Technology-Enabled Living Lab for Ageing Better


Mark Hawley


Stephen Potter
Phil Joddrell


Johnnie Johnson Housing


The Dunhill Medical Trust

About the project

To date, digital care and wellbeing services for older adults have failed to live up to their promise. This project attempts to provide a proper testing ground for the right technologies.

The internet, computers and smartphones have already created new possibilities for work and leisure, and for connecting people and communities. Increasingly, these digital technologies are playing an important role in providing health and care services too. One area where they could make a big difference to our lives is in helping us to live independently and well in our own homes as we get older.

The purpose of the TELLAB project is to guide the creation of useful and appropriate digital health and care services by involving older adults in their development. More specifically, we aim to:

1. Understand the needs and aspirations of older people who are living independently.

2. Develop methods of identifying and assessing new technologies and technology-enabled services that could help to satisfy some of these needs and aspirations.

3. Establish a “living lab” among residents of Johnnie Johnson Housing schemes to evaluate some of these promising technologies and services. A living lab is an environment for product and service development that puts new technologies into real-world situations (in this case, older people’s homes) and allows people to use them over an extended period. When compared to conventional development approaches, a living lab permits a more realistic assessment of the benefits of the technology while also identifying issues that arise when it is put into practice. This feedback is useful for both the developers of the technology and their potential customers, and, ultimately, for the users themselves, who have helped to develop technologies and services that are both valuable and practical.

TELLAB is a collaboration between Johnnie Johnson Housing, Astraline and the University of Sheffield. It began in June 2022 and is funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust. 

Visit the TELLAB project website.