Digital Health

How might we build upon the healthcare-box to transform healthcare to empower people to take care of their health in a self-determined way?




About S.I.E. Solutions

For over 20 years, S.I.E SOLUTIONS has been a competent partner for digitalization and system integration. S.I.E focuses on the medical and cyber-security markets. Our domains are embedded computing and the hardware side of digitization with activities in three areas:

– Create architectures, designs, specifications, prototypes and MVPs for devices

– Build and mass-produce electronics and computer devices

– Service, repair and perform advance developments

We are a great place to work: In 2018, we introduced “Sociocracy”, an organization model that involves all employees to actively participate in the decisions of the company.

Currently we are evolving from a project-driven to a service company, forming an ecosystem for co-creation and joint opportunities in private digital health.



The problem of relocation of medical care

Nobody likes to visit the doctor, for several good reasons: inappropriate consultation hours, overcrowded waiting rooms with annoying waiting times, and the risk of infections. Many overworked doctors are not able to take sufficient time for their individual patients. As a result, patients might have doubts about the validity of the diagnosis made within a few minutes and the suitability of the prescribed standard therapies and broadband drugs. Or, even worse, the referral to specialists and laboratories, where the process starts all over again, including long waits for appointments, test results, and laboratory findings. Especially chronically ill people or patients in post-operative care, need to be monitored continuously, which is very stressful. Often the whole life revolves around appointments with doctors or laboratories.

The relocation of medical care to private practices, outpatient clinics, and laboratories happened only recently. Our parents were visited, diagnosed and often treated at their home by the doctor with his big leather bag. Especially in German-speaking countries, the close relationship to the doctor of the past is suggested by the idiom “Uncle doctor” as if he:she was a family member. Today’s medicine is above all one thing: efficient. In doing so, a more human-centered approach to care is lost.


Our perspective on healthcare at home

At S.I.E, we believe in the importance of bringing primary health care back home without compromising efficiency of the healthcare system and empowering people to take care of their health in a self-determined way. The key is to give people access to health services that are barrier-free, trustworthy, comfortable, and pleasant, preferably from home. The main goal is to put people back at the center of a well-meaning health system they can trust. Therefore, we are developing a central physical device called “healthcare box”. This device is linked to valuable cloud-based services – with “security & privacy by design”. Our solution is guided by four design principles:

– Convenience: Bring core medical services back home and, at the same time, lower pressure on the conventional health care system by saving time and money.

– Security: Facilitate the transition to a digital healthcare system while guaranteeing 100% secure data protection and data ownership rights.

– Ecosystem orientation: Orchestrate an ecosystem of partners, services, ideas, and innovations to support many different use cases.

– Human centricity: Place the well-being of the patient at the very center


Our “healthcare box” vision

The healthcare-box in a household acts as the central contact point for all health issues. Image the range of health services the healthcare box can make available to you without having to leave the house:

– Conducting versatile examinations in the home lab via exchangeable, miniaturized “labs on a cartridge” (saliva, breath, blood, urine, etc.);

– Tracking health data using sensors, wearables and smart textiles (pulse, ECG, blood pressure, etc.);

– Providing diagnoses, health tips, therapy suggestions;

– Establishing secure connection to the smart home and the Internet, and much more.

The healthcare box will collect health data, which is securely transferred to the cloud for evaluation. The cloud-based infrastructure will consist of user agents (UX via AI-based personae), core services (for authentication, authorization, anonymization, data releases, notification, billing), AI (anamnesis, and diagnostic models), and multifaced data storage. AI-supported, dialogical, speech-understanding, diagnostic systems will help to provide care without having to visit the doctor in person or, in most serious cases, to provide doctors with accurate diagnostic data, saving time and resources.

The system will draw conclusions from the health data (user profiles, lab examinations, tracker data, time series, etc.) in the cloud using Big Data and AI methods. Upon request by users and authorized third parties, the healthcare-box will generate medical tips or instructions for action. We will work with partners in an open, innovative digital home health care ecosystem to create and publish certifiable standards and norms, document interfaces, and stimulate the development of essential third-party healthcare services and development kits.

The healthcare box guarantees “security & privacy by design”: All data will be transmitted and stored end-to-end encrypted and it will always belong to the owner. The usage of the data will be granted for a single use of the desired services. An essential foundation for this use case is the secure, encrypted data storage, which will occur in the emerging European Cloud (GAIA-X). Our security concerns arise from the awareness that health data is highly sensitive. Nobody wants to be seen as a “transparent patient” by insurance companies, employers, etc. There is also little trust in data collecting internet companies and public authorities. The growing awareness of the value of data and the desire to protect it will cause systems without trust to fail.


