LANVA - Digital assistance laboratory for independent living

LANVA (Laboratoire d’Aide Numérique à la Vie Autonome) is a project that ran from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2020, and was designed to stimulate digital innovation for the independent living of the elderly.

Spearheaded by the Maison de l’innovation sociale and CEFRIO – an organization that supported and accelerated innovation and digital appropriation in Québec from 1987 to 2020, this living lab generated a complete design cycle for new products and services for seniors wishing to remain independent and active in the public space.

Why a laboratory on seniors’ autonomy and digital technology?

In Québec, the issue of the autonomy of the elderly poses a real challenge: those who wish to live as long as possible in their own homes, while maintaining a quality of life for themselves and their loved ones, are poised to double by 2031. (ISQ, 2012)

Furthermore, “Seniors are increasingly connected and increasingly optimistic about the digital world. They have an Internet connection and surf the Web daily. They have an electronic tablet or, sometimes, a smart phone. Above all, they are optimistic about the evolution of technology and its impact. Truly, people 65 and over in Québec are more connected than ever!” reported the surveys NETendances Vieillir à l’ère numérique (2018) and NETendances Les aînés connectés au Québec (2019).

LANVA therefore aims to explore this new context of autonomy by responding to the real desires and needs of today’s elderly people.

LANVA’s mission

The main objective of the laboratory is to support the autonomy and well-being of these people by developing digital products and services with high impact potential; they are co-developed with this population so that they are truly adapted to the new reality of seniors in Québec.

LANVA works in a broad context in which multiple areas of life are targeted:

  • safety and prevention; 
  • health and social services;
  • wellness, sports and recreation;
  • social inclusion and communication;
  • housing and living environments, transportation;
  • as well as the occupations and tasks of daily life.

LANVA adopts a living lab approach

Currently, innovative applications and sophisticated devices are emerging from research or the digital world. However, these trials and experiments are still struggling to be rolled out effectively to seniors.

Behind the development of these ideas lie major challenges in transforming business models but also in appropriation, training, dissemination and interaction between stakeholders.

By adopting the methodologies specific to the living lab concept, LANVA places seniors at the heart of the process. Alongside citizens, actors from the private, public, community and academic sectors they participate in all phases of development.

This type of open environment is central to the MIS innovation process.

The innovations generated

LANVA is foremost a network of innovators who collaborate and share complementary goals. Set in action around the issue of support for independent living through co-design and transfer processes, this team has made it possible to renew a certain understanding of the needs of seniors.

At the end of this project, useful recommendations were thus transmitted to the technology providers involved and two digital solutions were able to benefit from these learnings and the commitment of some twenty seniors in two residences in the Greater Montréal area, as well as from the mobilization of the ecosystem of autonomy and housing for seniors.

Get inspiration from the process book

As a result of this experience, a process handbook was written, compiling the key findings. You will find in it the different steps implemented, the methods, activities and tools used during this initiative to develop products and services that have seniors as users.

Rarely documented, evaluated and transferred in terms of findings, this project was an opportunity to revisit the process of a living laboratory in order to increase and accelerate its impact.

Do you wish to run a living laboratory and are you wondering about the different mechanisms that need to be put in place for a project of this type? Are you perhaps an innovation practitioner who is interested in issues related to the elderly and digital technologies? Or are you simply curious to learn about concrete activities and tools in open innovation? Whatever the case may be, this educational booklet could be useful to you.

(Click on the image to read the process book, available in french only.)

Lisez le cahier de processus du laboratoire vivant LANVA

Did you like this guide? Consult the Tool box section which contains many other contents dedicated to people interested in social innovation!

Partners of LANVA

Field partners

Main technology suppliers

Other projects