Technology and innovative solutions are making more and more a difference in our society as well as in paediatric rehabilitation. In fact, in some cases technologies and innovative solutions could improve rehabilitation practices in complementary with traditional approaches. However, most initiatives in this area relevant to our community are still mostly from local/regional initiatives, and which kind of technologies and innovations exactly are used, or not used, in paediatric rehabilitation at the moment is still rather unknown. Therefore, this Task Force aims to develop a vision at the European level by making visible the needs for people with childhood-onset disabilities and by promoting innovation targeted on this group.
Tasks & Actions
To address the aims of the EACD Technology & Innovation Task Force four work packages have been identified:
Work Package 1: ‘Innovation for participation’ will be a continuation of the current ongoing efforts kicked off at EACD Paris 2019 via among other the Hackathon initiative. Work Package 1 will focus on how to co-express ones needs between health care professionals, families and engineers, and to identify the needs for a better participation. Partners in this Work Package 1 are BEaCHILD (France), The European Patients' Forum (EPF), and various users and family members across Europe, with EACD as a strong facilitator and visible Partner.
Work Package 2 ‘Innov4Child’ entails a consortium aiming to accelerate innovation for people with childhood-onset disabilities at European level. This will be attempted through the co-creation of 3 European communities: Families, Health care professionals, and Engineers. Current partners within this consortium are La Fondation Paralysee Cerebrale (France), BEaCHILD (France), CanCHILD (Canada), Utrecht University (Netherlands), EPF, EPFL (Switzerland), SERMAS (Madrid), leanovate (Ireland), and EACD. The role of the EACD will take up the role of Core partner in this, building the “European Health Care professionals Community”, and in Europe-wide communication and dissemination. Two different phases are identified in Work Package 2. Phase 1 focuses on the Co-creation of educational tools on how to partner. Phase 2 will focus on setting up an e-Platform to engage at a macro-scale level.
Work Package 3: ‘EACD RehaTech4Child Survey' will involve a European-wide survey to identify which technologies are currently being used across Europe, and which facilitators and barriers exist in respect to the use of these technologies. EACD will be a co-leader partner with BEaCHILD, in the governance through the Chair of the EACD Scientific Committee, and further supported via specific GMC members and EACD National Coordinators.
Work Package 4: ‘Engagement and awareness’ focuses on creating and strengthening structural, sustainable and integrated networks across Europe, and to provide the opportunities for dissemination of new technologies and innovations via conferences, symposia, blogs, publications, etc. Furthermore, Work Package 4 will include the organization of new hackathons dedicated to individuals with a childhood-onset disability. EACD will have a role here as a visible partner, facilitating and promoting an integrated network for technology and innovation in the area of childhood disability. Part of this Work Package also includes the launch of the 'EACD Technology & Innovation Award' as recurrent Meeting Award at EACD Annual Meetings to celebrate excellence in the development of innovative products and technologies for the benefit of people with childhood-onset disabilities.
Sylvain Brochard, MD, PhD
Professor of Pediatric Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine University Hospital of Brest, European University of Brittany
Christelle Pons, MD, PhD
Pediatric Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Elegast Monbaliu, PT, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurorehabilitation Research Group
The EACD Technology & Innovation Task Force is accountable to the EACD General Management Committee for the stated duties and responsibilities.