Empowerment of Disabled people through the User Co-production of Assistive Technology
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
Lead partnerGroupe HEI-ISA-ISEN
Date de début01/09/2016
Date de fin31/08/2021
Project budget2 997 871 €
ERDF amount1 798 722 €
The first challenge is to develop, through the use of information and communication technologies, innovative products and services that ensure three criteria are met: usability by a large number of end-users, acceptance and long term use.
The second challenge is to demonstrate the potential of the products and facilitate their uptake on the market.
Both challenges will be addressed using a bottom-up approach, called co-production where the active participation of end-users (disabled/elderly people, caregivers), health professionals, researchers and companies is essential.
The project objective is to develop and deliver embedded hardware and software devices in the health sector using a bottom-up approach. The new Assistive Technologies (ATs) developed will be open, modular and able to adapt their assistance (or to be adapted by the user) to the user’s needs and give feedback to users in response to their needs.
The expected benefits are cost and time savings for companies (for developing technologies) and hospitals (for care) as well as a higher efficiency of use of the technology, and better quality of life for disabled people.
Innovative pilots, developed using a bottom-up approach, based on a new open modular adaptive framework to plug in different apps and sensors, for 1) improved rehabilitation and 2) greater independence.
A feasibility study researching better diagnosis possibilities by analysing data collected by apps and sensors connected to the framework.
Interactive e-platform with two parts: a part for the stakeholders with whom we will actively collaborate to develop the technologies by bottom-up approach, and a part for SMEs (technological transfer) and hospitals (more effective care for their patients).
Cross border approach
Different approaches by health authorities across the 2Seas region regarding the supply of assistive technologies lead to variation in care. Certain industries have well defined standards within which they operate, however the assistive technology health care field is relatively new and presents unique challenges. Current and past research has shown that these challenges are common across borders. Sharing our different points of view based on varying cultures and backgrounds is very useful to co-elaborate new assistive technology and to find the best solutions for all stakeholders.
EDUCAT is a project to develop and deliver adaptive, open and modular technology to promote independence and improve quality of life for people with motor impairment and neurological disorders. The project aims to promote a user-centred assistive technology design, using codesign methods, involving service users, engineers, clinicians, researchers, user-support networks and companies. The expected benefits are cost and time savings for companies (for developing technologies) and hospitals (for care) as well as a higher efficiency of use of the technology.
Because we believe that the best innovations start from a user need, we have developed a digital platform, iTCH! (www.letsitch.eu), to build up a network which brings together people with different skills and different nationalities. You can use this platform to share your ideas or to contribute to innovative projects regarding technologies for a better health. 34 ideas are in the platform. The iTCH! network includes 43 companies, 31 health service users, 17 networks and 27 service providers(O4). A securised part is also available for secret management(06).
To allow developers to test effectiveness of new medical devices or treatments through clinical trials, an open modular adaptive framework is developed. The framework consists of a cloud database, an Android tablet and an embedded hardware. Developers can merge their own sensors, systems, algorithms etc. as new modules in the overall framework, allowing cost and time effective testing. The framework allows easy setting up of clinical trials on different remote locations (BE, FR, UK) with different user types and roles, letting the developer focus on the data analysis, rather than facing the problem of setting up the required environment to conduct the clinical trials (O1). The data recording system has been tested and data has been delivered. It was attached to the 9 wheelchair users over a period of 5 days. Preliminary results show the potential of a clinical value of the driving characteristics for gathering information about the wheelchair users and their need of assistance.
Since the end of 2020, an Obstacle Detection System (OAS) and an autonomous parking sytem are available. Last testings in UK are running to non wheelchair volunters (02). A study of Wheelchair market of Belgium and France (O5) is also available, including an estimate gain of 1000€ a year per person using a powered wheelchair and OAS system.