SenSeeAct is the software platform that we developed in house as a base for innovative health technology. It provides a secure backend with mobile and web applications for collecting health data, presenting it in user-friendly ways, and coaching users toward healthy behavior. Its open and flexible design makes it suitable for research of new technologies, while at the same time providing production-quality applications with a concern for security and privacy.
At its core, the platform consists of a backend with a secure API that was designed particularly for health data with efficient storage of high-volume sensor data.
On top of this backend, SenSeeAct contains a framework for highly configurable mobile apps and web portals for health care professionals, patients and other end users. The applications are composed of modules whose main functionality is reflected in the name of our platform.
Health applications start with the collection of data, from wearables, questionnaires, through virtual agents, and other means. We can collect data in real time from Bluetooth sensors or from third-party platforms, provided that the manufacturer makes the data accessible through a documented Bluetooth protocol, or through a web API with OAuth. Examples are physical activity in steps or IMUs, heart rate data, oxygen saturation, sleep patterns and body weight.
SenSeeAct contains ready-to-use modules for any custom questionnaire with a variety of question types, conditional rules and scheduling with push notifications. This enables collecting data with the experience sampling method.
Virtual agents can collect data in the form of dialogues. The platform has a tight integration with the open-source WOOL framework that allows anyone to author their own dialogues.
Finally, our applications contain more singular modules to collect data such as food intake.
The collected data can be presented to end users and health care professionals to give insight into their current behavior and their progress over time. Flexible home-built chart frameworks and time browsing features allow us to present live data, aggregations over time, and combinations of various sources in interactive charts.
Several kinds of summaries to highlight important outcomes of different parameters can be presented in a dashboard home screen.
Web portals for health care professionals allow them to manage their patients and see their health status in a glance.
The final component of our health applications is to coach users into healthier behavior. This can be driven by manual intervention by health care professionals, by automatic analysis of the collected health data by smart algorithms, or by a combination of both.
The platform contains a large collection of video exercises at various difficulty levels for different parts of the body. End users can be assigned personalized exercise programs to complete specific sets of exercises at certain days of the week.
Automatic goal setting is used, in particular with physical activity, to stimulate users to reach their ultimate goal in small attainable steps based on their past activity.
Virtual agents are used to provide personalized coaching in the form of dialogues that can reward or stimulate end users for their actual behavior, or guide users with general or personalized tips and information over time.
Finally, we have incorporated gamification elements that allow users to strive for personal achievements, complete daily or weekly challenges, or compete with other users in leaderboards.
Our experience in applying the platform in a range of research projects has resulted in a high degree of flexibility. Every project has different requirements with respect to user management, integration with other software, and desired functionality. Moreover, the character of research means comparing and experimenting with different and progressing scenarios and conditions, often over relatively short trials.
The SenSeeAct platform was primarily designed with that in mind. The software consists of modules that can be enabled at will and be configured in many ways, while we are always open to extend our platform with new interesting features.
At the same time, we take security and privacy seriously and we aim to develop robust applications with a professional design that can run in a production environment for extended periods of time. In fact, this is already a requirement of the research questions that we encounter concerning usability.
For the privacy of our end-users we commit to the European GDPR and store data exclusively within the European Union.
Within SenSeeAct user profiles are stored separately from all other data, where users are only identifiable by anonymous user IDs. We have opted for simple and robust access control schemes with three distinct user roles. By default, new users can only access their own data. The highest role is reserved for system administrators that can currently access all data except user passwords, which are not recoverable.
At the next level there are health care professionals and researchers that can be granted access to specific end users.
Finally, the platform contains a feature for end users to have fine-grained control over their own data. They can grant access to other users of their choice and they can decide what types of data are shared and what time periods. Users can change or revoke access to their data at any time.
Currently we are working on the release of part of our platform as open-source software. This will be the core of our backend with API for data storage, authentication and user management. That allows you to develop your own applications and to guarantee ownership and availability of your data, also after the end of a project.
SenSeeAct has often been used in integration with software from other parties, usually in the form of data sharing in combination with single sign-on using OAuth or public/private key pairs. Sometimes the integration is more strict, with the end user authenticating and controlling permission to share data. Other times there is service to service authentication where a service from a trusted partner gains full access to the users within a specific project. SenSeeAct supports these various types of integration depending on project requirements.
Since we often work in international projects, all software in our platform is developed to be ready for internationalization from the start. This means that the software can be translated to different languages, taking into account characteristics such as formality, gender inflection and date formatting. We provide tools to support in the translation of user interfaces and other content.