The purpose of this study is to develop a new methodology for the comprehensive clinical evaluation of novel assistive technologies. The proposed methodology involves four steps: evaluation by rehabilitation professionals, evaluation by potential users in a simple setting, evaluation by users in an experimental environment, and evaluation by users in a real-life environment. In this paper, details of the first step of the methodology are provided. The aim of the first step of our evaluation is to identify the target users and ensure effective use of the novel assistive technology. This evaluation is mainly based on qualitative research intended for rehabilitation professionals. The effectiveness of this methodology has been demonstrated by using it for the clinical evaluation of “Robotic Bed” developed by Panasonic Corporation. On the basis of the results, three target potential users are identified, and the manner in which “Robotic Bed” can be put to effective use was confirmed. The findings of this study can be used to set the experimental conditions for the second step of the proposed methodology, i.e., evaluation by the envisioned users.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 email@example.com