Research centre
Assistive Technology in Health Care

Assistive Technology in Health Care

The Research Centre for Assistive Technology in Health Care at Zuyd University wants to make an active contribution to innovations in long-term care. Research is being conducted and innovation projects are being carried out in collaboration with health-care institutes, professionals, companies, health-care clients, and clients of knowledge institutes. We then apply the results from the research and innovation projects to education and real-life health care practices. All projects focus on applications of technology in short and long-term health care. After all, technology could, in the near future, offer a potential solution for meeting the rapidly growing need for care, in a labour market in which too few people are employed to provide care. The aim is always to supplement the quality and efficiency of care with technology that is sometimes used by the client and sometimes used by the healthcare professional.


The Research Centre works closely with Zuyd University of Applied Sciences’ other faculties and is one of the five Research Centre based on the programme lines of the Zuyd Expertise Centre for Innovative Care and Technology (EIZT). You can find more information about these projects on the EIZT website.

  • Ramon Daniëls, chair

    Ramon Daniëls, chair

    Ramon Daniëls was appointed as lector for the Research Centre for Assistive Technology in Health Care as of 1 January 2017. 

    Until 1994, Ramon Daniëls worked as an occupational therapist and as a consultant regarding medical aids/home adjustment at Revalidatiecentrum Amsterdam (Amsterdam Rehabilitation Centre). From 1995 to 2004, he was a lecturer at the occupational therapy course at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and was involved as a project leader at the European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE). In 2001, he completed the European Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy.

    At the end of 2003, Ramon Daniëls took on a role at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Heerlen. There, his role included education and coordination of education with management tasks in the core team as well as an appointment at the Centre of Research in Autonomy and Participation of Persons with a Chronic Illness. In 2006, he started a part-time PhD at the University of Maastricht in this knowledge group. He complemented education, management, and PhD research with various other projects, such as the development of the Gezond Actief Ouder Worden (Healthy Active Ageing) programme. The PhD research into a first-line interdisciplinary intervention programme for vulnerable elderly people ended in 2011.

    Ramon Daniëls then became project leader of development as well as coordinator and lecturer at the Innovation in Complex Care Master's programme and project leader of various RAAK projects (researching interdisciplinary self-management support in first-line care, optimal social support for citizens, and housing tailored to people's changing needs). In January 2017, he became a lector for the Research Centre for Assistive Technology in Health Care and partnered with Sevagram as a member of Living Lab in Ageing & Long-Term Care at Maastricht University. As a senior lecturer in the Occupational Therapy study programme, he works with students on graduation projects regarding healthcare technology and housing tailored to people's changing needs. He's editor-in-chief of Ergotherapie Wetenschap magazine.


  • Bea Diederen

    Bea Diederen

    Since 1981 I have been involveld as secretary / management assistant in national and international projects in the area of technology and accessibility to the Adelante Foundation, iRv - Institute for Rehabilitation and Disability and Vilans.  I provide the secretariat of the international journal Technology and Disability of which Thijs Soede is editor-in-chief.  Since September 1, 2009 I worked as a management assistant for the Centre of Research, Technology in Care of Zuyd University. 


  • Edith Hagedoren

    Edith Hagedoren

    In 2014, I started working at Zuyd University as a lecturer/researcher for the Research Centre for Assistive Technology in Health Care, with the focus on advising and implementing auxiliary technology. In this role, I also act as external ergonomic advisor for GGD Zuid Limburg (Public Health Service South Limburg). 

    I graduated as an occupational therapist at Heerlen University of Applied Sciences, the predecessor of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. From 1991 to 1993 I worked as an occupational therapist in care for the elderly. During this period one of the courses I took was ‘Wonen’ (living). From 1993 to 2007 I worked at the Kenniscentrum voor Revalidatie en Handicap (iRv, the knowledge centre for rehabilitation), where I specialized in research, advice, and provision of information on the theme of care with medical aids. I continued this at Vilans from 2007 to 2014. Here, I performed several responsibilities such as being project leader for the Vilans Hulpmiddelenwijzer (medical aids recommendation tool). 

    My mission is to ensure that everyone with a disability can use the aid most suited to them to achieve optimal self-reliance and participation. In this way, the quality of life of people with disabilities can be improved, while reducing the workload of care providers, and keeping care affordable.


  • Loek van der Heide

    Loek van der Heide

    In June 2009 I graduated as a movement scientist. Also in Maastricht, one year earlier I finished the bachelor, ' general health sciences. 'During four days a week, I am working as a junior researcher at Zuyd University on technologies that assist independently living people, like Caring Home and CareTV. I'm working at Zuyd University from february 2010. 


