Future Care Lab

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Information doc: 

Future Care Lab, RWTH Aachen University, Theaterplatz 14, 52056 Aachen, Germany Prof. Dr. Martina Ziefle, ziefle@humtec.rwth-aachen.de, +49 241 8025511

Effective member: 


The Future Care Lab is an experimental space for studying users “life” at home and examining how they interact and communicate with invisible technology. It enables to explore how future homecare environments have to be designed such that they meet technical and medical requirements and at the same time satisfy fundamental user needs regarding data protection, dignity, and intimacy. Within the Future Care Lab, the development of user-centered smart healthcare technologies is realized by a truly multidisciplinary team of individuals coming from the fields of psychology, communication science, computer science, medicine, engineering, and architecture. The lab aims at developing novel, integrative models for the design of user-centered healthcare systems in the home domain. This vision includes new concepts of electronic monitoring systems within ambient living environments, which are suited to support persons individually (according to user profiles), adaptively (according to the course of disease), and sensitively (according to situation types and living conditions). The Future Care Lab provides a full-scale technical infrastructure to test various immersive systems. It consists of a simulated home environment, which allows researchers to use various prototype interfaces with test persons of different ages and health states. As the lab relies on a modular technical concept, it can be expanded with other technical products, systems and functionalities, in order to address different target user populations as well as individual users with differences in their cognitive, health-related or cultural needs. By this the lab has the potential to be sensibly adapted to new technical developments as well as societal changes and needs.   

References and Track Record

The Future Care Lab is part of the Human Technology Center at RWTH Aachen University, an interdisciplinary project house, funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments, in which high-level interdisciplinary research between social sciences, engineering and natural sciences is fostered. The Lab attracts both, international acting industrial partners as well as companies, which support the lab and its developments by funding, networking and technical expertise. The Future Care Lab was established as an open and integrative test bed for studying the acceptance of Ambient Assisted Living technologies and has close contact to clinics and hospitals in different European countries. The lab provides an intelligent care infrastructure, consisting of different mobile and integrated devices, for supporting elderly people in technology-enhanced home environment. The setup of the lab enables in-situ evaluations of new care concepts and medical technologies by observing different target user populations in realistic usage situations.