Design Project 2018 | 4 months
Industrial Design, University of Technology Eindhoven, NL
Team: Marit Proper, Emma Reiling, Samantha Galvez
Cooperation: Adelante Healthcare Group

Sitbit: Improving Posture and Changing Behavior for Wheelchair Users

Adelante is the main partner of the i2-CoRT program, which which brings together stakeholders with various backgrounds to promote rehabilitation technology innovation. Zitpoli is the department at Adelante that focuses on seating and seating problems.


Wheelchair users with spinal cord injury suffer from long-term sitting problems


The Sitbit system includes the sensor mat, wearable, user application, and therapists dashboard. The data from the sensor mat is collected and can be analyzed to create a personalized feedback system. In this project, we investigated the intuitive design to provide reminders for wheelchair users with spinal cord injury, which could lead to a behavior change in a long-term run.

Skill: user experience design, empathic design, behavior change

Discovering & Deifning

1. Understanding the design brief and desk research on specific medical terms,
2. Interviewing the physio therapists and learning about the Zitpoli project and draft the patient journey to better understand the rehabilitation process,
3. Define deisgn goal and brainstorming the potential solutions.

Patient Journey Zitpoli Adelante

Empathy Map of the wheelchair users

Being in a wheelchair is a visible handicap, the social pressure could reduce the intention, therefore the wearable should not be as a medical instrument that makes the users get further discriminated and deterioration. By this, we also add new meaning we created is: it is a pleasurable accessory, which does not embarrass the users showing to people and can be a conversation starter. As the major factor influence behavioral intention, we add more “personal agency” to the product, or so-called personal autonomy, which is one of the most important aspects derived from that empathy map.


In order to support the patient's long-term behavior change and fulfill their needs, , we decided to create a holistic solution to (1) remind the patients to change their sitting posture with subtle and instant feedbacks, (2) give overview of their own progress, and (3) support the therapists to collect frequent data of their patients.

Wearable Based on the data, the wearable gives the users real-time feedback, which enables them to be aware of their seating problems and autonomously decides to change their posture. It could simplify the function - no overwhelming data and distractions.

Phone App For Patient The phone application which makes the progress visible to the patients themselves, which only shows the necessary positive feedback instead of overwhelming information. This application also offers the option to communicate with therapists.

Dashboard For Therapist The dashboard takes full advantage of the data collection and designed for the therapists to show detailed information of the wheelchair users. This also enables more efficient communication between patients and therapists.

Wearable Prototyping

The final Prototype of Sitbit wearable is built based on an integrated LED matrix and vibration motor, which are controlled by Arduino UNO. A joy sticker is integrated to simulate the input from the sensor mat.

Feedback Session