Toward user-centred prosthetics research beyond the laboratory

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The purpose of this study was to explore a range of perspectives on how academic research and clinical assessment of upper-limb prosthetics could happen in environments outside of laboratories and clinics, such as within peoples’ homes.

Two co-creation workshops were held, which included people who use upper limb prosthetic devices (hereafter called users), clinicians, academics, a policy stakeholder, and a representative from the upper-limb prosthetics industry (hereafter called professionals). The discussions during the workshops indicate that research and clinical assessment conducted remotely from a laboratory or clinic could inform future solutions that address user needs. Users were open to the idea of sharing sensor and contextual data from within their homes to external laboratories during research studies. However, this was dependent upon several considerations, such as choice and control over data collection. Regarding clinical assessment, users had reservations of how data may be used to inform future prosthetic prescriptions whilst, clinicians were concerned with resource implications and capacity to process user data.

The paper presents findings of the discussions shared by participants during both workshops. The paper concludes with a conjecture that collecting sensor and contextual data from users within their home environment will contribute toward literature within the field, and potentially inform future care policies for upper limb prosthetics. The involvement of users during such studies will be critical and can be enabled via a co-creation approach. In the short-term, this may be achieved through academic research studies, which may in the long-term inform a framework for clinical in-home trials and clinical remote assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number863833
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2022


  • upper limb prosthetics
  • co-creation
  • policy
  • Remote data
  • User-centred research


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