Purpose: The Living Lab concept of a collaborative setup for users to shape technology and its applications can generate new understandings of future business opportunities1. However, implementing Living Lab concepts requires a very open approach that sometimes contradicts a company's specific business model. Our project uses the concept of Living Labs to create a systematic and participatory approach to providing health care and strengthening community ties in tribal areas. This is, in fact, a regional planning project. Its open innovation platform incorporates three core functions: putting an IT platform for healthcare management in place, providing medical devices for home care through existing eldercare services, and situating communication devices to make daily life more convenient and facilitate tribal community building2-4. Method: We are establishing an experimental field for smart technologies designed to assist indigenous elderly in Nan-ao Township in cooperation with Saint Mary's Hospital Luodong, the Health Bureau of Yilan County, leading tele-care companies, the health care device industry, tribal leaders and community health networks. A university-based community partnership serves as a mediator, reducing health gaps in the region. Empowerment and user-driven innovation are key concepts to develop new service and business models. Research team members, working with tribal device users, design ICT products through a mutually supportive, participatory approach. At the same time, an innovative, foundational platform for promoting community health will be established by all stake holders in this indigenous tribe5. Eight community leaders and around 30 residents have taken part in this project. Results & Discussion: We designed a Living Lab with an e-learning platform to link social networking activity, detailed oral history data archives, and health promotion/rehabilitation activities with health data collections. The data collections were organized through health-related activities, coordinated mainly by the research team and the tribal association leaders. In this system, the community becomes a basic unit for developing self-sustained business and distributing neighborhood health information. Such neighborhoods may turn out to be both mobilization units and Living Labs for gathering data on local culture and eco-region planning.
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