In Europe’s rapidly ageing society, there is growing need for tools that improve the quality of life, independence and overall health of older adults. Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis, is estimated to affect >40 million people across Europe and has a lifetime risk of 45% for knee OA and 25% for hip OA. OA is the fastest growing cause of disability worldwide by increased life expectancy and rising levels of obesity. OA is characterized by joint pain and functional impairment, resulting in considerable difficulties with everyday activities and profoundly impacting quality of life. ( )

While people may worry that exercising with osteoarthritis (OA) could harm joints and cause more pain, research shows that people can and should exercise and be physically active when they have osteoarthritis. In fact, exercise and physical activity is considered the most effective, non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in patients with osteoarthritis. Monitoring and promoting physical activity may be beneficial for OA patients and care providers. (

At OARSI2022 scientific symposium, the latest developments on Maastricht Instruments’ clinical grade physical activity monitors and connected health services, as developed in the Pharaon project, were showcased and evaluated with experts in the field.

About Pharaon project

In Europe’s rapidly ageing society, there is growing need for tools that improve the quality of life, independence and overall health of older adults. Advanced ICT solutions that combine technologies from multiple disciplines can address this problem, but the market is fragmented and many solutions have limited scope.

PHArA-ON’s overall objective is to make smart and active living for Europe’s ageing population a reality by creating a set of integrated, highly customizable and interoperable open platforms with advanced services, devices, and tools including IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cloud/edge computing, smart wearables, big data, and intelligent analytics. Data privacy, cybersecurity, interoperability and openness will be key design principles to pursue through the requirements generated by PHArA-ON experts. PHArA-ON will be built upon mature existing state-of-the-art open platforms and technologies/tools provided by the partners, which will be customised and will implement cloud technologies, AI techniques and traditional algorithms for big data intelligent analytics. A user-centric approach will be followed.

PHArA-ON’s integrated platforms will be validated in two stages: pre-validation and large-scale pilots (LSPs), in six different pilot sites: Murcia and Andalusia (Spain), Portugal, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Italy. A team of partners in each pilot will ensure its right development. A set of development tools will be created and made publicly available to simplify the customisation and integration. These tools and the results of dissemination will spread the generated knowledge to promote the development of new solutions similar to PHArA-ON.