On 1 November 2017 the aHead project has started. In this two-year project, Focal Meditech BV, Roessingh, Center for Rehabilitation and Roessingh Research and Development work together on the development on an advanced and intuitive head support. The goal is to develop a system that enables the user to take control about the head position while ensuring appropriate and continued head stabilization. The development of the head support will based on insights from scientific research. The aHead project is, amongst others, made possible by a grant of ‘Revalidatiefonds’ (the Dutch Rehabilitation Foundation).

Individuals with impaired possibilities for head stabilization because of, for example, a muscular or neurological disease, are in need of a head support system that stabilizes the head. Currently available systems for head stabilization are predominantly static, which means that the head is stabilized in one fixed position. This consequently means that the head posture cannot be adapted to changing circumstances, environments and/or tasks. This inhibits a good interaction with the surrounding of the user of the head support.

Focal Meditech BV started the production of more dynamic systems several years ago. The development of these dynamic systems is predominantly based on field experience and the systems are not intelligent (intuitive). There, however, is a need for a system for the demanding end-user that has a higher degree of adaptability and is based on robot technology. The primary aim of the aHead project is the development of an intelligent head support with which the head position can be adapted to the users’ needs and to different activities of daily living. The development of the head support will be based on insights from scientific research. In addition, a group of potential end users and health care professionals will be involved from the start of the project to think along, participate, and assist in making critical design choices. With the project, Focal Meditech will work on the development of the required soft- and hardware of the intelligent head support. Roessingh Research and Development will execute the scientific research that is needed to enable the development. Roessingh, Center for Rehabilitation will act as project leader and provide the clinical input that is required for a successful completion of the project.

In case of questions or remarks, please contact Dr. Erik Prinsen via email (e.prinsen@rrd.nl) or phone (+31 88 875 5777).