About the Project
The use of digital healthcare technologies, such as smart pillboxes, and wearable biosensors escalated in recent years. Innovation in healthcare has enabled great progress but it has come with increased electronic waste generation.
Digital healthcare devices contain valuable raw materials that are essential to the European economy. Currently many of these devices end up in landfill or are incinerated meaning these raw materials are lost. A new approach is needed at EU-level to facilitate the re-use, refurbishment and recycling of the products to ensure long-term sustainable use of these raw materials.
The DiCE project aims to address this. It focusses on extending the lifetime of digital healthcare devices by developing and piloting solutions across the whole product life-cycle.
The project covers:
– eco-design to incorporate features that prioritise optimal circular end of use options.
– collection to increase the quantity of devices segregated.
– reverse logistics for ensuring more devices are returned for refurbishment or remanufacturing
– refurbishment and remanufacturing processes for increasing the lifetime of devices.
– recycling of devices to maximise material recovery when refurbishment and remanufacturing
Integral to this will be understanding consumer behaviour to ensure all systems implemented acknowledge what works best for citizens. The product innovations and sustainable strategies will be implemented, tested, and demonstrated in five healthcare systems through community-engaged pilots in Europe.
The project will consult with relevant authorities, experts and citizens in each country to understand how products, processes and habits can be changed to achieve the DiCE approach, an approach that can be implemented across different regions.
The result of DiCE will be a replicable model for the digital (healthcare) industry that enables a moving away from a fragmented and linear take-make-waste business model towards a circular and sustainable one. This will allow the widespread reuse of products and recovery of valuable components and raw materials leading to increased resource efficiency while contributing to pollution prevention.