Technology for people: internship report from the VKKJ Strebersdorf Outpatient Clinic

The Bachelor in Smart Homes & Assistive Technologies cooperates with the VKKJ Strebersdorf Outpatient Clinic – a student reports on his internship at the junction between therapy and technology. Further internships are possible.

The VKKJ Strebersdorf Outpatient Clinic supports children and adolescents with special needs or developmental disorders. The Smart Homes & Assistive Technologies degree has been cooperating with this institution since spring 2017. In spring 2018, a student completed his mandatory vocational internship in the outpatient clinic for the first time. Here is the report by Gregor Maier:

In the course of the cooperation with the VKKJ Strebersdorf Outpatient Clinic, I was allowed to work together with a family in fall 2017 already to develop an assistive technology solution for one of the children receiving care. I then had the opportunity to do my vocational internship at the UAS Technikum Wien in cooperation with the VKKJ. At the start of the internship, I had the opportunity to familiarize myself with the day-to-day operations in the Strebersdorf Outpatient Clinic at close quarters for two weeks.

While observing patients receiving various forms of treatment, I was able to get an overview of the range of children and adolescents here and establish initial contacts with them, their parents and the treatment staff. Based on the observations and feedback from the therapists, I was able to get an overview of the technical and personal requirements for potential assistive technology solutions. I am currently working on the development of customized solutions for individual, selected patients.    

The picture shows the demo system on a rollable table. The screen shows the user interface of the AsTeRICS Ergo environmental control system, which has been configured to operate the air conditioning system, a radio and other devices. This can be operated by head movement (camera mouse), eye control (bottom of screen), lip or finger joystick (FLipMouse, right) or external button (FABI, bottom) (www.asterics-academy.net/tools)

From a technical point of view, alternative input devices such as button interfaces, low-cost eye control devices and software programs that enable patients to interact/communicate better with their environment are particularly relevant for my work. The focus here is on the effective benefit and gain in autonomy for the user himself.

Moreover, one of my tasks is to equip the local ADL area with AsTeRICS Ergo, a cost-effective system for environmental control developed at the UAS Technikum Wien, along with other assistive technology devices. The additional equipment for the ADL room enables the therapists to train the use of the technology together with the patients, with the aim that the patients can independently operate the lights, radio or television in their homes. In addition, patients have the opportunity to try out various input devices such as buttons, lip mice or eye control.

Overall, the internship is a unique opportunity to put into practice the knowledge acquired during my degree in Smart Homes & Assistive Technologies. For me personally, it is important to get a closer insight into everyday therapy approaches and to interact actively with patients and their environment. The expertise and experience of the therapists is particularly helpful for me, as a student with a technical background, to be able to work successfully with patients and clients of all ages in the future.

 

In addition to the Strebersdorf Outpatient Clinic, the UASTW cooperates with other institutions, namely the Haus der Barmherzigkeit and the AUVA rehabilitation center Weißer Hof. Further students are sought within the framework of project courses or an internship who want to build special solutions for people with disabilities:

The following vacancies are currently being advertised:

  • VKKJ internship (spring 2019)
  • Marginal employment at the Haus der Barmherzigkeit (immediately)

Interested parties are best advised to contact martin.deinhofer@technikum-wien.at

The cooperation between the UAS Technikum Wien and the VKKJ was supported by the municipality of Vienna, MA23

ToRaDes (Nr: 18-04)

StudyATHome Internationally (Nr: 22-07)