Every year in the Netherlands, 53,000 frail elderly people are admitted to a geriatric rehabilitation centre for a short period of time. Upon returning home, their rehabilitation is often scaled down and taken over by an outpatient counselling programme or primary care. A large proportion of these frail elderly people experience a decline in physical functioning and self-reliance at home. They benefit from intensive care in terms of nutrition and exercise.

Mr illi

There are currently about 290,000 people living with dementia in the Netherlands, more than 200,000 of whom live at home. According to Alzheimer Nederland, they are cared for by their close family and/or environment (informal carers). There are about 800,000 people in the Netherlands who care for someone with dementia. The new prototype Mr illi helps to increase quality of life and autonomy for as many people with dementia as possible. In addition, Mr illi relieves care professionals and informal carers. In this way, it ensures that people with dementia can continue to live (independently) at home for as long as possible, which also reduces healthcare costs.


Chronic joint disorders are common conditions that patients come to the physiotherapist or exercise therapist with. They cause problems in daily functioning due to pain and reduced mobility. Cure is often not possible, but promoting self-management can prevent exacerbation. The use of online applications, including mobile applications, and online platforms, aimed at promoting self-management can support patients with chronic joint disorders.

It takes a village to grow old

This research is about AI-based art interventions for the benefit of neighborhood for people with dementia. Social contacts and encounters in the neighborhood are important for the people who live there. It also encourages community residents to live together and, in particular, people with early dementia. Artificial Intelligence artworks are rich in interaction and promote social contact, but in practice many dilemmas often arise where democratic participation is at stake. The project 'It takes a village to grow old' emphasizes the importance of working together with citizens on a dementia-friendly neighbourhood.

Who Takes Care?

'Who Takes Care?' includes the development of an Intelligent Healthcare Environment that supports healthcare professionals. The problem addressed by this research project is the high workload of care professionals in dementia care. Due to an increase in the number of elderly people with dementia, the demand for care is increasing, while the shortage of care professionals is growing. This workload can be greatly reduced by using smart technological innovations such as an Intelligent Care Environment. An Intelligent Care Environment uses sensor techniques and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver personalized care by identifying and responding to care needs.


The industrial revolution happened, and it’s over. Yet, design practice is stuck in the past and struggles to reconcile human values and algorithmic logics into socially, economically and politically sustainable models. We lack the knowledge, skills and roles within companies or organisations to design for interaction with autonomous technologies in ways actually beneficial to humankind, and thus to responsibly anticipate and steer this transformation. Imagining and manifesting alternative futures has to be a proactive effort.

Social Robotics in PsychoGeriatrics

This research builds on insights gained over the past two years during the NZA Pilot project 'Social Robotics in Eldercare'. That project focused on the needs, acceptance and sustainable use of robotics in geriatric care. The goals: supporting care professionals in their daily activities, reducing the (perceived) high workload, lowering costs, and for the client promoting own direction, well-being and (sense of) safety.


'Social Robotics to Support COVID-19 Learning Disabilities'. The COVID-19 measures have a major impact on how children are educated worldwide. Dutch children also had to make the switch in the first lockdown from physical to digital education. During the second lockdown, education and interaction between teachers and students was again mainly via screens. The purpose of this application is to build on an already existing application by (further) developing social robotics as a learning tool to support teachers and students in the upper years, namely groups 6, 7 and 8, of primary education to gain insight into an increase in accumulated learning disadvantages due to COVID-19 measures in math education among students.


The most important advice to overweight 55+ people with type 2 diabetes is to lose weight. To support them in this, the lectorate of Nutrition and Exercise of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences - Faculty of Movement, Sport and Nutrition - developed the lifestyle program 2Do. This program focuses on losing weight with muscle maintenance through strength training and a healthy diet with protein-rich foods. The RIVM recognized 2Do as a lifestyle intervention in 2022. In the follow-up project 2Do2Digital, researchers are digitizing the lifestyle intervention so that upon completion, participants can carry out a customized follow-up program independently or with minimal supervision.


Digital nature can contribute to feelings of connectedness for frail elderly people and thus can combat social isolation and loneliness. However, preferences for specific nature scenes are very context-dependent. The goal of this research is to integrate the knowledge gained from the 'Growing Roots' project into a working prototype in which the autonomy of the user (and related needs) can be safeguarded through variation in scenes and explicit choices regarding type of environment and navigation options.


