compact, physical research and innovation space (= Living Lab), allowing collaborative research of partners from a variety of disciplines as well as other stakeholders for a communicative, interdisciplinary cooperation for future joint innovations. Until then, labs of all consortium members make up the stops of this trail.


Center for Demgraphy and Diversity (CDD), TU Dresden

Target Group(s):

Manufacturers and users of IoT products, start-ups as well as research institutes from sectors health, care, rehabilitation, entertainment or smart home.

Partner from Research, Industry:

Institution/Company> Type Contact Person Role/Topics
HTW Dresden, Chair for Artificial Intelligence Research Prof. Böhme Robotic assistive systems for therapy concepts, technical sitting awake / night watch
TU Dresden, Chair for Business informatics, system development Research Prof. Esswein System development for remote medical services and clinical trails
Chair for Technical Informationsystems Research Prof. Kabitzsch Building automation
TU Dresden, Assistant Professor for Technical Design Research Prof. Krzywinski Industrial Design / User Experience
TU Dresden, Chair for Biomedical Technology Research Prof. Malberg Innovative Monitoring, Processing of Biosignals
TU Dresden, Chair for Social and Health Care Buildings and Design Research Prof. Marquardt Architecture for care, accessibility, signage
TU Dresden, Chair for Human-Computer Interaction Research Prof. Weber Accessible Computing
CareSocial Group Enterprise Mr. Kersten Software for nursing, Digital health records, Networking patients & -diagnostics
Carus Consilium Sachsen GmbH Enterprise Dr. Müller Platform for remote medicine, application areas for remote medical services
Cognitec Systems GmbH Enterprise Mr. Herrera Face recognition FaceVACS
exelonix GmbH Enterprise Dr. Stege Software e.g. Asina user interface, IoT/Cloud-Solutions, E-Health-Apps
Interactive Minds Dresden GmbH Enterprise Mr. Joos Eyetracking
Linguwerk GmbH Enterprise Dr. Petrick Technology for Acoustics- & Speech, Digital signal processing
T-Systems Multimedia Solutions (T-MMS) Enterprise Dr. Pietschmann
Mrs. Birkhahn
Digital Business Transformation, Big Data, Mobile Solutions, Industry 4.0
Office for promotion of economic development LH Dresden Dr. Franke Associated Partner

Value Proposition:

Trail “Smart Co-Care“ demonstrates interdisciplinary and human-centred collaboration in projects of the Center for Demography and Diversity (CDD) as well as partners from research domains nursing & care and human-computer interaction. Since June 2016, CDD has developed interdisciplinary research towards mastering the challenges of demographic changes in Saxony and all over the Federal Republic of Germany. Besides demographic topics are also issues related to an increase in diversity addressed (such as those for people with a disability or chronic diseases). Digital and innovative concepts solving problems during everyday life of people demonstrate an overarching objective by all involved scientists.

CDD positions this trail not only at the right moment in time but also at the right place: the capital of the federal state of Saxony faces an interesting demographic development on the one hand (shrinking rural municipalities and a booming metropolis) and the growth of a software industry at the other hand. “Smart Co-Care” has been placed at an optimal starting position.
This trail offers not only space for evaluations, but also for the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary exchange, for innovative research projects and transfer of research concepts to increase their readiness for marketing in the future.

Pain Killers:
    • New intelligent solutions of problems inherent to demographic changes (number of elderly people and people with chronic, physical, cognitive or psychological diseases increases), in particular in rural and structurally lagging regions.
    • Maintaining the level of care giving despite lack of doctor’s shortage.
    • Prevention of increase in morbidity as well as rapid response for emergencies of people living socially isolated.
Gain Creators:
    • Increased visibility and sensitization for digital technologies in the general public
    • Sensitization for demographic changes among trail-visitors interested in technological solutions
    • Enabling user-centered research by involvement of appropriate subjects
    • Contributions to public safety (such as in airports and for large events)
    • Support of Ambient Assisted Living also for mainstream people with a considerable economic impact on a global scale (tomorrows industries incorporate an increase in diversity in products and services)


Teaser-Trail (full-day, free of charge, available all-the-year), possible also jointly as a module together with other trails.


