Within the Health Informatics – HEALTHINF International Conference 2014, CNR SEMEOTICONS has organized the Special Session on “Signals and Signs Understanding for Personalized Guidance to Promote Healthy Lifestyles” – SUPERHEAL 2014, held in Angers France on March 5 2014. The Special Session was organized in cooperation with the EU IP projects PEGASO “Personalised Guidance Services for Optimising lifestyle management in teen-agers through awareness, motivation and engagement”, the IP project funded in the same call and topic of SEMEOTICONS (ICT-2013.5.1 – Target Outcomes (a) Personalised Guidance Services for lifestyle management and disease prevention).

Title:Facial Signs and Psycho-physical Status Estimation for Well-being Assessment

Authors: F. Chiarugi, G. Iatraki, E. Christinaki, D. Manousos, G. Giannakakis, M. Pediaditis, A. Pampouchidou, K. Marias and M. Tsiknakis

Abstract: Stress and anxiety act as psycho-physical factors that increase the risk of developing several chronic diseases. Since they appear as early indicators, it is very important to be able to perform their evaluation in a contactless and non-intrusive manner in order to avoid inducing artificial stress or anxiety to the individual in question. For these reasons, this paper analyses the methodologies for the extraction of respective facial signs from images or videos, their classification and techniques for coding these signs into appropriate psycho-physical statuses. A review of existing datasets for the assessment of the various methodologies for facial expression analysis is reported. Finally, a short summary of the most interesting findings in the various stages of the procedure are indicated with the aim of achieving new contactless methods for the promotion of an individual’s well-being.

Title: Real Time System for Gesture Tracking in Psycho-motorial Rehabilitation

Authors: Massimo Magrini and Gabriele Pieri

Abstract: In the context of the research activities of the Signal and Images Lab of ISTI-CNR, a system is under development for real-time gesture tracking, to be used in active well-being self-assessment activities and in particular applied to medical coaching and music-therapy. The system uses a video camera, a FireWire digitalization board, and a computer running own developed software. During the test sessions a person freely moves his body inside a specifically designed room. The developed algorithms can extrapolate features from the human figure, such us spatial position, arms and legs angles etc. Through the developed system the operator can link these features to sounds synthesized in real time, following a predefined schema. The system latency is very low thanks to the use of Mac OS X native libraries (CoreImage, CoreAudio). The resulting augmented interaction with the environment could help to improve the contact with reality in young subjects affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Title: Engaging Teen-agers in the Adoption of Healthy Lifestyles for the Prevention of Obesity and Related Co-morbidities – The Approach of PEGASO

Authors: Renata Guarneri, Mauro Brivio, Giuseppe Andreoni and Marco Mazzola

Abstract: Obesity and other lifestyle-related illness are among the top healthcare challenges in Europe. Obesity alone accounts for up to 7% of healthcare costs in the EU, as well as wider economy costs associated with lower productivity, lost output and premature death. Obesity in younger age is an alarming predictor for obesity in adulthood, but also entails short term health complications in juvenile age along with greater risk of social and psychological problems. Knowing how to stay healthy is not enough to motivate individuals, and especially teen-agers, to adopt healthy lifestyles. In view of this, PEGASO – recently funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union in ICT for Health, will develop a multi-dimensional cross-disciplinary ICT system that will exploit social gaming to motivate behavioural changes towards healthier lifestyles. PEGASO is based on three main features: individual & environmental monitoring; feedback to the user, for alternative lifestyles; social connectivity, encouraging involvement in social network experience sharing and social engagement. For the development of the PEGASO system and in order to ensure engagement of the target population, a user centred approach will be used based on social and networked games and together with online education.

Title: Wize Sniffer – A New Portable Device Designed for Selective Olfaction

Authors: Mario D’Acunto, Antonio Benassi, Federica Chiellini, Danila Germanese, Randa Ishak, Massimo Magrini, Emanuele Pagliei, Paolo Paradisi, Marco Righi and Ovidio Salvetti

Abstract: Digital semeiotics is one of the newest recent challenges for assessing a number of computational descriptors to atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases that are leading causes of mortality worldwide. These descriptors can be expressed involving (i) morphometric, biometrics and colorimetric of the face; (ii) spectroscopic analysis of skin and iris, of sub-cutaneous substances and the function of subcutaneous tissues, and (iii) compositional analysis of breath and exhaled. In this paper, we describe the design and functionality of the Wize Sniffer (WS), a new portable device for breath analysis limited to an effective number of substances. Within the SEMEOTICON Project by the WS, we intend a hardware/software tool for both the analysis of volatile organic compounds of breath and a platform for data mining and data integration. The WS should be able to provide useful information about the “breathprint”, i.e., the analog of fingerprint for the state of health of an individual.