Preventing obesity, sarcopenia, and Sarcopenic Obesity in retirement – digital personalized interventions for healthy NUTrition and physical activity for Seniors (SO-NUTS). This research project is about prevention of unhealthy weight gain and obesity during crucial phases throughout the lifespan. The aging population faces two conditions that threaten healthy aging: high fat mass (obesity) and low muscle mass and function (sarcopenia). The combination of both– referred to as sarcopenic obesity– synergistically increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. The two conditions often co-occur as they reinforce each other and share common etiologies, mainly poor nutrition and inactivity.


Digital information support for parents of very and moderately preterm born children awarded for further development and expansion of the ToP programme. The ToP program is a national evidence-based intervention for very preterm children (<32 weeks gestation) and their parents, aimed at improving parent-child interaction and the development of the preterm child.


Toys4Therapy aims to research the use of interactive toys in muscle control therapy of children with a spastic hand. Existing therapies focus on repetitive movements that children find to be monotonous and uninviting, resulting in a lack of motivation to execute them. Thus, there is a great need for therapies that can mitigate the symptoms of cerebral palsy while being playful and motivating.

Social Robotics in Eldercare

Moving and Interacting? Is that possible with Social Robots? Over the past two years, care robot Karel has lent a hand in various geriatric rehabilitation and psycho-geriatric departments of ZorgAccent. The residents have spoken, moved, practiced and evaluated a lot with the robot. Would you like to know more about this research? Contact the Digital Life researchers involved: Somaya Ben Allouch, Lamia Elloumi or Mats Otten. Are you interested in the robot, look at


This project is about Collaborative Practices of Digitally Reaching Out (Co-PRODIGY). It explores creative and participatory research methods for wellbeing in times of physical distance.

Digital Trust Infrastructure

This project focuses on the question: 'How can a data-driven approach to social issues lead to an improvement in quality of life, more safety and innovation?' Specifically, it is about being able to share information conditionally in emergency situations. Which data exchange scenarios are possible and especially desirable? This is being worked on in a broad consortium including the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam-Amstelland Safety Region and the National Police. Citizen participation and public values - such as transparency, data control and people first - play a leading role.

Bartiméus Impact Project

Within the 'Innovation' program, Bartiméus - an organization for people who are blind or partially sighted - is active on several projects and themes. This is also done in collaboration with the Digital Life research group of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The activities for the innovation projects are diverse, as they are carried out throughout the Netherlands by different customer groups within Bartiméus and different target groups/ types of people also participate in these activities. In order to achieve more impact with such innovation projects, our Digital Life Centre, together with Bartiméus, will research relevant impact factors in 2021.

e-Health Users Guild

In the eHealth Users Guild, entrepreneurs work together with the elderly, family and carers on the successful deployment and marketing of modern supporting technology. The project offers an open work and learning environment in which we experience, co-create and integrate innovative eHealth applications towards the desired culture change and care innovation.

Modular Online Platform

Within 'People in Movement' (in Dutch 'Mensen in Beweging' | MiB), researchers are looking at how they can motivate risk groups to adopt a healthier lifestyle with the help of creative technology. When writing research applications, they often run into the problem that developing an application costs a lot of time and money. The project team involved is therefore building a modular online platform, so that researchers can deploy an application more quickly in future MiB projects.

Growing Roots - Connecting Elderly through Virtual Nature

Loneliness among the elderly is a growing problem with major consequences for health and well-being. Contact with nature can counteract these feelings and encourage pro-social behaviour, but the opportunities for people to visit nature are often limited by reduced mobility and self-reliance. This project investigates the requirements and functionalities with regard to a digital nature environment to combat loneliness without the intensive intervention of care staff and caregivers.

Co-Well: Co-Creative methods for wellbeing at a distance

With the Corona pandemic, physical, social and mental well-being are under pressure. Digital solutions can help to support and bridge distances. However, vulnerable groups in particular run the risk of being digitally excluded. Moreover, face-to-face research and co-creation is now difficult in the new distant society that is brought on by the Corona pandemic. For example in the case of doing face-to-face study and observations in healthcare institutions. The aim of this research is to develop new physical, participatory and co-creative research methods for 'well-being' at a distance.

