Vitalise-Project / McGill-UdeM-CRIR Living lab

McGill-UdeM-CRIR Living Lab

  • Year of Establishment: 2011
  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation (CRIR)
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Governance: McGill-UdeM-CRIR
  • Type of Living Lab
    • Urban & Rural Living Lab (Smart cities & regions)
    • Living Lab as a service (Government)
    • Living testbed (Technology testing, Tech transfer)

Previous Projects:

  • The RehabMaLL: The objective of RehabMALL was to identify the main environmental, physical and social barriers as well as the facilitating elements to participation and social inclusion in an urban shopping mall. Through the realization of ~seventy (70) projects in a real environment, several innovations in the intervention plan and in relation to new technologies (e.g. virtual reality, intelligent robotic chairs, web applications) were developed, evaluated and implemented in order to facilitate access to the mall by people with physical disabilities. In addition, the project aims to raise awareness among various stakeholders about accessibility issues and solutions to make public spaces welcoming for all.
  • Improving accessibility of language and communication at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: The main objective of the project was to address challenges that persons with communication difficulties might have when visiting the museum especially with written texts accompanying the museum exhibits. Specifically. we explored the experience of individuals with communication limitations as they read exhibit texts accompanying art pieces at the museum and texts created to improve linguistic accessibility.  Participants, both those with communication difficulties and their partners preferred accessible texts and expressed their difficulty in reading and understanding existing less accessible texts.

Running/Ongoing Projects:

  • Teledance: The objective is to test the teledance intervention including a series of video vignettes adapted for stroke rehabilitation and follow-up modalities with users (asynchronous and synchronous). By testing the intervention within an intensive functional rehabilitation (IFR) setting, the objective is to identify the characteristics of users to whom such an intervention can be applied, to evaluate its usability and safety, and to explore its potential impacts.
  • Neuro-MBAM: this small-scale pilot aims to obtain measurements of mobility, cognition and wellbeing of people with stroke and healthy aging individuals using innovative technologies in order to explore the lived experience of these individuals as they participate in a museum environment. The collected data will be used to 1) study the feasibility of conducting a series of diverse measurements in a museum setting, 2) study the acceptability of such interventions in a museum setting and 3) create a user model that can be adopted to describe people with disabilities visiting a museum in future big data collection.
  • Exercise, sleep and cognition: This project investigates how exercise changes sleep to enhance cognition. The goal is to determine to what extend the benefits of exercise on cognition are mediated by changes in sleep quality and architecture. The project will identify brain sleep biomarkers susceptible to change with exercise that could explain the cognitive response to different types of exercise.


Virtual reality (VR) and mobility labs.

Area(s) of work

Areas of work: Health & Wellbeing, Social Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, Environment, Mobility, Culture and Creativity.

Subsections: Active and healthy aging; Social participation; Accessibility and inclusion;  Stroke; Traumatic brain injury (TBI); Parkinson’s disease.

Stakeholders Population

Stakeholders Population Age Social and Health condition Max nr. of subjects that can be enrolled for TA
Young adults 18-45 Healthy 20
Middle age adults 45-65 Healthy 10 to 15
Older adults 60+ Healthy 10 to 15
Stroke patients 25+ aphasia 10 to 15
Traumatic brain injury patients 18+ aphasia 10



Key Staff

Eva Kehayia, Cyril Duclos, Nancy Azevedo.


The following services are accessible to researchers Granted Transnational Access to McGill-UDEM-CRIR Living Lab:

Networking and capacity building: Expert opinion, and advisory services; Innovation network orchestration. Planning to offer: Legal, regulation and safety standard support; Panel management.

Project planning and management: Expert opinion, and advisory services; Living lab project planning and management. Planning to offer: Legal, regulation and safety standard support; Panel management.

Market and competitor intelligence services: Planning to offer: Access to data.

Co-creation: Co-creation session; Expert opinion, and advisory services; Stakeholder (and partner) analysis and mapping. Planning to offer: Foresighting (trends, weak signals and wild cards); Legal, regulation and safety standard support.

Testing and validation: Clinical trials; Concept and proof-of-concept tests – concept feasibility study; Expert opinion, and advisory services; Idea selection and testing; Impact assessment and validation test; Large-scale real-life testing and piloting; Prototyping test; Small-scale real-life testing and experimentation; Usability Testing. Planning to offer: Post-market surveillance and market acceptance testing; Simulation test.

Advisory services: Expert opinion, and advisory services.

Visit our Living Lab Harmonisation Wiki Page for detailed descriptions of the Research & Development services that Living Labs offer.


