logo Collaborating for Digital Health and Care in Europe

<   back

With the support of a virtual coach

Hybrid event

vCare Lifebots logo 1

The main event will take place in Brussels on August 29 in Scotland house, Rdpt Robert Schuman 6, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium, next to the main European Commission building (Berlaymont). vCare welcomes your physical participation but your remote participation is also possible.

The aim of the event is to create a dynamic opportunity for people, organisations, companies and projects to shape and further integrate all the actors of the @home paradigm. All attendees, both present on site or connected virtually, will have the opportunity to interact with the speakers and the audience.

workshop with the LIFEBOTS Exchange project will follow on August 30 in the morning. This event is also open to all interested people upon preliminary registration. It will explore more specifically the question of interaction between humans and robots, be them digital or physical.

The second day of the open event will be also organised as a hybrid event. The focus will be a debate organised by LIFEBOTS Exchange: a Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) project, focused on facilitating exchanges of people and personnel around Europe, with the goal of creating a better understanding of the use of social robots in medical practice care, residential care, and family care.

The workshop plays a role in connecting together virtual coaching, physical coaching, the use of social robots, and the wider health data and digital health ecosystem(s).  

Overall, the workshop will focus on human-machine interaction (HMI): what is common to HMI-related initiatives, what are their consequences/outcomes, and what works well. It will explore what are the lessons learned about innovation, care pathways, and potential new use cases.  

The conditions for effective deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI), serious games coaching, and the pros and cons of virtual versus physical coaches will be the main topics for debate.

You can register separately for the final event on Day 1 and the workshop on Day 2.

Learn more on the official website.


DAY 1 | Monday 29 August: 10-18, Break at 13.00 and 16.00

10:00 CET Welcome, presentation of the consortium and general overview of the event

Werner Esswein, Project coordinator (TU Dresden, Germany)

Luc Nicolas, vCare Dissemination Lead (EHTEL, Belgium)

Intro vCare

10:10 CET Keynote speech: Shifting the balance of care

George Crooks, Chief Executive (Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Scotland)

This introductory speech will reflect on the rapid emergence of the @home paradigm and more generally of hybrid models of care (and the many structural and specific reasons which explain this evolution). It will also analyse the relative failure of solutions which focus on telerehabilitation “only” (without a patient-oriented approach which takes into consideration all those factors which influence adherence).


10:30 CET Setting up the scene: addressing a major gap in the care process with the virtual coach

Hannes Schlieter, Head of Digital Health Research group (TUD, Germany)

Secondary prevention aims to reduce the impact of a disease or injury that has already occurred. This is done by encouraging personal strategies to prevent reinjury or recurrence and implementing programmes to return people to their original health and function so as to prevent long-term problems. The Virtual Coach developed by vCare not only supplements the usual rehabilitation processes but also adopts strategies to empower the patient and his/her caregiver.

The tailored rehabilitation clinical pathway activated by the clinician evolves constantly in function of the patient choices and rehabilitation goals he/she can reach. It builds on the concrete clinical experience of four medical sites in four different countries and addresses neurological and cardiological diseases.

vCare will tell you how this ambitious proposition was built initially, how it has evolved along the project lifetime, and what were the expected results. The session will also explain how the system has been built in such a way that it can accommodate use cases other than those which have been tested in the project.

Setting up the scene

10:50 CET The vCare stories and promise


Moderated by Rachelle Kaye, vCare Advisory Board & Senior International Consultant (Assuta Medical Centers, Israel)

In this session we will have a deep dive into each of the use cases piloted by the project: stroke, heart failure/ischemic heart disease and Parkinson's.

Session 3

  • Overview of the validation methodology: Massimo Caprino, Head of Research & Innovation, (Casa di Cura privata del Policlinico, Milano, Italy)
  • USE CASE 1- Stroke: Riccardo Re, Physiotherapist (Casa di Cura privata del Policlinico, Milano, Italy)


External expert:

Jessica Barlinn, Head of the Saxon Stroke Network and leader of the stroke group (University Hospital Dresden, Germany) (TBC)

  • USE CASE 2 - Heart Failure: Andreea Lacraru, Cardiologist (Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie "Carol Davila", Bucharest, Romania)


External experts:

Martijn Scherrenberg, cardiologist, PhD candidate Digital Health in Cardiology (Jessa Hospital, Hasselt, Belgium)

  • USE CASE 3 - Parkinson: Rocio Del Pino, Ph.D Clinical Neuropsychologist (Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Bilbao, Spain)


External experts:

Dr. Alvaro Sanchez Ferro, MD (Neurology), Co-founder & CMO (Leuko, Madrid, Spain)

Mayva Marin (Parkinson's Patient Association, Madrid, Spain)


Each pathology has its specificity. The coach and the enabling environment which empowers it needs to be fit to purpose. For each use case, we will explain how we have designed the environment, and the rationale for the selection of the activities supervised by the coach. We will also explain who the patients are that can benefit most from the virtual coach experience and what have been the concrete results observed during the pilots. We will discuss what kind of consequences the use of a virtual coach has on the concrete work of the care team and what it implies in term of workload and roles.

The patient voice will also be heard: real patients enrolled in the pilots will provide direct testimony of their vCare experience.

During a moderated discussion, several external experts representing all the clinical domains covered will be invited to comment on the solution proposed, the results achieved, the conditions and challenges for wide deployment of the solution.

