The lack of involvement of users in the development of assistive technology is a key barrier to innovation. The fact that “services' often provide equipment means that a biased agenda may be applied when choosing/developing equipment. For example, a service might consider longevity more important than aesthetics.
This presentation describes an on-line accessible solution for all stakeholders to be involved in the design of technology before it reaches market by using an innovative bottom-up approach.
Patients and methods
Users and families who have a need for a particular assistive technology are intended to be key participants on the platform. They would use it to express a need or an idea for a device. Other stakeholders using the platform would identify or submit relevant projects and collaborate to find solutions.
An international e-platform was developed to share innovative healthcare ideas. The platform enables a broad range of people to share ideas or contribute experience and skills to different projects.
Intended users of the platform will be users and families, healthcare professionals, researchers, companies, (IT-) developers, engineers and charities. People can interact in their own language and see the posts translated in their own language.
Companies can join the platform to develop and trial new products with users from different countries. Stakeholders involved in a project can interact via an online forum, organise an event (a physical meeting for example) and invite others to join their project.
The platform is now online www.letsitch.eu bringing people together.