Vitalise-Project / List of Indicative Research Topics

List of Indicative Research Topics

2nd Open Call of VITALISE project is here! And an inspiring list of research topics awaits you! Our Living Lab partners came up with various interesting topics for future research ventures that will be implemented in their infrastructures.

So, if you are an aspiring external researcher interested in taking part in this enterprise but you haven’ t made up your mind yet about the research proposal you ‘d like to submit, our partners have some ideas! Below you will find and indicative list of research topics of VITALISE project!

LICALAB

Topic: Panel management – patient participation
Research question

What should a care pathway for older adults with a chronic disease or post-hospitalization look like?

Study

An approach with a dedicated panel will be used  to support the development of a care pathway for older adults with a chronic disease or post-hospitalization.

Infra: LiCalab Older Adults’ Homes

 

Topic: Iterative living lab research – Therapy adherence

Research question

How can organizations/developers learn about and actively work with motivators and barriers relating to care for patients/older adults

Study

Iterative living lab techniques will provide insight into motivators and barriers for patients/older adults to be adherent to their care program and support  organizations/developers with taking this into account in their development phase.Infra: LiCalab Older Adults’ Homes

 

Topic: Human Factors Study – serious gaming

Research question

How can we gain insight into implementation risks and innovation usage errors before practice implementation?

Study

During a human factors study important information can be obtained related to the feasibility of implementing an innovation. Users are asked to interact with an innovation in simulated real-life circumstances, e.g.  with a game application for remote rehabilitation exercises.

Infra: LiCalab Older Adults’ Homes

 

Topic: Real live test – tactile breathing pacer for top athletes

Research question

Can technology-supported breathing exercises improve sports performance?

Study

A life test will implement a tactile breath pacer in a sample of top athletes to assess whether it can improve sports performance and cardiovascular recovery measured by objective and subjective parameters.

Infra: Thomas More Experience lab

 

Topic: Use of VR to achieve rehabilitation goals

How can we use VR to achieve specific rehabilitation goals?

A feasibility study collecting and analyzing data from 5 to 10 healthy participants to quantify the effect of VR on rehabilitation exercises. Data collection will be done by means of IMU sensors in our gait lab. VR headsets will be used to immerse participants into VR.

MOBILAB & Care – Motion lab

 

Topic: Effect of exoskeletons on ergonomics and muscle activity

What is the effect of an exoskeleton on ergonomics and muscle activity?

A feasibility study collecting and analyzing data from 5 to 10 healthy participants to quantify the effect of a specific exoskeleton on ergonomics and muscle activity. Data will be collected by means of IMU sensors and EMG sensors in our gait lab.

MOBILAB & Care – Motion lab

 

Topic: Impact of orthosis/prosthesis on gait pattern

What is the impact of the use of an orthosis or prosthesis on the gait pattern?

A feasibility study collecting and analyzing data from 5 to 10 healthy participants to quantify the impact of a specific orthosis or prosthesis on the gait pattern. Advanced movement analysis systems, available in our gait lab, will be used for data collection.

MOBILAB & Care – Motion lab

 

Topic: Validation of wearable technology/smart textiles

Is wearable technology/smart textile accurate enough to be clinically valid?

A preliminary study with 5 to 10 healthy participants in order to validate a specific wearable technology/smart textile against the gold standard motion analysis system available in our gait lab.

MOBILAB & Care – Motion lab

GAIA

Green Living Lab Space and creative arts as a therapy for stress

Promote and assess the impact of integrating creative arts in rehabilitation processes, through cross-fertilization methodologies. Main research topic questions are: 1) advantages and limitations of using arts during rehabilitation process; 2) how to integrate technology in the creative rehabilitation process; 3) integrate and measure the impact of the green and smart spaces in the rehabilitation process; 4) extend to what technology and creative arts are accepted by care professionals and patients.

Sample: men and women aged 18 to 85 years old, from Gernika-Lumo (Biscay, Spain) with no medical history of severe impairment are not eligible to participate.

 

Redesigning public spaces into healthy spaces through recreational football together with citizens

Multidimensional physical fitness testing protocoling for aging persons together with Finland and Hungary for the harmonization of testing scenarios and collaborative frameworks, focusing on redesigning of smart public spaces through the practice of recreational football.

Main research topic questions are: 1) advantages and limitations of using recreational football for physical and mental health improvement; 2) advantages and limitations of using smart public spaces for recreational football for physical and mental health improvement; 3) how to integrate technology in the process of redesigning public spaces into healthy spaces through recreational football together with citizens; 4) how to integrate and measure the physical fitness of ageing people in real life settings; 4) to what extend is recreational football accepted  by the care professionals.

Sample: men and women between 60 and 80 years old from Gernika-Lumo (Biscay, Spain) with minor physical and/or mental disorders.

McGill

  • The effects of sleep (and sleep disturbances) on cognitive performance in healthy adults.
  • The effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on cognitive and language performance in healthy adults and individuals with stroke.
  • The effects of exercise on cognitive and language performance in healthy adults and individuals with stroke.
  • The study of gait and mobility, wayfinding, obstacle avoidance, and dual or multitasking using virtual reality.
  • The study of changes to language and communication in healthy aging and individuals with stroke.
  • Monitoring transitions in the continuum of care:  from acute to rehabilitation to community and the home.
  • Smart environments, sensors and technologies in rehabilitation

AIT

  • Development of social interface concepts for fostering intergenerational exchange, caring and pro-social behavior
  • Designing innovative solutions for special user groups (e.g. migrants, sole parents, re-integration of employers)
  • Further developing Living Lab approaches for special user groups
  • Development of innovative solutions to increase resilience and reduce stress of older employees

