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Open AccessArticle

HabITec: A Sociotechnical Space for Promoting the Application of Technology to Rehabilitation

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The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Qld (MHIQ), Griffith University Nathan Campus, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
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Metro South Health (Division of Rehabilitation, Dept of Occupational Therapy & Spinal Outreach Team), Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102, Australia
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Griffith Centre for Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering (GCoRE), Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Parklands, QLD 4560, Australia
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Griffith Centre for Design and Innovation Research (CDAIR), Griffith University, South Bank Campus, QLD 4101, Australia
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Innovative Design and Emerging Applications Lab, School of ICT, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Nathan, QLD 4109, Australia
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Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Parklands, QLD 4560, Australia
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National Director of Healthcare, Microsoft Australia, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2019, 9(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9040074
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 27 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 5 November 2019
Society is currently facing unprecedented technological advances that simultaneously create opportunities and risks. Technology has the potential to revolutionize rehabilitation and redefine the way we think about disability. As more advanced technology becomes available, impairments and the environmental barriers that engender disability can be significantly mitigated. The opportunity to apply technology to rehabilitation following serious injuries or illnesses is becoming more evident. However, the translation of these innovations into practice remains limited and often inequitable. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that not all relevant parties are involved in the decision-making process. Our solution was to create a sociotechnical system, known as HabITec, where people with disabilities, practitioners, funders, researchers, designers and developers can work together and co-create new solutions. Sociotechnical thinking is collaborative, interdisciplinary, adaptive, problem-solving and focused on a shared set of goals. By applying a sociotechnical approach to the healthcare sector, we aimed to minimize the lag in translating new technologies into rehabilitation practice. This collaborative co-design process supports innovation and ensures that technological solutions are practical and meaningful, ethical, sustainable and contextualized. In this conceptual paper, we presented the HabITec model along with the empirical evidence and theories on which it has been built. View Full-Text
Keywords: assistive technology; rehabilitation; disability; independent living; sociotechnical design assistive technology; rehabilitation; disability; independent living; sociotechnical design
MDPI and ACS Style

Kendall, E.; Oh, S.; Amsters, D.; Whitehead, M.; Hua, J.; Robinson, P.; Palipana, D.; Gall, A.; Cheung, M.; Potter, L.E.; Smith, D.; Lightfoot, B. HabITec: A Sociotechnical Space for Promoting the Application of Technology to Rehabilitation. Societies 2019, 9, 74.

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