A rehab lab (rehabilitation laboratory) is a fab lab (a fabrication laboratory) where people with a disability can design their own assistive devices using 3D printing. The REHAB-LAB 4U initiative started in 2016 in Kerpape, Brittany, one of the biggest rehabilitation centres in France. The initiative is now expanding all over Europe, thanks to the support of DigitalHealthEurope.
In September 2019 came the good news: the REHAB-LAB 4U project was one of the winners of the call for twinnings launched by DigitalHealthEurope1. In January 2020, the initiative kicked off in Kerpape with a first training gathering together project partners from Italy, Belgium, and Denmark.
The fab lab concept, which started up some twenty years ago, is a central aspect in the REHAB-LAB 4U twinning. A fab lab consists of a small-scale workshop that offers a digital fabrication facility, knowledge, and tools sharing based on a Do It Yourself approach. In a rehab lab, people with a disability take the leading role in their own rehabilitation process, using three-dimensional (3D) printing in a facilitated environment.
All twinnings are composed of an “originator” and “adopters”. In the REHAB-LAB 4U twinning, the Kerpape centre is the “originator”. It aims to transfer the Rehab-lab model to a set of three “adopters”. The adopters are the University Hospital of Liège (Belgium), the University of Modena (Italy), and the city of Aarhus (Denmark). The adopters all have different backgrounds and cultures, and are enthusiastic about reaching a common goal: creating an operational rehab-lab by the end of 2020.
The partners are eager to be part of a European community sharing the same philosophy. The REHAB-LAB 4U twinning wants to establish a charter which will provide a framework to share values and processes about citizen and patient involvement. They will launch an on-line platform in the early months of 2020 for other interested parties from all over Europe to join the community.
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