In the past decades, cardio-vascular diseases have become one of the major health problems in the developed countries, massively reducing the quality of life of the patients concerned, raising enormous costs to health systems and being the main cause of death. Typical civilization behaviors such as lack of exercise, too little daily activity and poor diet are identified to be main risk factors. However, even small changes in everyday behavior can have a large positive impact on health and help to prevent such diseases. Nevertheless, individuals need effective facilitators for supporting a health behavior change and maintaining a good lifestyle.
A large number of services that particularly focus on personal health have come up in the last years. Based on innovative internet technologies, integrating affordable health sensors, and enabling comfortable access anytime and anywhere, these systems are valuable tools for the individual user to manage his personal health. Nowadays, these systems still lack interoperability, unobtrusive collection of health parameters and are not suitable for long term coaching and assistance.
The Health Assistant project aims at developing a system to support personal health management and preventing cardio-vascular diseases by integrating multiple distributed online portals to derive and store a personal health state. This health state is then presented to the user interactively in order to give feedback, support reaction on the health state and act as a source of information for further action. The system allows the users to share their health state through Web 2.0 technologies such as online communities and social networks.