The European Union wants to help its citizens get fit and healthy. So much so that they have cofunded a project costing €4.9 million ($6.7 million U.S.) to help people more and manage their weight using technological and informational advancements.
Dubbed the Daphne Project, it will span 3 years and will incorporate sensors designed to accurately determine daily energy expenditure and monitor overall fitness. The EU is partnering in the project with universities and technology companies from Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Israel.
“Next to developing monitoring sensors and communicating data using smart phones, the second [step] is developing information analysis platforms to receive the data using cloud storage, process the data and send it to the individual concerned, as well as other end-users such as health services and fitness centers,” according to information from a press release. “The third area of work is to consider how the collected data should be distributed but at the same time be protected to ensure it is processed ethically.”
“European health services are facing a rising tide of obesity-related disease, including diabetes and heart disease,” says Tim Lobstein, PhD, policy director at the International Association for the Study of Obesity. “It can be a struggle for individuals to change their lifestyles, so technology that can strengthen motivation and show personal progress could provide a useful tool and needs to be explored. We welcome this opportunity to help people manage their weight and to improve their fitness, reducing the need for drugs or surgery.”