INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

SMART PLATFORM FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT



    MCIA Innovation Electronics (MCIA UPC) has collaborated with SEAT Technical Center in the conception, design, modelling and validation of electric traction motors based on new technologies of synchronous reluctance. Tests on the motor prototype, manufactured by the company Mavilor, confirm the potential of this technology for use in the interurban electric vehicles market. The technology provides a more economic motor: costs are cut due to the use of classic rare earth magnets, and levels of power density and robustness that are currently found on the market are maintained, with greater efficiency. This new technology is enabling the mass development of electric vehicles.



HEALTH

A DEVICE WITH MOBILE GAMES AND REMOTE MEDICAL MONITORING FOR AT-HOME PELVIC FLOOR REHABILITATION

    Urinary incontinence is any involuntary urine leakage. It is a condition that can be more or less severe and it affects one in three women of all ages, which is more than 56 million people in Europe and more than 350 million people in the world. It is not a normal part of ageing and has a negative impact on the quality of life of the women who suffer from it. The main risk factors for urinary incontinence are pregnancy and childbirth, overweight and obesity, and high-impact sports. There are several treatments to improve or cure its symptoms, depending on the type of incontinence, and it can also be prevented by taking measures before it appears.

    One approach that has proven effective in preventing and treating stress urinary incontinence is pelvic floor muscle training. It consists of a programme of contraction and relaxation exercises for the muscles that form the base of the pelvis. If the treatment is followed and performed correctly with the supervision of a therapist, the rate of cure/improvement may reach 70%. It is very important to know whether the patient is doing the exercises properly, and that can be achieved through biofeedback devices and computer programs that record—via the electrodes in a vaginal probe—and show muscle activity during the exercises. Only a few clinical devices have this technology and none of them monitor abdominal activity to ensure that the exercises are executed correctly.

    Mobile games that motivate patients

    The technological solution that WOMEN-UP proposes is a system for home treatment that makes use of remote medical monitoring and serious games installed on the patient’s mobile phone to encourage her to carry on with the regular training. The system consists of three elements: wireless devices that capture muscle contractions and send the data to the smartphone, a web platform that collects data and charts the progression of the treatment, and a smartphone application that contains the games.

    “The therapist obtains information telematically through the platform and monitors and programs customised exercises, while the patient can evaluate the results in real time. Both the patient and the therapist can see the evolution at any time,” explains Miguel Ángel Mañanas, the project’s coordinator and a professor at the UPC’s Department of Automatic Control.

    First tests in Barcelona and Kuopio

    From late 2016 until February 2017, the Hospital Clínic, in coordination with Kuopio University Hospital (Finland), ran a technical test with 21 patients, 11 from Barcelona and 10 from Kuopio. The test analysed the operation of the first prototype of the system and the participants gave positive feedback and made suggestions that will help to improve it before the clinical trial. “We have seen that patients are more motivated to train than before and they therefore have more chances of success in treatment,” explains Dr Montserrat Espuña, head of the Pelvic Floor Unit at the Hospital Clínic.

    Call for the clinical trial with 300 volunteers

    The WOMEN-UP project will carry out a final clinical trial of the system with a group of 300 women with light or mild stress urinary incontinence. It will be an international, multicentre trial involving the Hospital Clínic, the Academic Medical Center of Amsterdam and Kuopio University Hospital. The call for volunteers who wish to participate has already begun through the website stopui.com. Specifically, they are looking for 110 volunteers in Barcelona, 110 in Amsterdam and 80 in Finland, a large and varied sample that will allow patients, doctors and nurses to assess health systems that follow different patterns to achieve the same objective: the continued training of the pelvic floor muscles.

    About the WOMEN-UP Project

    The WOMEN-UP project’s objectives are to improve the quality of life of women with urinary incontinence, to greatly reduce the cost of long-term care and lost productivity due to urinary incontinence—nearly 10 billion dollars, according to the WHO—and to shorten waiting lists. This is the first project of this magnitude that focuses on the treatment of this condition. It is funded by the European Commission within the Horizon2020 programme. It has run since February 2015 and will end in July 2018. The total cost is 3.5 million euros, of which the EU finances over 3.2 million. The final product will respond to the needs and demands of patients and professionals and will be marketed by a company in the multidisciplinary consortium that is developing the project.

    The project is coordinated by Miquel Ángel Mañanas and Joan Ramos (scientific coordinator) researchers of the UPC's CREB, which forms part of the Innovation and Technology Centre (CIT UPC).

    The consortium comprises eight organisations from seven EU countries: Spanish partners the Universitat Politècnica Catalunya (UPC)—the project’s leader—and the Hospital Clínic, Mega Electronics Company Ltd. and Kuopio University Hospital (KUH) in Finland, the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, the European Urogynaecological Association (EUGA), Babeș-Bolyai University (BBU) in Romania and Swiss company YouRehab Ltd.

City Infrastructure & utilities

RESTAURACIÓ LITORAL EN ÀREES TURÍSTIQUES MADURES

Desurbanització i restauració ambiental de la pletera a l'Estartit (COSTA BRAVA-GIRONA)

Energy

Microgenerador lineal

Generador eléctrico para recolección de energía proveniente del movimiento no rotativo. Aplicable en actividades deportivas para carga de dispositivos móviles, señalización, boyas marinas, embarcaciones, etc. Se han hecho estudios de simulación y actualmente está en fase de desarrollo.

Energy

Sistema para ahorro de energía en transporte vertical

Convertidor electrónico con sistema de almacenamiento de energía que permite un considerable ahorro en sistemas de transporte vertical, como ascensores y montacargas, aprovechando la energía de frenado. Se ha construido un prototipo a pequeña escala y está en fase de desarrollo


Mobility

CoCAR: Simulative evaluation of a cooperative urban mobility concept with regards to spacific mobility indicators

Modelización mediante simulación de tráfico del uso de la generación de demanda, y sistema de gestión de un sistema de transporte compartido a la demanda. Estudio por simulación de las prestaciones del sistema ante diversos tamaños de flotas y características operativas del servicio

Innovation & technology

Big Data, Data Science for insurance sector

    Big Data Analytics Lab project was carried out for a multinational in the assurance sector with the aim of launching a pilot Big Data platform based on Open Source tools to facilitate and streamline support processes analysis and processing of data in order to improve their business process.
    The project focuses on improving a very specific use case, which will serve as a starting point to define and implement a reference architecture.

    In defining the reference architecture it is where the different technological components are specified. These technological components will be Big Data tools, you have to choose carefully depending on the structure of the data and queries which we expect to be made.

    The project starts with the study of the origin data, which allows us to make an initial selection of Big Data tools that will serve us best. Once selected, we value the various tools, including some benchmarkings, to determine the speed of each chosen solution.

    Then, we create an ontology of the data so that data analysts of the company, who need data arrays to work, can choose the variables, see the features, see the distribution,.... and then apply rules of cleanliness, discretization and/or processing (Map-Reduce type rules).

Environment

Gestió òptima dels recursos d'aigua subterrània per a diferents ciutats de l'àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona

Caracterització qualitativa i quantitativa i gestió òptima dels recursos d'aigua subterrània a diferents ciutats de l'àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona. Model numèric d'avaluació dels recursos i de gestió de l'aigua al subsòl per realitzar un aprofitament sostenible de l'aigua subterrània. Aplicació a Barcelona, Badalona i Sant Adrià