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

Francesca Toso (Corresponding author), Rens G.A. Brankaert (Corresponding author), Niels Hendriks, Lieke Lenaerts, Andrea Wilkinson

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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.
Originele taal-2Engels
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusGepubliceerd - 1 feb. 2023


To address the current challenges around products for people with dementia on a larger scale, organizations from five different northwestern European countries collaborated in the project Certification-D, funded by the European Union under the Interreg NEW program. Care organizations, knowledge institutes, companies and other public organizations collaborated to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an evaluation of their technological products in context, and provided input to improve the design of their product(s). If they fulfilled the necessary requirements, the project could certify the technology as being suitable for people living with dementia. This research is part of the project “Certification-D. Certification of technological products for people with dementia to support SMEs in innovation and business growth”, funded by the Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Programme 2014–2020, grant number NWE 938.

Interreg North-West EuropeNWE 938
European Commission


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