Clinical evaluation of novel assistive technologies is of utmost importance, as this would help in making such technologies practical and ensuring that they suit the user’s requirements.
The purpose of this study is to develop a new methodology for the addition of user and user’s life centered clinical evaluation of assistive technologies (ULCEAT) to conventional evaluation methods. The proposed ULCEAT methodology consists of two steps: evaluation by rehabilitation professionals and evaluation by potential users. These evaluations were performed to identify target users and to ensure the effective use of new assistive technologies (ATs); the evaluations were based primarily on qualitative research involving the rehabilitation professionals and the potential users.
The methodology was demonstrated by using it for the clinical evaluation of Roboticbed®, which was developed by the Panasonic Corporation.
The effective use of Roboticbed® was confirmed on the basis of the results, and three target user types were identified. The validity of this methodology was further confirmed by a user evaluation of Roboticbed® in an experimental environment.
The findings of this study will be used to help conduct conventional clinical evaluations for novel and prototype ATs.