ROB’EDUC: artificial intelligence at the service of therapeutic education

The ROB’EDUC project, led by Prof. Richard Isnard, Dr. Françoise Pousset and Dr. Lise Legrand, aims to set up a therapeutic education program for patients hospitalized for a heart failure attack (HF), using artificial intelligence via a humanoid robot.

To carry out this project, IHU ICAN obtained institutional support from AstraZeneca to develop the design of the robot/patient interface and the creation of educational content for patients.

Learn more about this ambitious project below!

Therapeutic education: the key to heart failure treatment?

Like all chronic diseases, heart failure requires follow-up treatment throughout the patient’s life.

Despite advances in management, 1 in 2 patients die within 5 years of diagnosis.

It is therefore essential to accompany the patient and his entourage in the care process through therapeutic education, which plays a major role in the management of the disease:

  • Improved compliance with treatment,
  • Decrease in hospitalizations,
  • Better quality of life.

Some background on heart failure (HF)

  • A person has heart failure when his or her heart has difficulty pumping enough blood to oxygenate all the organs.
  • 1.5 million people are affected in France, mainly but not exclusively people over 75 years old,
  • Each year, 120,000 new cases are diagnosed, 200,000 hospitalizations and 70,000 deaths are due to CI,
  • Possible causes: myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, diabetes, rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation, heart muscle diseases (cardiomyopathies) often of genetic origin and cardiotoxicity of certain drugs…
  • Symptoms: abnormal shortness of breath on exertion, weight gain, edema, fatigue…

Providing therapeutic education: a challenge for medical teams

Since 2006, physicians in the cardiology department of the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital have set up a therapeutic education program (ETP) in heart failure after hospital discharge that includes several group workshops.

Unfortunately, less than 50% of the patients hospitalized in the cardiology department of the hospital can benefit from this program, partly because of the lack of medical and paramedical time of the staff trained to deliver it, and partly because of the low level of mobilization of patients to attend the workshops.

This is why, for many years, we have wanted to start therapeutic education as soon as patients are hospitalized for cardiac decompensation in order to make them aware of the importance of adopting new reflexes to improve their follow-up and avoid a new hospitalization.

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Indeed, 50% of patients are rehospitalized 6 months after discharge. It is essential to reduce this number.

Moreover, in a context where telemedicine is increasingly developing, therapeutic education programs are still carried out in the traditional way in the form of workshops and paper brochures.

For several years, the cardiology department has been at the forefront in the implementation of remote monitoring, but the teams wish to go further in its use to better support patients.

The ROB’EDUC project: artificial intelligence for therapeutic education

To address this issue, IHU ICAN is currently developing the ROB’EDUC project, as part of the overall UTHopIA project.

The objective of the UTHopIA project is to use a humanoid robot to support the medical teams in delivering the Therapeutic Education Program (TEP) to patients hospitalized for a heart failure attack.

After clinical stabilization of the patient, the robot will be able to come and start the ETP program directly in the room of the hospitalized patient. It will have to interact with the patient by voice and through an interactive screen (tablet).

After the patient is discharged, interaction with the artificial intelligence can continue through a mobile application using the same interface with which the patient is already familiar. This application will keep track of the specific interaction that took place with each patient in order to personalize the follow-up.

The ROB’EDUC project seeks to prove the effectiveness of using digital media, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve patient compliance with therapeutic education programs.

What are the specific objectives of ROB’EDUC?

The ROB’EDUC project focuses on the digitization of therapeutic education content, the installation of elements in the robot system, the professionalization of user interaction and the development of design and navigation comfort.

The 3 TVE goals we want to achieve with the help of artificial intelligence and a humanoid robot are:

  1. To help the patient recognize the warning signs of decompensation that should lead to a consultation.
  2. Introduce patients to the salt-controlled diet and its importance.
  3. Learn to recognize the need for medical treatment and the importance of compliance.

This robot will answer the most common and useful questions to prevent a relapse.

This approach will engage the patient and may also have a ripple effect on caregivers to relay key messages.

The actors involved in the ROB’Educ project

  • Dr Françoise Pousset, Cardiologist – Hospital Practitioner, Head of consultation and non-invasive platform, Heart Institute / IHU-ICAN
  • Prof. Richard Isnard, University Professor – Hospital Practitioner, Head of the ARCHIMEDE medical-university department (cardiometabolism), Heart Institute / IHU-ICAN
  • Dr Lise Legrand, Cardiologist – Hospital Practitioner, Heart Institute
  • With the institutional support of AstraZeneca

This project has also benefited from the support of ICAN HCI employees and their families as part of the Race for Heroes 2022.