The HDI Living Learning Lab

The Living Learning Lab in the Greater Worcester Area and Beyond

With its partners, the Healthcare Delivery Institute at WPI develops, creates, and demonstrates many user-driven innovations in real-life test environments, such as the living lab of Worcester and surrounding communities. Along with strategic relationships with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and the Visiting Nurse Associations of New England (VNANE), HDI has collaborated with over 10 healthcare provider organizations across the continuum of care.  The result is a living learning lab for healthcare innovation in central Massachusetts centered at HDI at WPI, healthcare graduate programs, thought leadership programs such as symposia and innovation forums, and workforce talent.

A living lab is a research and development concept and accompanying infrastructure that facilitates research and human interaction with, and stimulates the adoption of, innovations by end users. These interactions can be studied in the actual environment of the end user or in an adaptable, controllable environment such as an innovation space. Through HDI, researchers have access to the actual environments of end users across the health continuum, including acute, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, community and residential, home, workplace, and on the go.

A living lab is a research and development concept and accompanying infrastructure that facilitates research and human interaction with, and stimulates the adoption of, innovations by end users. These interactions can be studied in the actual environment of the end user or in an adaptable, controllable environment such as an innovation space. Through HDI, researchers have access to the actual environments of end users across the health continuum, including acute, community and residential, home, workplace, and on the go. In addition, HDI created a Living Lab Launchpad—an adaptable, controllable systems integration and innovation space that facilitates collaborative development with other organizations and end users. Research teams including WPI faculty members, students, and industry partners actively utilize and come through the Launchpad.

A Research Methodology

  • Harnessing the global trend toward open development
  • Involving end-users in co-creation, exploration, experimentation, and evaluation of innovative ideas in real-life use cases
  • Ensuring problems explored are real-world and solutions proposed are practical and beneficial

A Place Where Research Unfolds

  • Flexible and constantly changing as HDI researchers use labs and facilities at WPI and the actual environments of the end user
  • Conference rooms for demonstrations, user interaction and engagement, small-group discussion and interdisciplinary team work, and connecting with experts and partners around the world