What does circularity of digital healthcare devices mean to medical professionals and citizens in Belgium?

Group photo of the Sustain-a-thon participants

On Thursday, 23 February, DiCE partners, LiCalab and Games for Health organised the first sustain-a-thon of its kind in Belgium. The event focussed on two questions: how do we reduce the impact of medical e-waste on the environment and how do we develop circular solutions to recycle components of digital health devices? Healthcare professionals and citizens tackled the issue and together came up with interesting insights and possible solutions. 

The first public sustain-a-thon session of DiCE aimed to foster a creative space to discover the needs and habits of the local population of Belgium around circularity and healthcare. A total of 11 professionals and 10 citizens attended this brainstorming event. Joining forces, they talked through waste streams and sorting options from the point of view of both hospitals and local citizens. The workshop resulted in optimised and new ideas for collection systems and for a better design of digital health devices. The mutual discussions also uncovered interesting user behaviors and provided a reasoning that will serve as a basis for nudging strategies.     

In the coming months, two more sustain-a-thons will take place in Slovenia and Spain. After our final session, DiCE partners will be able to further develop the project’s so called “nudging strategies” ultimately resulting in increased collection rates for digital health waste.  

Nudging, as described in the Cambridge Dictionary means “to push something or someone gently, (…) to attract the person’s attention.”  The strategies our experts will develop are indeed aimed at attracting people’s attention to important matters by building on existing habits. Habits that are embedded in most citizens and professionals but may be improved over time.  

DiCE aspires to base its decisions and strategies on real life experiences and examples to ensure that its results and findings will have a long-lasting impact. If you would like to join one of our upcoming sustain-a-thons, please contact directly our partners: 

Maribor, Slovenia: Amna Potocnik  

Valladolid, Spain: Maria José Echegaray 

The sustain-a-thons are prepared and conducted in cooperation with two DiCE project partners: 

Games for Health is an Eindhoven-based company that develops applications for behavioural transformation in everyday life. They believe that play is the way to get flexible people and adaptive organisations that are capable of proactively dealing with a rapidly changing world. 

LiCalab, the research group of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in Belgium, uses living lab research to support companies and organisations in the health and care sector. 

Nanett Kalapos
March 3, 2023