COCREATION AND AGILE METHODOLOGYThe state of art of the methodology for design and evaluation of technology in the context of ageing well is united in the ACCRA Methodology. It brings together expertise from robotics, software development, marketing, health services research, and health economics.
The ACCRA Methodology can be regarded as a scientific approach which aims to be a structurant framework for the conduct of project’s research in order to identify the needs of the elderly people experiencing loss of autonomy. Thanks to which we are able to co-create robotic solutions that meet these needs, to evaluate their daily use and to measure the sustainability of ACCRA solutions. It distinguishes four steps, that also align with the general structure of the project.
Step 1 – Need study :
The aim of this first phase is to identify needs and investigating the context in which the applications will be used that is to say, needs and behaviours of the elderly in loss of autonomy. The needs investigation is based on a qualitative approach consisting of in-depth interviews. Interest in robotics services related to the loss of autonomy will be also investigated. Several types of seniors have been considered.
The study includes ten in-depth interviews per use case and per country. These interviews will identify the needs of the elderly with loss of autonomy and guide accordingly the development of ACCRA robotic solutions. Some of these respondents will be then integrated into the co-creation (Step 2) and/or experimentation(Step 3) process.
Apart from the needs analysis of the target user group, this step also includes a thorough analysis of the current situation in each pilot site from a local, regional or even national level, regarding robots and other technologies for ageing. Furthermore, it is important to know about the rules and regulations in each country that are relevant for AAL (Active Assisted Living Programme) and robotics, the way the health system is organized, and the way society perceives technology. These inputs are needed to make a good – cross-pilot – sustainability analysis (Step 4) of sociocultural, legal and organizational aspects.
Step 2 – Co-creation :
By placing users (i.e. elderly people with loss of autonomy and caregivers) in the centre of the innovation process, the aim of this step is to design a robotic solution and services offering that effectively meet their needs, expectations and uses. The purpose is to improve the robotic solution and services by proposing concrete optimization solutions, perceived as operational, both by the elderly people with loss of autonomy, family and professional caregivers as well as technology and robotics professionals. This provides a more complete representation of the problems, causes and possible solutions and allows to better respond to the problems of individuals by developing better solutions. Finally, this encourages the implementation of the solutions.
From the first prototypes developed by the consortium, a working group (co-creation group) is created per application and per pilot site. These co-creation groups will be working on the optimization of ACCRA robotic solutions and services platform to best meet the needs of the users. Primarily, these are the needs of the elderly people with loss of autonomy, but also family and professional caregivers needs are incorporated, because the use of robotics is also meant to complement their tasks.
Step 3 – Experimentation :
The experimentation consists in testing the robotics solutions in a real context by a larger group of end users. The aim of this phase is to evaluate our outcomes. Our primary outcomes’ goals for the experiment are quality of life and frailty. The secondary outcomes’ goal is to experiment institutionalization, user acceptance and satisfaction.
The experimentation is carried out in three pilot sites. The first two applications are tested at two pilots sites to allow for a cross-pilot and international comparison. It is expected that the applications will have local variations, because the co-creation process can lead to different requirements.
This phase is closed with analysis of the results. After each measurement, a data comparison will be done and lessons learnt from the experimental sites and resulting knowledge will be shared with the Consortium.
Step 4 – Sustainability analysis :
The last phase consists in defining the potential market for the robotics solutions, and assessing the large scale impact of up scaling robotics solutions on the health system. This phase includes several activities, all of which are aimed at better understanding the sustainability of the project’s results. ACCRA’s sustainability analysis phase is based on MAST (Model for Assessment of Telemedicine) elements including the assessment of transferability. It takes place for each of the three applications.
This analysis will serve the ambition of creating a set of application examples and making them available in a marketplace for robotics living lab ecosystems so that they can be reused for the creation of future mainstream solutions.
The aim of the Daily Life solution is to facilitate everyday life in the context of ageing, with a focus on household chores. The objectives of the application are to promote behaviours that support ageing well, such as decision-making, hydration and social links.
The socialisation solution focuses on conversation. The ACCRA application will explore and assess interactions schemes where user’s internal curiosity displayed in normal life is exercised during interactions.