Empowerment of Disabled people through the User Co-production of Assistive Technology | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

EDUCAT

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Empowerment of Disabled people through the User Co-production of Assistive Technology

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Technological Innovation

Lead partner

Yncréa Hauts-de-France

Begindatum

01/09/2016

Einddatum

31/08/2021

Project budget

3 143 745

ERDF amount

1 886 247

ERDF rate

60%

    Over

    Common challenge

    In the EU, 40% of the population was foreseen to be more than 65 years old by 2020. Moreover, 80 million people are disabled, which is more than 15% of the population. The significant social and economic challenge faced by societies in Europe is to enable people to remain in their own home as long as possible, to maximise their independence and to improve their quality of life. The use of Assistive Technology (AT) is a way to do this. However, to ensure the competitiveness of SMEs working in AT and related ICT, it was necessary to provide tools and a relevant network to develop innovative products with a reduced time to market and a high end-user acceptance. The challenge talked by EDUCAT was to develop AT for a wide range of the population, accepted by and useful for the end-users. Thus, the first challenge of the project was to develop innovative products and services that ensured three criteria are met: usability by a large number of end-users, acceptance and long-term use. The second challenge was to demonstrate the products' potential and facilitate their commercialisation. Both challenges were addressed using a bottom-up approach, where active participation by end-users, health professionals, researchers and businesses was essential.

    Main Achievements

    EDUCAT was a project aiming 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 aimed to promote a user-centred assistive technology design, using co-design methods, involving service users, engineers, clinicians, researchers, user-support networks and companies. The expected benefits were cost and time savings for companies (when developing technologies) and hospitals (to provide medical care) as well as a higher efficiency of use of the technology.

    Because partners believed that the best innovations start from a user need, they have developed the digital platform iTCH! to build up a network which would bring together people with different skills and nationalities, where ideas could be shared to contribute to innovative projects aimed at delivering technologies for a better health. Currently, 34 ideas are shared on this platform and the iTCH! network includes 43 companies, 31 health service users, 17 networks and 27 service providers.

    Further, to allow developers to test effectiveness of new medical devices or treatments through clinical trials, an open modular adaptive framework has been developed. This consists of a cloud database, an Android tablet and an embedded hardware. Developers can merge their own sensors, systems, algorithms 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 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. The data recording system has been tested by connecting it to 9 wheelchairs over a period of 5 days. Preliminary results showed 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 system are available.  A study of Wheelchair market of Belgium and France is also available, including an estimate saving of 1400€ a year per person using a powered wheelchair and OAS system.

    Testimonial

    One of the main goals of EDUCAT was to create an international digital space where healthcare providers could interact with health service users to implement new projects inspired by their needs, questions, or ideas around better and adapted healthcare services.

    Partnership

    Partners

    The University of Kent

    East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

    Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Oost-Vlaanderen

    Sussex Community NHS Trust

    Outputs

    Output title
    Type
    Target
    URL / Download
    28/02/2021

    EDUCAT

    Thema: Technological innovationHealth care

    Interactive e-platform – Secured part for SMEs and hospitals, to increase the delivery of technology

    Type: e-infrastructure/online tool
    Target: Health institutions
    28/02/2021

    EDUCAT

    Thema: Technological innovationHealth care

    Pilot for higher independence

    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: Health institutions
    31/01/2021

    EDUCAT

    Thema: Technological innovationHealth care

    Market analysis to show economic profit for better rehabilitation & higher independence

    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Health institutions
    31/12/2020

    EDUCAT

    Thema: Technological innovationHealth care

    Pilot for a better rehabilitation for people using a powered wheelchair

    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: Health institutions
    31/07/2020

    EDUCAT

    Thema: Technological innovationHealth care

    Interactive e-platform – Public part for health professionals & end-users, for bottom up development

    Type: e-infrastructure/online tool
    Target: Health institutions
    30/06/2020

    EDUCAT

    Thema: Technological innovationHealth care

    Feasibility study of the clinical value of driving characteristics data for better diagnosis

    Type: Feasibility study
    Target: Health institutions