BAAT needs: Tailor-made exercise

Physical exercise is essential for promoting and restoring the physical independence of the elderly. This project focuses on creative user-centred design research for supporting elderly in tailor-made (digital) exercise that best fits their individual needs. A co-creative kit has been developed for the remote investigation of the needs and preferred exercise solution during COVID-19 in context.

BEST - Beyond the Evaluation Standards of Today

In healthcare, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are currently the standard for measuring the effectiveness of all types of interventions. However, this is not optimal for eHealth interventions, because the technological developments and experiences of users continue during the RCT. In this project we investigate which methods are better suited for the evaluation of eHealth interventions.

FAIR: No words but data

This project explores the more efficient and better use of data by applying the FAIR principles: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The focus in this project is on learning how to apply the FAIR principles and exploring the implementation within the People in Movement (MiB) / Urban Vitality program. In view of the recent circumstances, we also pay attention to the development of FAIR data with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic.

De interactieve woonkamer - Guiding Environment

This project aims to develop an interactive living room that helps people with dementia to live independently for longer. Stimulating the ability to independently perform General Daily Operations (ADL) is the most important focus area in maintaining and increasing the quality of life of this group. The interactive living room to be developed aims to support and stimulate this ADL, mobility and orientation.

Living well with osteoarthritis study

The Health Monitor of GGD Amsterdam shows that osteoarthritis is the most common condition. Osteoarthritis causes limitations in daily functioning. People with osteoarthritis tend to do less and are less active than the "healthy" elderly population. At the moment, there are no Dutch online self-management programs that specifically target people with osteoarthritis. This group mainly needs information and support - aimed at self-management. The question is how professionals and creative digital tools can best help with this.

Playful Data-driven Active Urban Living (PAUL)

The project 'Playful Data-driven Active Urban Living’ (PAUL) project focuses on how the physical activity of urban dwellers can be encouraged through the use of personalized app technology. In a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, the Federal University of Sao Paulo and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, a team of researchers develops data-driven methods to encourage people to be physically active, for example through feedback on physical activity, motivating messages or games. The project is conducted by a multidisciplinary team from movement science, psychology, artificial intelligence and computer science.

The blended E-ToP program - preliminary research

The ToP program is an intervention for very preterm infants and their parents, aimed at improving parent-child interaction and child development. Parents indicate that they need more information, where a digital solution could help - also to better meet the needs of different groups of parents.


Stimulating and maintaining an active lifestyle is vital to the large group of older people with early functional limitations. The Digital Life Centre develops digital support for a home-training program.

EyeBeacons: Wayfinding in Public Spaces

The EyeBeacons project investigated how new technologies can help people with a visual impairment to navigate in urban space. More specific, we focused on beacon technology, smartphone and smartwatch and different types of feedback (audio/visual/tactile).


The aim of the Simba research is to make children with asthma move with pleasure and confidence. If you enjoy doing something, you will sooner do that more often. That is why we have created the Foxfit app together with children with asthma, which they use to learn how to exercise more in a fun way.

Revealing design: Data physicalization for the 21st century

Can you touch data? How long does a train need to be to have 1 million YouTube-members travel at the same time? The Amsterdam University of Applied sciences (HvA), the Waag Society and students from the St. Jan school together will investigate and create fun and interesting data physicalizations. Those are Physical representations of big data, that you can really actively see and touch instead of on a screen or in a book.

Smart agents for empowerment

This project aims to develop a model with its supplementary design tools and methods for designing smart products for human empowerment. By following a research-through-design methodology, the project intends to tackle which forms, intelligence and behaviors respond to the needs of users and contexts, and under which conditions and to what extent the users are willing to delegate control to smart products.


Co-Care-IT focuses on the iterative development of a system for supporting the care between informal and formal care providers. User-Centred Design is central to this project.


Most of the revalidation after hip surgery is done by patients themselves at home. Within the Hipper project a new protocol for revalidation after hip surgery will be developed that includes sensor technology. The protocol will give patients and caregivers more insight in the progress of the revalidation. This increases the self-management of the patients and allows caregivers to provide a more efficient and effective, personalized treatment.

