Living Lab ActivAgeing


Dimitri Voilmy, 

Université de Technologie de Troyes, 12 rue Marie Curie CS 42060¸10004 TROYES

Telephone +33(0) 3 25 71 76 00

Fax +33(0) 3 25 71 76 76


LL2A is a participatory design laboratory, which innovates – together with the users – in the domain of services and technologies promoting health and autonomy of the elderly. The involvement of "peers" in every step of the innovation undertaken by the living lab is an essential component of the system. The close link between all actors in the value chain offers significant advantages in the field of elderly autonomy. The participatory ecosystem of LL2A consists of: active elderly, frail elderly, health care providers, family members, health professionals, biomedical research companies, health insurance companies, and entrepreneurs.

The living laboratory promotes user involvement in the development of innovative technologies and services that facilitate autonomy and avoid frailty in older citizens via two methods:

- Iterative development

The ecosystem of autonomy differs depending on the context in which the user resides, either at home or in a residential facility. The focus of LL2A is exclusively centred on community dwelling context, with a focus on innovative technologies for elderly wellbeing and security. The iterative development adopted by LL2A involves a large group of actors who will all participate in the development of technologies and services for the elderly at risk of losing physical and/or social autonomy. These actors include health professionals involved in a gerontological network as well as non-professionals. User driven innovation offers significant timesaving in terms of the design of technologies and services as well as access to the market, by means of a continuous evaluation and improvement of solutions.

- Participatory design

Health and autonomy of older people is a demanding domain of intervention in terms of acceptability and use of technologies that can aid in living and ageing well. Within the Champagne-Ardenne region, LL2A has developed a user-centred approach to design and evaluate solutions that support autonomy. The “user” can be the older person, the health professional, the carer, the family member, or the entire ecosystem. LL2A brings together primary and secondary users, industrial research, and scientific institutes, with the aim of

facilitating scientific research and application-driven solutions. Accordingly, the members of LL2A include an elderly end-user organisation, a centre for social prevention, home-care providers, and the local council directly responsible for the organisation of care for the elderly in the local area. These organisations will contribute to participant recruitment and grant access to a large community of potential users.

LL2A specialises in:

- Evaluating the social appropriation of technological solutions for health and autonomy of the elderly,

- Designing technologies for all types of end users to improve and support actions of care and surveillance.

- Social interaction and added value

The concept of "social" is at the centre of the approach developed to understand the acceptability of technologies to support ageing well.

Firstly, both prevention and social action centres work closely with LL2A in a holistic approach to ageing well. This idea of continuous prevention takes into account the medical, the psychological and most importantly the social aspects of ageing. The care relationship with professionals visiting the home is studied in context according to the category of caregiver, for example, by studying in situ the role of the nurse. In addition, understanding the work of home service professionals such as housekeepers enables questions concerning the complexity of activities related to healthy and active ageing to be addressed.

Secondly, natural caregivers are also integrated into the LL2A ecosystem. Indeed, it is essential to identify the real participation of people of the neighbourhood that occurs as a complement to that of the family circle. This involvement in the lives of the elderly is observed in two dimensions: moral support and material assistance. In LL2A, the close entourage can be extended to shopkeepers, building superintendents and even social relations created, for instance, with pharmacists.

- Organisational innovation

LL2A contains an assemblage of various skills and competences. The LL2A environment is composed of "clusters" of companies, healthcare stakeholders, and research laboratories. Interdisciplinary collaboration is emphasised, ensuring that bridges between technological // social // economic // health approaches can be built. Such an ecosystem is favourable for developing innovation through usage, with the shared objective of providing daily support to the elderly.

The key elements in the success of LL2A are:

Field studies: Acquisition of physiological and biomechanical signals, coupled with an analysis of social interactions, thus ensuring that all aspects of ageing and the onset of frailty can be fully understood.

Prototyping: Usefulness, accessibility and acceptability of technological solutions for the elderly and healthcare and home service professionals, are tested early through prototypes, with iterative improvements developed.

Ethnographic observations: Specific user needs and constraints for the technology or service developed will be observed initially in the controlled environment of the LL2A platform, before on observation phase in situ, in homes, as well as in prevention and care centres, with the solutions integrated in subsequent iterations.