In their entirety all in „Smart Co-Care“ networked IoT-demonstrators make up an intelligent smart system for providing care at home in an everyday setting of the user. In the following, we present a few example scenarios in this smart System.

Building automation/Networking (Prof. Kabitzsch, Prof. Weber, T-Systems MMS):

In demographic sustainable and accessible buildings plays building automation a core role. We demonstrate how heterogeneous building functions become compatible through semantic technologies (Fig. 1). Assistive technologies, such as systems for obstacle recognition and for communication address a multiplicity of user needs in particular in large healthcare buildings and rehabilitation centers. Guidance systems are key to navigation, and robots for care and remote medical services at home improve safety, reduce barriers and through comfortable wireless networking automatize every activities.

EU-project Cloud4All contributes to this setting also some results. This project developed a new infrastructure for a cloud-based software architecture for accessibility, ensuring an individual’s access to accessible technologies, irrespective where they need it and which needs and preferences are linked to the technology needed, without explanation, training, or adaptation by the users.

We present a new recommendation tool allowing to support a house builder’s planning of demands around all functional options of building automation (including classical features such as lighting, control of heating, shadowing and security) and when searching for appropriate controllers. Structural feature of a building are imported from a BIM ( and results are integrated into the BIM as a multiple model concept.

Fig. 1: Networked Home Automation Demonstrator, © Prof. Kabitzsch
Accessibility / In-House-Navigation / Warnings & Communication (Prof. Weber, Prof. Marquardt, JProf. Krzywinski, Cognitec, exelonix, Linguwerk, Interactive Minds, T-Systems MMS):

Elderly people, chronically ill people, and people with a disability experience in everyday situations more and more sensory, physical or cognitive barriers. Both public and private spaces have to be adapted to become accessible on an individual basis. People affected from Alzheimer-disease or other kind of dementia often suffer from cognitive limitations, from displaying behavioural problems or psychosocial restrictions, including degeneration or limitations of their ability for memorization and perception.

Visitors of this trail experience the need for accessibility by simulating needs for assistive technologies in an individual tour through the simulation lab of the Chair for Social and Health Care Buildings and Design as well as inclusive teaching facilities at TU Dresden (EU-project MOOCAP 2014-2017) including virtual story telling.

Furthermore visitors of this trail will encounter mindful design (MIND-project 2016-2019) for medical treatment and nursing of people with dementia and how it affects psychosocial well-being of people with dementia as well as models and demonstrators from research projects towards architecture for demographic changes such as MATI – Human-Architecture-Technology-Interaction (2014-2016) in emergency hospitals sensitized for dementia.

Accessible navigation for pedestrians in public buildings is demonstrated by a system implemented at TUD for guidance and orientation and is based on annotations together with mobile location-based devices (such as in project Mobility, 2011-2013). In-House-Navigation in a dynamic context utilizes speech input and speech output (Google Now, Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana) instead of keyboard or touch as well as avoids displays through Haptic Bodywear (Fig. 2). “Things” in „Smart Co-Care“ become virtually tangible in the Living Lab for their operation and for communication through them when living, nursing or caregiving. Trail-visitors experience a wearable system generating warnings about obstacles in front of blind people (depth camera, bone-conductive headphones and a tactile belt with vibrating actuators) in order to increase their mobility and to extend the range of a long white cane from 1.5m to 7m (Fig 3., project Range-IT, 2013-2015).

Trail-visitors also will encounter the concept of a novel phone for the deaf blind as developed in project Hapticom (2011-2012). This innovative device enables deafblind people to communicate in realtime alone by their hand’s haptic sense. A software helps to communicate also with other people (such as relatives, authorities and doctors) in a accessible way. Social participation of deaf-blind people is increased considerably and quality of life is improved.

