Assistive Technologies for Healthy Living in Elders: Needs Assessment by Ethnography

Welcome to the ATHENE project pages


ATHENE Project Background

Telecare and telehealth are becoming increasingly important options to help support care at home for older people and those with long term conditions. The ATHENE project is examining the daily living needs of older people. The goal is to have a richer understanding of the complex and diverse living experiences and needs of older people. The project will also examine how industry, the NHS, social services and third sector can work with older people to 'co-produce' useful ALTs.

ATHENE Project Description

The project team will devise capacity building programmes for industry and service providers in user-centred design methods for ALTs and guidelines for planners and managers of ALT development projects and programmes.

ATHENE Project Objective

To facilitate effective planning and implementation of assisted living technology (ALT) programmes via partnership between academia, NHS, IT industry, social care and third sector.

ATHENE Project Progress

As of August 2013: Forty people aged 60-98 have been recruited via NHS, social care and third sector. Each was visited at home several times. Using ethnographic methods, we built a detailed picture of their lives, illness experiences and use (or non-use) of technologies.

We have taken forward 10 volunteer cases to explore how older people can work directly with ALT stakeholders to co-produce useful and useable technologies. We have run a total of 10 co-design workshops with service users, service providers and industry partners. The focus of the co-design workshops was to capture and share data on the challenges of involving people with multiple and complex assistive living needs in co-design activities with industry and health/social care providers.


ATHENE Project General Information

Project partners include:


Queen Mary, University of London: Trisha Greenhalgh, Joe Wherton, Sue Hinder,
Warwick University: Rob Procter.
NHS: Barts Health NHS Trust (London): Paul Sugarhood, Charlotte Pratt.


London Borough of Newham: Joanna Smith.


Tynetec (Blyth): Wendy Kendall.
Philips (Cambridge): David Walker.
Graphnet Health (Newport Pagnell): James Leeming.


Lancaster University: Mark Rouncefield,
gdewsbury: Guy Dewsbury.