The implementation of technology in healthcare shows promising results and provides new opportunities in rehabilitation. However, the adoption of technology into daily care is largely dependent on the acceptance rate of end-users. This study aims to gather information from healthcare professionals on the development of new assistive technology that match users' needs using the Comprehensive Assistive Technology model. In total 27 healthcare professionals (12 occupational therapists, 8 physiotherapists, 3 nurses, 2 allied health directors, a physician and a speech therapist) attended one of four online focus group discussions. These focus group discussions were structured using a question guide based on three predefined scenarios. Recordings were transcribed and data was analyzed using a thematic analysis (NVivo). Major themes identified in this study were safety, price and usability. Healthcare professionals focused on both functional capabilities of the user, as well as behavioral aspects of usability and attitude toward technology. Furthermore, the need for assistive technology that were catered toward the limitations in activity and user experience, was highlighted extensively. Based on information gathered from healthcare professionals a user-centered approach in development of safe, low-cost devices that maximize both functional outcomes and user acceptance, could potentially increase the adoption of new technology in rehabilitation.
Keywords: assistive technology; focus group discussions; healthcare professionals; qualitative research; rehabilitation.