Reflecting on Living Labs as Multi-Stakeholder Collaborative Networks to Evaluate Technological Products for People Living with Dementia

Francesca Toso, Rens Brankaert* (Corresponding Author), Niels Hendriks, Lieke Lenaerts, Andrea Wilkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Dementia is a growing societal challenge putting pressure on care systems across Europe. Providing supporting technology for people living with dementia, referring to both people with dementia and their caregivers, is an important strategy to alleviate pressure. In this paper, we present lessons learned from the Interreg NWE Project Certification-D, in which we evaluated technological products with people living with dementia, using a Living Lab approach. Living Labs were set up in five different countries to conduct field evaluations at the homes of people living with dementia. Via an open call products from small to medium enterprises across northwestern Europe were selected to be evaluated in the Living Labs. In this paper, we describe the setup of and reflection on Living Labs as multi-stakeholder collaboration networks to evaluate technological products in the context of dementia. We reflect on the experiences and insights from the Living Lab researchers to execute and operate the Living Labs in such a sensitive setting. Our findings show that Living Labs can be used to conduct field evaluations of products, that flexibility is required to adopt a Living Lab in various care settings with different stakeholder compositions and expertise, and that Living Lab researchers serve as both a linking pin and buffer between people living with dementia and companies and thereby support the adoption of technological products. We close the paper with a proposal of best practices to encourage inclusivity in, and scalability of, Living Labs in the context of dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1673
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume20
Issue number3
Early online date17 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Design
  • Living labs
  • Technologies
  • Dementia
  • Home Environment
  • Field research
  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • Scalability
  • Certification

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