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 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.



    The University of Kent

    East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

    Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Oost-Vlaanderen

    Sussex Community NHS Trust


    URL / Download

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

    Thema: Health care - Innovation
    Type: Feasibility study
    Target: Health institutions - SMEs /enterprises - Universities and research centres

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

    Thema: Health care - Innovation
    Type: e-Infrastructure
    Target: Health institutions - SMEs /enterprises - Universities and research centres

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

    Thema: Health care - Innovation
    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Health institutions - SMEs /enterprises - Universities and research centres

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

    Thema: Health care - Innovation
    Type: e-Infrastructure
    Target: Health institutions - SMEs /enterprises - Universities and research centres