– The challenges we face through our ever-aging population mean that we need to find new innovative solutions that will enable us to maintain our quality of life, even when the head and body begin to function worse. This requires intimate collaboration between all actors and a clear focus on the users. We hope to design both new technology and new methods using the new lab, says Kåre Synnes, Professor of Distributing Computer Systems at Luleå University of Technology.
The goal for Human Health and Activity Lab is to be an innovative meeting place in the breakthrough between health and technology. The laboratory should be open to researchers, students, caregivers and companies to jointly develop and test services and products that contribute to new innovations in the human and technology meeting. Organizations in society can also be part of the meeting place.
In order to improve the ability to meet the challenges, interdisciplinary research and user-driven innovation is needed focusing on the interaction between human health, activity and the environment. In the area of care, rehabilitation and care in the home environment, digitalization is seen as the single largest possible provider to cope with future challenges.
– Now we have unique opportunities to conduct research and education in both health and technology. Together with our partners, in both municipalities, regions and companies, we hope to help people, for example, to stay longer in their homes, feel less alone and feel healthier, said Margareta Lilja, Subject Representative and Professor of occupational therapy at Luleå Technical university.
Currently, several research projects are underway, but there is a great need for a test lab to develop, test and evaluate technology applications in a residential environment in an Arctic climate and at an early experimental stage. Human Health and Activity Lab can help stimulate creativity in developing innovative technology solutions and conduct development in an ethically correct way. Activity recognition and other advanced data analysis through machine learning are examples of what can be studied in the new lab.
At the Department of Health Sciences there is already a so-called training studio in the D-house of approximately 90 square meters and it is in this environment that an advanced development environment for human health, new technology, new working methods and educational environment will be created. An outdoor environment directly adjacent to the apartment also allows studying the impact through our Arctic climate.
During the spring of 2018, procurement and purchase of equipment will take place and the goal is to start using the laboratory in the autumn of 2018.