Unprecedented Living Lab Approach: Technological Innovations for Paediatric Cancer Support System

Authors

  • Natacha Rosa i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9900-8851
  • Angela Carvalho i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
  • Flavia Santos i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
  • Ana Monteiro ACREDITAR - Associação de Pais e Amigos de Crianças com Cancro, Rua Académico Futebol Club 364, 4200-602 Porto, Portugal
  • Filipe Santos-Silva i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
  • Barbara Macedo i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6610-0475
  • Hugo Prazeres i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34190/ecie.18.2.1829

Keywords:

Living Lab, Paediatric, Oncology patients, Childhood cancer, Caregivers

Abstract

The paediatric oncology field still faces significant challenges, despite the substantial progress in childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment. Not only in terms of incidence and mortality rate reduction but also in terms of patients, their support system (e.g. family, school staff) and the cancer survivors’ well-being. The use of innovation has provided new forms to support the paediatric oncology community. As these solutions continue to emerge it is necessary to test and validate them based on the end-users’ specific needs. In this context, this article shares the ongoing work in the development of an unprecedented and unique Living Lab project. In this ecosystem, a paediatric oncology patients' physiological monitoring device, an app that combines technology and science with culture and arts to create mental health promotion solutions device, a virtual reality solution to help paediatric oncology patients manage pain via gamified environments and a methodology to diagnose difficulties in problem-solving that arise among parents and caregivers of children with cancer survivors, breakthroughs technologies where supported and leveraged during their participation in this Living Lab program. Considering the symbiotic interdependence between end-users empowered by Living Labs and the Living Labs’ success dependency on the end-users involvement and motivation, an original methodology for entrepreneurship fostering and innovation support based on end-user participants’ high involvement was proposed and evaluated. This methodology was based on interlinked and tailored sessions which were characteristically re-designed based on the stage of development of the proposed innovation, the technical support required and the end-users' needs and engagement level as well as the feedback obtained from previous activities. As a result of the complexity of the context in which the solutions are implemented and the changing openness and engagement of the end-users, the activities and sessions were constantly being created and customized. Although this is a work-in-progress, the tailored engagement program developed already allowed the value creation for all the participants and an efficient evaluation and validation of new end-user-centred solutions which will harness progress through their path to the market.

Author Biographies

Natacha Rosa, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

Dr Natacha Rosa a Bioengineer with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, specializes in Biomedical Engineering. Her extensive research spans multiple engineering disciplines. Leveraging her background, she now drives regional scientific engagement, bridging the gap between R&D and industry. With a proven track record as an innovation consultant and Industry-Clinic-Academic liaison, she fuels impactful technology transfer.

Angela Carvalho, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

Dr Angela Carvalho, Associate Researcher at i3S and INEB, holds a Biomedical Engineering degree from IPP (2009) and a Master's from FEUP. Her PhD, funded by FCT, focused on microfabricated surfaces for tissue regeneration. She developed microfluidic platforms for lung cancer biomarker detection with IPO-Porto and FCT's TRIMARKCHIP. She authored 24 publications and guided students.

Flavia Santos, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

Dr Flavia Santos, RESOLVE-Health Science Manager at i3S, turns health innovations into reality. With a Postdoc in Tech Innovation (INOVATEC/UEPB), she shaped the Tech Observatory for better decisions. Proficient in R&D project management, her research focuses on advanced biomaterials, surface modification, and polymers. Holds a Science and Material Engineering PhD in (UFCG), including time at CQM/UMa, Portugal.

Ana Monteiro, ACREDITAR - Associação de Pais e Amigos de Crianças com Cancro, Rua Académico Futebol Club 364, 4200-602 Porto, Portugal

Ana Monteiro is the Northern Region Manager at Associação Acreditar. With a Psychology Master's from the University of Porto, she coordinated national projects for pediatric cancer patients and survivors at Associação Acreditar. Her commitment for over 6 years reflects her dedication. The post-graduation from Instituto CRIAP adds to her expertise in child and adolescent intervention.

Filipe Santos-Silva, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

Dr Filipe Santos Silva is a researcher at the Communication Unit of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health. He received his PhD in Human Biology from University of Porto in 2000. He is the President of the European Association for Cancer Education. His main research is focused on develop innovative approaches to health education.

Barbara Macedo, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

Dr Barbara Macedo is an i3S Life Science Innovation and Knowledge Transfer Manager, skilled in valuing medical innovations. With a PhD from the University of Porto, she coordinates health contests and manages projects effectively. Bárbara's experience in research, clinical implementation, and health unit management, combined with her entrepreneurial background, drives impactful advancements in medical technology.

Hugo Prazeres, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen, 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

Dr Hugo Prazeres a Biology graduate from the University of Coimbra, holds a PhD in Biomedicine from the University of Porto. He co-founded a biotech company, gaining management and IP skills. Awarded for his research, including the European Society of Human Genetics' Young Investigator Award, Hugo focuses on technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and IP management.

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Published

2023-09-18