Non-involvement of end-users is the main innovation barrier in developing innovative solutions for assistive devices, according to a recent EU survey. Current practice in technology assessment is to overly focus on clinical effectiveness whilst failing to consider the real `user experience` sufficiently enough which leads to the technology often being considered unsuitable or unacceptable by the end-user. EDUCAT aims to develop Assistive Technology using ICT in an innovative bottom-up approach by involving the end-users during the design, development, and testing phases.
Moreover, EDUCAT`s clinical trials will not only focus on the clinical effectiveness of the AT under trial, but at the same time also focus on economic gain and increased quality of life. These trials will be carried out in the user`s daily life environment over several days. Furthermore, disabled people still require a lot of personal assistance and care diagnosis, we believe treatment should be on a more personalised basis in order to be more effective. This is why EDUCAT has developed an open, modular and adaptive embedded framework, to allow assistive technology to be co-created for better adaptation to the user's needs at a lower development cost. This is accomplished through the use of standard tools like tablets & the Internet of Things monitoring sensors.
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.
The ADAPT project will tackle mobility problems faced by elderly and disabled people by developing innovative Assistive Technologies, in particular a smart Electronic Powered Wheelchair (EPW) and an EPW simulator based upon recent progress made in Virtual Reality. Additionally, the project will fill the gap in the actual healthcare training programs by developing training materials and sessions to engage more efficiently the healthcare professionals with the use of Assistive Technology solutions.