PROLONG is a project that designs and manufactures a portable device that can be worn or carried by the user and will be able to perform gait analysis, detect conditions of possible danger and generate an alert. The design, test and validation are done by constant involvement of final users that interact with PROLONG prototypes in various stages of the development and provide feedback.
The first workshop for PROLONG system and their end-users was performed on November 2020, in Thessaloniki, Greece. Due to COVID-19 pandemic the consortium decided not to perform face-to-face sessions, but instead the participants received a 1st prototype of the PROLONG device in their houses by courier.
After receiving the packages, AUTH facilitators communicated with users in order to discuss their views. As previously mentioned, the PROLONG prototype was a 3d copy device that resembles the developing device and used at this stage of the project to explore future end-users (middle-aged/older people) requirements, regarding their needs, priority outcomes , views and concerns about risky situations associated with gait, as well as their preferences and expectations from the developing system. The participants were also asked to try the PROLONG device in their clothes and provide feedback , regarding its usability.
All the participants were very keen to participate and exchange their opinions. Some participants become very creative and provided ideas of where to place the device. They even made handmade cases, belts or sew the device in their clothes. The participants liked the idea of automatically monitoring outdoor movement and understand abnormal situation without having to push a button.