Perfect Fit

Targeting key risk factors for cardiovascular disease in at-risk individuals using a personalized and adaptive approach

Smoking tobacco and physical inactivity are key preventable risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Perfect Fit combines big-data science, sensor technology, and personalized real-time feedback for individuals to achieve and maintain abstinence from smoking and sufficient physical activity (PA; in gyms/daily life), prevent CVD, facilitate wellbeing and reduce healthcare costs. The approach is designed to serve disadvantaged groups, where smoking and physical inactivity are most prevalent. Once developed, the approach can be extended to include other risk factors and systems.

The project develops tailored, evidence-based, near real-time computer coaching for quitting smoking and enhancing PA. For every individual, a personal model is designed which generates personalized recommendations based on high-quality existing and newly collected data, and adapts to changing circumstances/progress (similar to a TomTom navigation system), using machine learning techniques and incorporating domain-specific expert knowledge (e.g. health behaviour change strategies). Virtual coaches (VCs) communicate advice in a motivating way that fits individuals’ persuasive communicationstyles.

Key objectives are: To examine how different types of (senso-)data can be used to provide personalized advice; which adaptivity is needed to create a robust, safe, and effective interaction between individuals and machine (VC); how advanced data science methods can be developed and embedded in current smoking cessation and PA coaching practice; and how measurement modalities, feedback and communication affect individuals’ smoking status and PA.

The project addresses challenges regarding small and big-data quality and usability; linkage of data sources; making data meaningful for individuals; and responsible data science.

So far the Netherlands eScience Center has been involved in: The creation of a patient journey that describes the interaction of the patient with the virtual coach throughout the different stages of the intervention, and the design of the system architecture that will fuel the virtual coach.

Currently we are working on building the backend system for the virtual coach.


  • N.H. Chavannes
    Leiden University Medical Center
  • Sven van der Burg
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Lars Ridder
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Djura Smits
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Robin Richardson
    Netherlands eScience Center
Contact person
Sven van der Burg
Netherlands eScience Center