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Delft University of Technology

1. Schouten, Anneke (author). Medical Device Development in Living Labs, a case study.

Degree: 2020, Delft University of Technology

When in 2008 the financial crisis set it in Europe, consequences for the healthcare systems were inevitable (Parmar, Stavropoulou, & Ioannidis, 2016). Health budgets were reduced, and since the beginning of the crisis, 1.5 million additional people in Europe have had an unmet need for healthcare (A. Reeves, McKee, & Stuckler, 2015). A key challenge is both to achieve and to maintain the quality of healthcare, including new technologies within constrained budgets (Godman et al., 2016). This puts facilities such as hospitals in a difficult position. They are required to balance the contradictory and competing demands of efficiency and specialization, low operating costs and high-end amenities, minimized capital costs and optimum clinical quality (Clough et al., 2011). Innovation is a key concept in healthcare, because innovation engineering and management allow for more efficient development of better concepts of medical devices (Lamé, Yannou, & Cluzel, 2018). This is essential for sustainable healthcare systems in the future (Ellner et al., 2015). In this light, there has been an increased interest in the Living Lab concept (Bergvall-Kåreborn, Eriksson, Ståhlbröst, & Svensson, 2009). In a Living Lab, multiple relevant stakeholders work together in a real life setting. Despite the growing recognition and use of Living Labs throughout society, literature on this phenomenon remains scarce (Dell’Era & Landoni, 2014). The Living Lab method is relatively new, and Living Lab participants are rarely entrepreneurs. The result tends to be an unclear Living Lab structure with little focus on management. A consequence is that the overall structure, activities and vision are not always clear. Due to these unclarities, management might take more time than necessary. Creating structure in Living Lab collaborations can save participants lots of time and frustration. It is crucial however, to maintain the free and open way of collaborating, which is characteristic for Living Labs. The key in finding the sweet spot between working like a community and a bureaucracy might be systematically tracking of involved Living Lab stakeholders. Much of the Living Lab structure and organization will be dependent on local circumstances. And that is both the strength and the curse of the Living Lab. But, being able to systematically track your stakeholders, their responsibilities and contributions by the means of a protocol could save many Living Labs a lot of time and unpleasant surprises.

Biomedical Engineering | Communication Design for Innovation

Advisors/Committee Members: Flipse, S.M. (mentor), van den Dobbelsteen, J.J. (mentor), Delft University of Technology (degree granting institution).

Subjects/Keywords: Living Labs; Medical device design; Collaboration in healthcare

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APA (6th Edition):

Schouten, A. (. (2020). Medical Device Development in Living Labs, a case study. (Masters Thesis). Delft University of Technology. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Schouten, Anneke (author). “Medical Device Development in Living Labs, a case study.” 2020. Masters Thesis, Delft University of Technology. Accessed January 16, 2021.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Schouten, Anneke (author). “Medical Device Development in Living Labs, a case study.” 2020. Web. 16 Jan 2021.


Schouten A(. Medical Device Development in Living Labs, a case study. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2020. [cited 2021 Jan 16]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Schouten A(. Medical Device Development in Living Labs, a case study. [Masters Thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2020. Available from: