East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust is a partner in a research project, EDUCAT. EDUCAT (Empowerment of Disabled people through the User Coproduction of Assistive Technology) is a European funded 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 will involve service users, engineers, clinicians, researchers, user-support networks and companies in developing a powered chair with driving assistance.
The project goal is to improve user independence and quality of life.
Some of the ways in which this will be achieved are by.
- Developing a modular driving assistance system that can be attached to the user’s powered chair.
- Providing driving assistance when the user requires it. For example by changing the sensitivity of the joystick or to providing driving assistance to reduce the probability of collisions when the user is feeling tired or unwell.
- Monitoring and analysing user driving patterns. It is anticipated that analysis of these patterns will provide diagnostic information on user condition and changes in that condition. This information will help to improve the prescription of assistive technology, inform the on-going adaptation of that technology to meet changing user needs and increase the success rate for the long term provision of assistive technology.
- Clinical trials by powered chair users in clinics, hospital and users homes. Feedback from these trials will be used to support and guide the development of the powered chair driving assistance system throughout the project.
- Stakeholder and User Panels in England, France and Belgium. In order to achieve these goals, it is vital that all stakeholders [users, engineers, clinicians, researchers, user-support networks and companies] are involved throughout the EDUCAT project in providing feedback and in the user trials.
The expected benefits are improvement in user independence and quality of life, 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 further long term goal is to deliver affordable technology through cross-border collaboration and facilitate uptake in the market.
If you would like further information please contact:
Mr David Attwell firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Matthew Pepper email@example.com
Medical Physics Department, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Ethelbert Road, Canterbury, CT1 3NG
Project partners are from the South East of England, North East France and Belgium.
University of Kent
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Chailey Clinical Services, Sussex Community NHS Trust
Catholic University Leuven - KU Leuven
VOKA – Chamber of Commerce of East Flanders
Service Users and Observer Groups
The project also benefits from involvement of service users and observer groups:
Kent Brain Injury Forum (KBIF)
Sir William Beveridge Foundation (SWBF)
This project has received a grant of €1,798,722.60 from the Interreg VA 2 Seas programme 2014 - 2020, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.