Social robots, connected devices and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare

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Current trends in healthcare include personalized service and patient empowerment. As a result, new technologies are used to inform, guide and monitor patients, and to enhance patient data analysis and care strategies. Through a use case centered around diabetic care in children, ROBO-CURE seeks to gain more insights into the use of social robots, connected Internet-of-Things devices and machine learning to enhance medical therapies and improve healthcare outcomes.

Challenges of intelligent chronic disease management

A growing pool of evidence indicates that remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases empowers them, changing their attitudes and behaviors and streamlining the workflows of medical professionals. The newest medical devices, such as advanced insulin pumps and remote glucose monitoring, generate a lot of data and offer a tremendous opportunity to further enhance healthcare and patient empowerment. On the other hand, interpreting this data and giving useful and understandable feedback to the patient (combined with personalized education), are the big challenges today.

Validated benefits for multiple patient groups

The ROBO-CURE consortium intends to research the use of social robots to educate and guide patients and gather valuable patient data and apply it to enhance and personalize therapies. In addition, the project will investigate the use of machine learning technology in conjunction with medical expertise to streamline automated data management and analysis towards the development of personalized therapies.

Automation, education and greater health compliance

The proof-of-concept developed by ROBO-CURE will have a variety of healthcare-transforming features, including:

  • the ability to securely and remotely capture patient data through a social robot and perform automatic data analysis based on machine learning algorithms to propose therapy changes;
  • the enablement of personalized therapy and therapy education through a social robot, tailored for the patient and his/her medical team and environment;

Partners across the entire value chain

Due to the complexity of investigating and validating the project’s research outcomes, a multidisciplinary group of partners representing every link in the value chain will collaborate. Partners include a multidisciplinary team of a university hospital, a medical device company, social robot and interactive education companies and academic experts in social robot behavior and human-robot interaction and machine learning.

“To improve medical therapies, the ROBO-CURE consortium will investigate and validate the use of robots, mobile devices and machine learning. These will rely on data gathered through remote sensing to personalize care and patient follow-up in health facilities and at home.”


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Social robots, connected devices and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare.

ROBO-CURE is an imec.icon research project funded by imec, Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen and Innoviris.

It ran from 01.04.2017 until 31.03.2019.

Project information


  • Cronos
  • QBMT
  • UZ Brussel
  • Medtronic Belgium


  • imec - IDLab - UGent
  • imec - SMIT - VUB
  • VUB - GRON
  • VUB - R&MM


  • Project Lead: Inge Gies
  • Research Lead: Brecht Vermeulen
  • Innovation Manager: Eric Van der Hulst