Title: Personalized Guidance for People Empowerment and Self-efficacy towards Healthy Lifestyles – The Solution Proposed in SEMEOTICONS

Authors: Sara Colantonio, Massimo Martinelli and Ovidio Salvetti

Abstract: This paper discusses the problem of fostering lifestyle changes towards healthier habits by means of coaching and supportive messages in the frame of a tailored users’ guidance. Starting from the importance of behavioural changes to foster wellbeing and disease prevention, the main aspects of tailored users’ guidance are reviewed, with a brief overview of the methods presented in the literature. The solution proposed in the EU FP7 Project SEMEOTICONS is then presented, discussing its advantages with respect to the state of the art.

Title: Towards Individualised Persuasive Technology for Obesity Prevention in Teenagers

Authors: Claudio L. Lafortuna, Maurizio Caon, Sarah A. Tabozzi, Stefano Carrino, Neil S. Coulson, José C. E. Serrano, Marco Sacco, Omar Abou Khaled, Giovanna Rizzo and Elena Mugellini

Abstract: Obesity is a major clinical problem for individuals and health care systems worldwide, alarmingly fuelled by body mass excess in the juvenile age. In spite of its multi-factorial origin, unhealthy lifestyles relative to alimentary behaviours and physical activity habits play a major causative role. Thus, an important preventive action of this condition can be conducted by fostering motivation of young people towards healthy lifestyles through engagement and inclusion. ICT technologies offer a powerful tool to address effectively this serious medical and societal issue by the development of persuasive strategies based on an accurate modelling of individual’s characteristics. PEGASO is a technological multidisciplinary project aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among teenagers, through assistive technology enhancing motivation to healthy lifestyles, empowered by a virtual individual model (VIM) for user characterisation. The VIM intended for the PEGASO project, including functional, physical and psychosocial aspects profiling young individuals’ health status and behaviours relevant in alimentary and physical activity domain, will enable the development of an individualised assistive technology expected to leverage motivation to healthy lifestyles through implicit and explicit interaction.

Title: Evaluation of Published Clinical Scores for the Prediction of Cardiometabolic Risk in the SEMEOTICONS Project

Authors: Melania Gaggini, Renata De Maria, Chiara Saponaro, Emma Buzzigoli, Demetrio Ciociaro, Sylvie Normand, Giuseppe Coppini, Martine Laville, Paolo Marraccini and Amalia Gastaldelli

Abstract: Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the Western Countries. Metabolic syndrome (defined as 3 out of 5 factors among increased waist circumference, hypertension, high blood glucose, high triglyceride and low high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations) is associated with increased cardiometabolic risk. Other indexes have been proposed and validated, based on the measurement of plasma concentration of lipids, glucose and liver enzymes. In the SEMEOTICONS project we plan to measure parameters related to increased cardiometabolic risk, e.g. skin accumulation of cholesterol and advanced glycated end products, liver enzyme alteration by changing in skin and eye color and obesity. The results will allow to evaluate cardiometabolic risk using non invasive clinical parameters. The new score obtained will be compared with previously validated indexes. In this paper we have evaluated the most common cardiometabolic risk scores i.e., VAI (Visceral Adiposity Index), HTG- Waist (Hypertriglyceridemic Waist), FLI (Fatty Liver Index) and LAP (Lipid Accumulation Product), that we will use during the project.

Title: Moving Medical Semeiotics to the Digital Realm – SEMEOTICONS Approach to Face Signs of Cardiometabolic Risk

Authors: Giuseppe Coppini, Riccardo Favilla, Amalia gastaldelli, Sara Colantonio and Paolo Marraccini

Abstract: In modern medicine signs derivable from face observation remain an important part of the physical examination that, together with the anamnesis, constitutes the basis for a rational decision-making. Therefore, face semiotics may be considered as a potential source of information for obtaining markers of obesity, metabolomics, cardiovascular homeostasis and psychophysical status. Once properly mapped to computational descriptors, their systematic exploitation is expected allowing the building of effective self-monitoring systems. In this perspective, in the frame of the FP7 project SEMEOTICONS, the most relevant face signs of cardio-metabolic risk are reviewed and analysed so as to drive their detection, quantification and integration into a virtual individual model useful for cardio-metabolic risk prevention.