User-centred design of a robotic device for improving working conditions and user subjective perspective during patient-handling movements

Project objectives

The SAFE-MOVER project has the ambition to in-depth analyze the movements performed during patient handling and the interaction modalities between healthcare workers and patients during manual handling in order to: (i) investigate the main causes for musculoskeletal disorders, (ii) extract gesture descriptors for reproducing the correct movement with a robotic device, (iii) assess user subjective perspective, and (iv) design a new technology based on a user-centred approach for significantly reducing the risk and prevent the onset of such disorders while taking care of the patients’ perspective and their need for physical and social interaction with human operators.

The user needs, i.e. both patients and workers, during the handling action performed in different modalities (i.e. manually, with the help of small aids and by means of commercial handling devices) will be analyzed by means of an objective evaluation of  biomechanical and physiological parameters, such as posture, muscular activities, stress and physical exertion felt in different parts of the body.

The new technology will be progressively validated on healthy subjects, simulated patients, and at least one temporarily non-cooperative patient (who suffers from temporary motor impairment), in an application scenario arranged in the facilities of UCBM hospital. Performance of the overall SAFE-MOVER platform will be assessed by means of quantitative indicators and semi-qualitative tools aimed at evaluating the system effectiveness, functionality, safety and acceptability by the healthy subjects and patients.

Start/End Date

2019 - 2021

Principal Investigator

Prof. Loredana Zollo, Associate Professor in the Unit of Biomedical Robotics and BioMicroSystems

Host institution

Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome

Other Institutions involved

  • Unit of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Unit of Nursing Science

Source of funding

Bando University Strategic Projects, Topic: Healthcare 4.0