Hannes Schlieter

Dr. Hannes Schlieter is head of the research group for Digital Health at the Faculty of Business and Economics at TU Dresden, Germany. His research work accounts for the multifaceted use of digital technologies, especially in the health care domain.  His research focuses on developing and implementing clinical pathways, business process management, and diffusion of digital health solutions. He also studied the design of open health ecosystems and the evolution of design artefacts. His work is published in over 90 research papers. He is head of the coordination team in a European consortium developing a virtual coaching solution for rehabilitation in the home care environment.


Home based rehabilitation after an acute episode or supporting the enhancement of a care plan of chronic disease is often problematic with a clear lack of continuity between hospital and home. Secondary prevention is an essential element of long term rehabilitation where strategies oriented towards risk reduction, treatment adherence and optimization of quality of life need to be developed. Frail and sometimes isolated, the patient fails to adhere to the proposed post discharge clinical path due to lack of appropriate clinical, emotional and informational support.

The vCare project concretely explores what a Virtual Coach (VC) can do to enforce effective rehabilitation strategies. It builds on the concrete clinical experience of 3 medical sites in four different countries and address neurological and cardiological diseases. The VC not only supplements the usual rehabilitation processes but also adopt strategies to empower the patient and his caregiver. The tailored rehabilitation clinical pathway activated by the clinician evolves thus constantly in function of the patient choices and rehabilitation goals he can reach. Personalization and adaptation of the clinical pathways is ensured by embedded machine learning engines and the integration with context and medical information provided by sensors. The project has carefully selected suitable and already available solutions and technologies in order to be able to deliver a service sufficiently mature to reach the market in a limited time span. It has also adopted a modular approach in order to allow maximum reuse and integration in native systems.

vCARE not only contributes to the shift from hospital-based to home-based rehabilitation but also aims at filling an existing gap well identified by the medical community. Solutions which contribute to empower patients are still considered as nice to have but face resistance due to much needed cultural change and capacity building within organizations. vCare believes that an adequate selection of the use case coupled to the intelligent integration of existing technology will facilitate the adoption of services associated with the Virtual coach.

Two videos which will help to have a good understanding of the project goals