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


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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






Project budget

2 997 871

ERDF amount

1 798 722

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    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.

    Main Achievements

    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 co-design methods involving service users, engineers, clinicians, researchers, user-support networks and companies. A key element of the project is the design of an open, modular and configurable data recording system connected to the cloud, helping to monitor features defined by the specific use cases. 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.

    One of the project achievements is the international digital platform iTCH! (www.letsitch.eu). By bringing people together, iTCH aims to collectively create technological solutions for better health. On this platform individuals, researchers, companies, NHS Trusts, foundations and associations can share their ideas or needs in the health field. They can then co-create, adapt and customise the technology to make the ideas work, therefore meeting the needs expressed. Among the target groups belonging to the iTCH network end of 2018, we have 10 companies and 6 networks and a total of 60 participants. 

    The first version of the data recording system has been delivered and is now used in clinical trials. It is attached to the wheelchair of users who are involved in those clinical trials to gain insight into the daily driving pattern of individual users over a period of 5 days. Information will be supplemented by data obtained from users and their carers through the use of diaries, questionnaires and interviews. It is anticipated that data analysis will provide diagnostic information on the user’s condition and changes in that condition. Moreover, the analysis of the recorded data will inform further development and testing of the system to improve elements of its control and functionality, for example, by alerting users to potential obstacles and avoidance of collisions.

    Our different specific and general communication actions allowed us to reach 180 contacts. We presented the project achievements and outputs and interacted with the project stakeholders using different ways: fairs, conferences, individual meetings, research days. Moreover, since the EDUCAT website is online, 2300 persons visited it from more than 50 countries.



    The University of Kent

    East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

    Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Oost-Vlaanderen

    Sussex Community NHS Trust