Help bring the “healthcare box” vision to life

We are co-creating our healthcare box vision with partners from the healthcare ecosystem. You are invited to inspire us and our potential partners with how to use the healthcare box to shape the future of digital healthcare.

Which applications might we build upon the healthcare-box to transform healthcare to empower people to take care of their health in a self-determined way?

Imagine a trusted infrastructure with norms and standards, a home-based healthcare box with a standardized slot for labs-on-a-cartridge, secure connectivity, and core cloud services.

We are interested in your ideas of third-party applications and services that would create win-win-win situations for the involved parties:

– User/Patient/Customer

– Third Party partners (Lab-on-a-cartridge developer, health service provider, app developer, etc.)

– and S.I.E Solutions

Your applications idea for this trusted private digital health ecosystem should consider the technical, legal, and business implications of your application. Focus on game-starters and game-changers. Show how your solution works and contributes to the digital healthcare of the future!


Collaboration incentive

As a proud Vorarlberg-based company, we offer every participant of our challenge a V-Card for 2021. All participants of the winning team also receive a S.I.E NUC computer (max. 5 pieces). We will be part of the InnoDays Training demo day to celebrate the winning team and discuss how to support your ideas together.


Questions, Answers & Examples

Q: Which boundaries and goals are there for the case?
A: We want an application for our Home-Lab health box. Please focus on applications which are not or only with difficulty feasible with cell phones alone.
Which applications for the micro-lab are conceivable/useful as a start case?

E: Finding causes of illnesses – by comparing patient data of many individuals.
E: Perform tricky laboratory test at home – e.g. Covid-19 test
E: Chronic or potential diseases – regular monitoring of values without having to see a doctor regularly. e.g. cancer biomarkers for risk groups.
E: Alleviate anxiety – “pregnancy test” or other biomarkers in self-diagnosis
E: Self-optimization – performance improvement by measuring performance-specific values and suggestions for improvement

Q: What is meant with Win-Win-Win? :
A: We are looking for applications that are beneficial for the users (patients), service providers (e.g. doctors) and us (S.I.E Solutions).

Q: What is meant with behaviour change?
A: To increase body awareness through regular measurements and to maintain motivation for a better lifestyle. Thus a long-term positive life path should be created.

Q: Who are the users of the Health Box?

A: Imagine a sick person who could benefit from a home lab
A: Imagine a healthy person who can maintain his health with the help of the Home Lab. e.g. risk groups with family background?

Q: Consideration on Security?
A: Input is welcomed but not in the main focus of this challenge.

Q: What is the box capable? What technical features are available?
A: The technology in the box is just one part of the system. The other part is the services in the cloud. Trusted connections, secure data use and an anonymization service are the cornerstones of “cloud” technology. A powerful computer with a standardized slot for “Micro-Labs / Labs on a Chip” is the physical part of the system.
Don’t let technological hurdles in your imagination slow you down. Even if your solution is not immediately feasible, it can still show the way where the journey should go. For example, we have also thought about a “holographic UX” – even if there will be no holographic projectors in the foreseeable future – in the medium term, this can be solved with Augmented Reality.


Security track considerations*

Security by design is an approach to software and hardware development considering security as a built-in feature rather than an additional layer subsequent to hacking incidents. This approach consists in designing a robust security architecture and preserving such architecture during the development of the system. Privacy by design is a similar approach to security by design, which focuses specifically on data security under the GDPR. While software security flaws may – sometimes – be corrected through updates, hardware poses additional challenges. IoT devices are generally assembled in three steps: first, a specialized computer chip is created; second, the chip is transferred to third party original device manufacturers (ODM); finally, the consumer-brand interface is loaded onto the device. This process is particularly prone to vulnerabilities arising from the focus on increasing margins and from possible misalignment among the diverse parties involved. If in some cases, exposed security flaws result in product recalls, in some other cases they pose undetected threats.
As an outcome from this hackathon, we expect you to keep the following under consideration:
• How are security and privacy by design managed in digital health contexts involving IoT?
• What are the security and privacy requirements of the healthcare box (include business, legal and technical considerations)?
• How to design the physical healthcare box to ensure the security requirements are fulfilled? What might be the hardware limitations?
• What protocols would be the most suitable for a strong security system underpinning the healthcare box?
• What threats may ensue from the healthcare box software and how to mitigate them?
You do not need to address all of the above questions when developing your challenge solution, but keep them under consideration to develop a safe and reliable system.

 *For participants from Korea University who focus on the security aspects of the challenge


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