The mHealth in the canine assisted therapy: the proposal of a conceptual model for the wearable monitoring

Daniele Giansanti, Giovanni Maccioni


Background: We are today assisting to: an increasing interest to both the animal assisted therapy (AAT) and to the pet quality of life and health. The animal-assisted therapy is an alternative or complementary type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. Among the goals of AAT there is to improve a patient’s psychological and physiological condition during the rehabilitation therapies. The increasing interest into the pet quality of life and health is a direct consequence of the recognition to its contribute to the society.
Methods: Through an analysis of the literature the study investigated this field in order to derivate new models based on mHealth. Several studies showed the health benefits (psychological and physiological) for the human subject thanks to the AAT. Today, according to the new central position of the pet, the approach must be revised in a more general and bidirectional approach embedding the assessment of the health benefits contemporary for the two actors, human and pet.
Results: The study highlights that the most commonly used types of AAT is the canine-assisted therapy (CAT). Among the most used CAT applications in psychological and physiological rehabilitation there are: the (I) co-presence during the dynamic activity (in particular the walking) and the (II) co-presence in the Area of living (mainly the home). The study focused to the CAT, introduces a conceptual model for the contemporary parameters monitoring of the two actors during the two applications (I,II) and able to provide a quantification of the utility of the CAT. It is based on to two sub-systems. The first sub-systems is a wearable mobile solution with kinematic sensors for the human and the dog monitoring in (I) during walking. The second sub-system, allowing the monitoring in (II), is based on RFID technology.
Conclusions: After an analysis of the literature a new model for the CAT, based on kinematic sensors and RFID technology has been proposed and will be introduced in this field.