Fig. 2: Haptic Bodywear, © ELITAC
Fig. 3: System for obstacle warnings, ©Limin Zeng
Innovative Monitoring (Prof. Malberg, Cognitec, Interactive Minds):

Innovative procedures (usable and contactless) for acquisition of vital parameters are utilized in conjunction with powerful methods for processing physiological signals to implement monitoring of patients at home (e.g. Fig. 4). Examples are the analysis of heart rate, respiration, blood pressure estimation, or aeration with respect to several time scales (short, middle or long term) for a general diagnosis of health, for assessment of the effectiveness of a therapy or for early detection of risks in order to initiate counteracting steps. Technological applications are linked for example to medical analysis of sleep, as well as in the domain of heart or circulatory diseases and neurological disorders. Visitors of this trail will get demonstrations of acquisition of vital data, image recognition and eye-tracking.

Fig. 4: Capturing blood perfusion by camera technology (scale unit: ms), ©S. Zaunseder
Robotic Assistive Systems for Concepts in Therapy – Technical Sitting Awake/ Night Watch (Prof. Böhme, Cognitec, CareSocial, exelonix, Linguwerk):

Adoption of mobile assistive systems ensures better custodial care during night for people with neurodegenerative diseases in a clinical environment.
On the one hand is this system capable to monitor restful sleep and on the other hand it is able to fulfil a patrolling function allowing to encounter people experiencing an irregular daily behaviour through modern human-machine interaction (speech recognition and speech synthesis) and in the best case to guide them back to their room. If an emergency is detected while performing such as tasks, an alarm is triggered on the smartphone of nursing staff.

Specifically for caregiving, specialists are often distracted from their nursing tasks due to logistic and monitoring duties. While there is a lack of such staff and due to an estimated increase of the number of people in need of care, this implies a reduction of human presence in caregiving. Systems providing technical support can reduce the stress in this type of work and positively influence the quality of caregiving (project Care4All, 2017-2019).

In addition to reduction of distress from staff are assistive robots able to introduce novel concepts for therapy. Objective observations are included in the medical system’s protocol during such therapies as well as when performing night watch. The attending doctor is supported, also for a longer period, in diagnosing the progress of some disease and when adjusting the concept for therapy. Trail-visitors will meet a robotic assistive system in practical use at a nursing home well as at a robotic lab in Dresden.

Fig. 5: Robotic assistive system in practical use, ©Frank Bahrmann
Application domains of remote medical services (Prof. Esswein, CareSocial, Carus Consilium, T-Systems):

Well-tailored and optimal use of medical resources across the boundaries of ambulant and stationary sectors is propagated since long for a better collaboration among professionals in healthcare, but has not been implemented widely and in a sustainable way. Hence, the health system in Germany adopts more and more modern communication technologies, also for care at home. For immediate patient treatment, an increase in patient-centered care around telematic approaches such as telemonitoring and teleconsultation is becoming established. For the region of Eastern Saxony the CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen Plattform (THOS) has been created. This platform integrates patients, suppliers and social insurance within the framework of well-defined services (such as telestroke-care, telepathologie, telecoaching). Services on this platform cover primarily a range of diseases and application areas. These affect the aging population considerably, the need for extensive specialisation among suppliers, and the importance of the temporal factor in a crucial way. Integrated support is fostered in particular through the planning effort. The trail provides the framework for demonstrating the functionality of single services on a test system and is based on the platform’s test data. The ongoing project Care4Saxony (2017-2020) is expected to deliver more results for future input to this trail towards information and telecommunication technologies within Saxon healthcare.

Opportunities for Projects and Funding Instruments:

Fig. 6: Telehealth Platform in Eastern Saxony, ©TU Dresden, Chair for Business Informatics, esp. System Development

The consortium is open for public funding as well as industrial research towards the development of research projects linked to the trail.

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