 13:00 CET Lunch break

14:00 CET Connecting vCare with the wider ecosystem

Moderated by René Luigies, Advisory Board Games (Health Foundation, the Netherlands)

Many projects have a specific focus and are still very often built in silos, targeting a specific disease or a specific aspect or care process related to the disease. This is of course acceptable from an innovation point of view. However, from the patient and health system points of view this is not ideal and not very cost-efficient.

In this session, we will see how vCare could be integrated in other platforms which deal with multiple use cases and we will identify common building blocks and challenges. We will focus more in detail on acceptability and usability issues.

We have selected a number of projects which share with vCare either an indication, a use case or a technology (such as the virtual coach). Together with them, we will discuss how the several barriers between @home implementations can be progressively reduced both from both a clinical and technological perspective.

Vcare session 2

  • Overview of the vCare architecture and its scalability: Alvaro Martinez (Innovation Engineer, MYSPHERA, Spain) and Emmanuel Sandner (Research Engineer at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria)
  • Key lessons learnt by vCare: Massimo Caprino, Head of Research & Innovation, Casa di Cura privata del Policlinico, Milano, Italy 
  • Presentations by four invited projects:


evitae-VITA: Sarah Janböcke, (Assistant Visiting Professor at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan & General Manager of SARAH Janböcke, Essen, Germany)


 - SHAPES: Mariajose Santofimia, (Professor at University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)


passion hf- PASSION-HF: Amin Hesam, (Cardiologist, Maastricht UMC, the Netherlands)


procare4life 300x83

- PROCARE4LIFE: Cláudia Louro, (Cardiologist, Maastricht UMC, the Netherlands)



  • Moderated panel discussion with all projects’ representatives

 16:00 CET Coffee break

16:10 CET Taking vCare one step further on the road

Moderated by Thom Hoedemakers, Passion HF, Business consultant and SME strategist, the Netherlands

The objective of vCare was to develop a system prototype demonstrated in an operational environment.

This session will provide an overview of the different possible exploitation paths for the vCare system and its main components. It will provide the audience with a more detailed overview of how the different vCare components have been selected, developed and integrated. It will also explain what were the main problems, how they have been solved during the project lifetime, and what will need further improvement in order for vCare to reach a higher maturity level and to be able to support a large-scale randomised controlled trial (RCT). An agreement has been reached by the consortium to guarantee the maintenance of the vCare system after the end of the project. We will also disclose the results of vCare’s socio-economic impact analysis.

Vcare session 3 1

  • vCare Exploitation paths: Luc Nicolas, vCare Exploitation Lead (EHTEL, Belgium) and Sofoklis Kyriazakos, Innovation manager (CEO, Innovation Sprint Sprl, Belgium)
  • Cost-efficiency evaluation of the vCare solution: Rocio Del Pino, Clinical Neuropsychologist (Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Bilbao, Spain)


We have invited a number of solutions that are already on the rehabilitation market to join us for a lively discussion. The debate will unveil the key success factors for an innovation to find its market. Together with them, we will be looking at short- and medium-term prospects, by considering the consequences of the evolution of the legal framework and the possible business cases.

  • The vCare market: Focus on four existing solutions:


Products on market:

guru- Rehab Guru: is a tried and tested patient management platform, including exercise prescription, remote monitoring of health, telehealth and clinic management software. Founded by clinicians, for clinicians, the platform is now the product of choice for the UK Ministry of Defence, numerous NHS Trusts, PMIs, and many private clinics across the globe: David Barrow, Director and co-owner, physiotherapist.

axomove- Axomove: is an application designed by health professionals to improve the rehabilitation and prevention of physical health pathologies and diseases. The care team creates tailor-made exercise programmes for each patient supported by videos, educational material and teleconsultation. A dashboard provides daily feed-back: Boris Leveque, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, ex professional sport man.

Products on the road to market:

captain- Captain Coach provides a radically new user interface for empowering and motivating people in need of guidance and care. It supports setting goals, getting feedback along the process until the goal achievement. Goals are referred to four domains (physical, cognitive, social and nutritional) that enhance wellbeing in everyday life: Evdokimos Konstantinidis, Leader of ASOSS Research Group at Medical Physics and Digital Innovation Lab, Greece.

in casa- Incasa is a Smart Home platform created so that any home can be transformed into an intelligent environment. In addition to helping today’s elderly people, it can evolve with their needs into the future. The Home Center has its own intelligence, based on the Home Care ERAS (Emergency, Risk, Activity, Status) protocol. It assesses situations in which it must provide help, inform family members or caregivers, or communicate with assistance services: Alejandro Cavaliere, founder at InCasa Smart Senior Living, Spain.

  • Panel discussion with products owners and the audience.

With the participation of Cláudia Louro (Kinetikos, Portugal) and  Lucia Pannese (Imaginary, Italy).

We envision this exchange to be the starting point of possible new collaborations with external industry partners and clinical sites.

18:00 CET CONCLUSIONS and introduction to DAY 2 Workshop

Werner Esswein: Project coordinator (TU Dresden, Germany)

Check out the Day 2 Programme | vCare & LIFEBOTS workshop:

Practical information

Date : 29 - 30/08/2022 Location : Brussels Time (CET): 10:00 > 18:00

Join our Network

There has never been a more crucial time for health and social care stakeholders to engage with each other to shape and influence emerging models of healthcare...

Read more

Keep in Touch

Follow Us