At McGill-UDEM-CRIR Living Lab, the following technologies and devices are available:

Activity Tracking/Monitoring

  • Body positιon (Vicon motion capture system)
  • Gait (Vicon motion capture system, split belt and instrumented treadmills, GAITRite walkway)
  • Energy expenditure (Direct calorimetry)
  • Human balance (Dynamic posturography)
  • Movement measurement (Vicon motion capture system, APDM wearable sensors)
  • Orientation
  • Physical activity (Smartwatch (Applewatch/Fibit/Axivity))
  • Physical performance (Graded exercise test)
  • Physiological and behavioural biomarkers (Blood biomarkers)
  • Sleep (Polysomnography)
  • Steps (Smartwatch (Applewatch/Fitbit/Axivity))
  • Stress level
  • Vo2 (Gas analysis)
  • Well-being evaluation (Questionnaires)
  • Blood oxygen (Oxymetry)
  • Blood sugar level (Blood sugar monitoring)

Assisting Technology

  • Natural language understanding (Communication devices)
  • Walking speed (Treadmills; Smartwatch (Applewatch/Ftibit))

Biometrics: Heart rate (Smartwatch (Applewatch/Fitbit))


  • EEG (Actichamp (64 channels))
  • ECG (Vmax software)

Cognitive function: Cognitive training (Dual and multi-tasking tasks; Questionnaires)

Physiological monitoring: Patient history & demographics (Questionnaires)

Physiological monitoring

  • Patient history & demographics (Questionnaires)
  • Weight BMI
  • Virtual reality

Virtual reality/interactive technology

  • Web Interaction
  • Gesture detection (smile)

Visit our Living Lab Harmonisation Wiki Page for more details regarding Living Lab technologies and devices.

Use Cases based on Researchers Expertise

Researchers from the following research domains have been identified as the most suitable for Transnational Access at McGill-UDEM-CRIR Living Lab:

Policy Makers: Studying the impact of new service models or new collaboration models in healthcare, designing or improving policies, gathering requirements for improving health and wellbeing of citizens, co-creation of research methodologies for policy making.

Experts in communication studies: Defining written, oral, visual and digital communication within a certain workplace. Evaluating (multi professional) healthcare team collaboration, communication and debriefing in various healthcare situations in simulated environments (especially in Simulation lab)

Computer/Technology Scientists: Developing systems/tools/ technologies, testing and evaluating an ICT tool, prototype and real-life testing, computer vision & AI, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, Cybersecurity

(Clinical, social, developmental, neuro-) Psychologists: Studying the behaviour and the mental wellbeing of participants, conducting psychometrics evaluation and real-life setting experimentation/observation/real life testing.

Researchers with clinical expertise: (Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, specialists, physiotherapists etc.), conducting research of healthcare services and practices, research on symptomatology or epidemiology of a disease, analysis of clinical effects of research performed in the study, e.g., via real life testing.

Experts in UX research and assessment: Developing the process for user experience design (UXD, UED, or XD) supporting user behaviour through usability, usefulness, and desirability provided in the interaction with a product or service, addressing all aspects as perceived by users with a focus on the quality of the user experience. Studying and experimenting the best practices for UI/UX and evaluating user’s experience in different situations and while using different tools.

Experts in sport science: Experimenting novel training methods, and their effectiveness in various dimensions such as safety, engagement, and physical capabilities. Studying the impact of physical movements in various functions and wellbeing features

Experts in rehabilitation (physical, cognitive): Physiology, physiotherapy, occupational health research, rehabilitation and prevention. Cognitive diseases assistive technology, neuromuscular rehabilitation assistive technology.

Experts in performing arts: Creative health improvement (e.g., for cognitive decline) through music and dance (example: redesigning public spaces into healthy spaces: test and validate Smart methodologies, products and services through folk dance)

Pedagogues/educators: Evaluating different pedagogical approaches and their impact learning performance (especially in Simulation lab)

Citizen Scientists / users as co-researchers: User empowerment, training, design, analysis and implementation of strategies and methodologies for user engagement and for raising awareness and generating citizen participation

→Biomedical researchers: Studying biochemical and physiological functions, investigating how the human body works with the aim of finding new ways to improve health. Biomedical engineering knowledge (Home hospitalization, Transitional Care, Multifunctional interaction), as well as digital biomarkers analysis (e.g., for cognitive state)

→Experts in accessibility Design: Validating accessible Architectonics and escape route models with VR experiment and real-life simulations

→Neuroscientists: Focusing on the brain and its impact on behaviour and cognitive functions (cognitive neuroscience, EEG-based BMI research, protocol / paradigm testing, study framework evaluation)

→Data Scientists: Collecting, analysing and interpreting digital data, such as data analytics in healthcare and digital patient recordings (how patient information recording process is managed and utilized during the intervention by using digital tools in simulated situations)