Smart Play Sets

Every child has it’s own learning curve and pace in acquiring motor skills. It is important to detect children with motor development problems in time, to initiate appropriate therapy. The Smart Play Sets project studies whether it is possible to develop games that detect children with motor development problems.


FIT: Personalized support for people with dementia for independent living


Estimating the risk of falling is important for a targeted intervention to prevent falls. The BRAVO project studies new technologies to estimate the risk of falling in realistic environments. It also studies the acceptance of such technology.


Maintaining an active lifestyle is good for our health, but not everybody can find the motivation to exercise. Within the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences project BAMBEA we research how beacons with a smartphone app can be used to give motivate outdoor exercise.


The area around the Olympic stadion in Amsterdam is filled with sport accommodations. This sporting area is known as the Sportas. The Sportas contains outdoor facilities to facilitate bootcamp exercises. These facilities are free to use and require low maintenance. Currently the Sportas together with the municipality of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences are evaluating how much these facilities are used using a custom sensor system.

Smart Systems for Smart Services

What are the opportunities for sensor technology? Small and medium enterprises and other institutions will benefit from the use of new technologies that measure people's activities. The Smart Systems for Smart Services project meets their demand for detailed insights in this area.

Sense in the city

The creative industry develops products and services in the urban environment in which knowledge about a) location, b) behaviour and c) mood of the user is essential. Often this knowledge is accumulated by human researchers performing observational studies, in which the gathering of large amounts of data and real-time measurements are impossible.


BiebBeep is an interactive display developed for the Almere Public Library. It displays a constant stream of RSS feeds, Flickr photos, YouTube videos and Twitter feeds. All its content is related to the library or to the (cultural) area of Almere. The aim of the project is to strengthen the informational and social function of the new Almere Library and to allow visitors to have more influence on the public space.

Look! A healthy neighbourhood

Slotermeer is a neighbourhood in the Amsterdam district of New-West with a low socio-economic status. The most prominent problems in the area are related to obesity and mental health. The project Kijk! Een gezonde wijk aims to improve the well-being of the residents of Slotermeer area by giving them an active role in mapping out the physical and social problems at the district, which will be used as a basis for devising solutions together with the residents.

Virtual Worlds for Well-being

Well-being is important for both young and old, and in this digital technologies can play a role. This project focuses on the use of virtual worlds and sensors.

Internet of Touch

IoT is a valorization of the research project Touch (virtual worlds for well being). Within IoT we continue to develop the hardware and software as a market-ready product. We focus on researchers in communication sciences and the care of deaf-blind people.


As the Dutch population ages, the demand for elderly care continues to grow. Proper communication can relieve the pressure on caregivers and ensure a balanced distribution between institutional care and personal caregiving. In the Care4Balance project an ICT system is being developed to mediate communication among all the parties involved in caregiving.

Sensei: Sensor Based Engagement for Improved Health

Exercise is important for staying healthy; people who exercise regularly and stay active are less likely to take ill. However, with all of todays modern technology, physical activity is seldom required and therefore easy to neglect.

Activity (change) Recognition

This PhD research is about the recognition of (changes in) the daily activities of elderly people living independently. Changes in activities are recognized from sensor data from sensor networks installed in the homes of volunteers (the so called Living Labs). Advanced probabilistic models are used in this process.

Sensormonitoring de Blarickhof

This is part of a larger study investigating both the applications and the effects of sensor monitoring on independently living elderly. In this study, simple sensors placed in the living quarters are utilised to monitor the activities of the residents. Information about their daily routine is acquired in this fashion.


Innovation in healthcare is not without challenge. New technology and proper care do not often go hand in hand. Nevertheless, steps will need to be made in the near future to realise innovation, in part by new technology, in collaboration with healthcare organisations, educational institutions and research and innovation companies.


As part of the European project CitySDK the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is working together with the City of Amsterdam, the Waag Society and eight European partner cities towards improving the accessibility and application of data in the Mobility, Tourism and Participation sectors.


With intelligent cameras, it is now possible to capture images adequate for motion analysis without requiring body worn sensors. These ambient sensing technologies have enormous potential for innovation in healthcare products (eHealth applications).

Beyond Glass

In certain situations the elderly can experience insufficient amounts of physical activity. Several projects involving the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences work on finding a solution to this problem.