Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

FIT decision aid: Living longer independently at home with dementia

Project FIT: Development and evaluation of a decision aid for supporting people with dementia to live longer independently at home through product and service solutions

FIT project aimed to support people with dementia and their informal caregivers to find products and services that can help them live independently at home for longer. The consortium partners developed a digital decision aid that supports them in identifying their needs and offers tailor-made advice about existing product and service solutions that can alleviate those needs.

The coming years will see a sharp increase in the number of people with dementia. In 2040, one in four Dutch people will be over 65 years old; after the age of 65 the chance to get dementia doubles every 5 years. The supply of care and welfare services and ICT tools to support dementia has also grown strongly in the recent years, but also has become very fragmented. The wide range of services is not optimally used (van der Roest, 2009). There is a clear need for a means that can help people with dementia and caregivers to find out the available and relevant support according to their needs and wishes.

FIT decision aid was developed through a design thinking process in which the consortium partners closely worked with people with dementia, informal caregivers, and care professionals to capture design requirements. The project is a collaboration between two design research institutes, three research institutes in healthcare, three care organisations, and an SME in the Netherlands, and has three living labs where the decision aid was tested.

The project has yielded a tested prototype of the decision aid and an evaluation of the products and services offered by the aid. The outcomes of the various steps in the design process also led to additional outcomes that were relevant to the practice, such as an “experience booklet”, the FIT card set, a care technology market, 30 training sessions for care professionals and informal caregivers, and a rental service for the products offered.