LAUREA

  • Testing simulation-based educational interventions among healthcare and social services students and professionals (e.g. registered nurses, physiotherapists).
  • Testing feasibility and user experience of e-health solutions and technologies among citizens and healthcare and social services students and professionals.
  • Senior fitness testing battery. Fitness is a key component for aging population for maintaining independence and good quality of life. However, there are limited number of validated test batteries to assess senior fitness levels. Laurea university of Applied Sciences continues work with Espoo city to assess the feasibility of a senior test battery. The target group is Espoo city inhabitants 67+ years of age.
  • Recreational football for participants 60+ years. To maintain functionality physical activity is a key component. However, commonly walking, gym exercises or swimming type of activities are only available for seniors. Laurea continues 6-0! project (Recreational football for 60+ years participants) idea to offer recreational football for seniors. 6-0! project results revealed that football is safe, fun, social and fitness improving activity for seniors that is not available for this age group.

INTRAS / MINDLAB

  • The impact of Virtual environments (VR/AR) for promoting wellbeing

INTRAS and IDES S.L. have been developing prototypes based on Virtual Reality that allows clinical units and intervention centers to complement and/or enhance their own physical spaces through realistic, immersive and attractive experiences, contributing to the well-being and cognitively active life of people with cognitive impairment or in a frail situation (e.g. receiving palliative support at home). Research opportunities mainly around the study of impact on the use of such prototypes or similar research. It can also include involvement in the co-design of new virtual scenarios with a therapeutic focus.

  • The impact of e-rehabilitation using holistic approaches

e-Rehabilitation allows to address the intervention from a holistic approach that considers the different dimensions of the person (cognitive, emotional, sensorial, physical and functional). It enables to complement healthcare interventions, such as training and stimulation of higher cognitive functions in people with cognitive damage and/or deterioration, or the activation of the senses to establish and reinforce cognitive functions and emotional states working sensation and perception, being one of the major benefits the opportunity for improving in personalization. The focus might be on existing solutions and their comparability and on the analysis of the future services, opportunities and barriers for scaling-up.

  • Explore the potential of Virtual assistants into rehabilitation ecosystems or the opportunities of social robotics in care contexts

Research on extending application scenarios of virtual assistants/robotic assistants into rehabilitation ecosystems. For example, work with e.g. Alexa assistant from Amazon through an Echo dot device, to connect with a rehabilitation program that can be transformed into an Alexa Skill. Further explorations and connections with ongoing projects are encouraged. It includes the research on questions such: i. study the potential clinical use of assistant technology, advantages and limitations (which include review ethical frameworks around the topic); ii. explore how to integrate such assistant technology in the rehabilitation process; iii. define, demonstrate and assess acceptance and perceived usefulness. Proposed Sample: +55 years with minor physical and/or mental disorders.

  • Sensors for environment control and independent living

Technologies that assist the elderly in independent living are essential for enhancing care that are reliable and cost-effective. Different wearable and non-wearable (i.e., ambient) sensors long-term elderly care can be proposed for testing in the Living Lab and in real living scenarios. The research should start reviewing literature to understand current practices for testing elderly care applications, its limitations and the demand (e.g. often demand real-time observation of the environment and the resident’s activities using an event-driven system) and proceed developing an orientating design and assessment framework that can be used as a guide by researchers. It is expected to end up demonstrating its applicability for evaluating elderly care applications for independent and home living, and for increasing their adoption.

  • Digital enabling technologies to develop nature-based therapies

Nature has proven to facilitate patient’s recovery and to improve general wellbeing of people. Dynamic experiences with “digitalized nature” are also being studied. The research should focus on explore in which ways a creative nature-based approach (technological and non-technological) might be embedded in the future Care Center and Living Lab activities in Valladolid, Spain. Multi domains of research are expected to be integrated, e.g. environmental psychology, nature-base designs, mindful design, snoezelen 24hours, etc. Co-design a newly nature-based therapy approach to be assessed and considered for implementation and for further studies. The focus should be on leverage technological and non-technological programs for personalizing cognitive, behavior and wellbeing enhancement methods, using the nature and its endowments as main inspiration. The approach might promote secondary benefits as favoring social inclusion, motivation and feedback, education, amusement, handling adverse emotions.

TREBAG – Nagykovácsi Wellbeing Living Lab

  • The impact of physical movement on wellbeing

TREBAG operates the wellbeing living lab in Nagykovácsi, Hungary with the involvement of local and regional stakeholders and the local community with special focus on older people. The activities include excerices and experiments both in indoor and outdoor environments. Research opportunities can be built on the target collective and the environments including fitness trails with visual descriptions on recommended movements.

  • Motivation and smart tools

The benefits and challenges of using smart tools such as wearables in the physical activities of older people is in the focus of interest. Can these tools hinder or accelerate the perforamnce and motivation of older adults? What are the main challenges and obstacles? How can these be overcome?

Fitbit wearables, smart scales and other available tools are to be used.

  • Challenges on Fitness protocols

The validated Rickli and Jones fitness test developed for older adults and used internationally could be put and tested against the Hungarian target collective offering comparisons with established databases along Europe as well as ways to extend/modify the test to fit more to the targeted groups (as to age, gender, social and educational background etc) Research could be channeled into the multidimensional physical fitness testing protocoling for aging persons together with Finland and Spain for the harmonization of testing scenarios and collaborative frameworks.

Sample: men and women between 55 and 80 years old with no severe health conditions.

  • Dancing in old age for research

Dancing is reported to be one of the best ways to maintain mental and physical fitness of older people. The dancing sessions conducted by our partner organisation can be visited and observed with related research focus. Number of participants could range from 10-20 people aged over 60.