  • Jeanne Heijkers

    Jeanne Heijkers

    In 2007 I started to work at Zuyd at the school for occupational therapists, as a lecturer and at the same time as a researcher/projectworker for this Research Centre. I am an occupational therapist since 1991 and as of 2007 I got a masters degree in Health Care Science at Maastricht University.

    From 2000 until 2007 I worked at the IRV, Research Centre for rehabilitation and handicap. I worked as a consultant in home adjustments and assistive technology and as a research assistant in projects about work, adjustments and assistive technology for people with disabilities. At the moment I participate in a couple of projects on simple and high tec assistive technology.


  • Renée van den Heuvel

    Renée van den Heuvel

    I graduated at Maastricht University in July 2012. The master 'Sports and Physical Activity Interventions' I completed matches with my bachelor Health Sciences (health promotion and movement sciences).

    Since August 2012 I have been working at Zuyd University as a trainee from the 'JumpStart'-traineeship. Within this traineeship I will get the opportunity to gather work experience in three different companies, during a period of two years. Beside I am attending an education program, in which management skills play an important role. In my current traineeship, within the Research Centre Technology in Care, I am working on different projects; such as the development of an Centre of Expertise Innovative Care and Technology, a project about screen-to-screen communication with frail elderly living at home and the evaluation of a new concept nurse home in Malberg, Maastricht. 


  • Claire Huijnen

    One of the things that motivates me is enabling people to make the most of themselves, their environment, and others providing support and connections. The combination of Psychology (Maastricht University, graduated in 2000) and User System Interaction (Eindhoven University of Technology, graduated in 2002) fascinates me and makes it easier for me to make self-reliance and independent free living possible through co-creation and co-innovation. From a human perspective, we will design, adapt, and implement the technology and interventions together in daily practice and care practice in order to meaningfully connect and support people. 

    I am passionate about and mainly have work experience in the field of social robots and social companion robots that support people. I believe that robots can become more than a buddy for people with a care need, such as a right hand for the caregiver(s) as well as a promising source of inspiration and tool for professional caregivers. In my experience, which guides my ambitions, robotics in care can assist in reinvigorating the role of caregivers so that we can provide care with a real human element once more. 

    In the vibrant Research Centre for Assistive Technology in Health Care, I have the pleasure to be work towards a PhD within the project ‘Sociale Robots in de Zorg’ (Social Robots in Health Care, a RAAK PRO project). The practical implementation of interventions concerning robotics in care is central to this, practical health care. Having a robot is one thing, but having interventions concerning this robot is crucial to actually achieving the intended effects in practice. My work towards a PhD will focus on interventions involving the KASPAR robot, which was developed to support the social interactions of children who have autism. Additionally, I will contribute to the development of expertise in the field of robotics in care within EIZT (the Zuyd Expertise Centre for Innovative Care and Technology).


  • Jacqueline Kurvers

    After having worked for the Municipality of Echt and the Rabobank for a number of years, I started in 2003 as a temporary employee at the secretariat of the social education programme of Zuyd University. From 2005, as a project assistant, I supported the transition and merger of different social education programmes into one bachelor programme of Social Work. From 2007, I was mainly active in the field of quality assurance and supporting the team leaders. After a short period of working at the technology faculty in 2017-2018, I started working in May 2018 as a management assistant at the research centre Technology in Care. Here I assist the professors and researchers on a secretarial and administrative level. I am also involved in the transition theme Participation & Vitality, one of the 4 transition themes of Zuyd University. 

    Expertise: Editing of texts, reporting, Questback. 


  • Monique Lexis

    Monique Lexis

    From January 2006 until October 2010, I worked as a PhD-student at the department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University. The research project aimed to examine the efficacy of a preventive strategy on the prevention of long-term sickness absence and major depression among employees of the ABN AMRO banking company in the Netherlands. Employees with mild depressive complaints and who were at high risk of future sickness absence were selected by a screening instrument, called Balansmeter in Dutch.

    Additionally, these employees received a newly developed preventive intervention. The preventive intervention proved to be effective in the prevention of long-term sickness absence and the reduction of depressive complaints. During the PhD-project, I completed a master's degree in Epidemiology at the EMGO Institute / VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. Before the start of the PhD-project, I studied Occupational Therapy at Hogeschool Zuyd and I completed the master Movement Sciences at Maastricht University. 
    Since May 2011, I have been working as a senior researcher at the Research Centre Technology in Care. Currently, I am working on different projects, such as a project on screen-to-screen communication in frail elderly living at home and a project on the development of movement programs in elderly living in nursing homes. Furthermore, I work on a project about implementation of the results of the abovementioned PhD-project at Maastricht University. 


  • Uta Roentgen

    Uta Roentgen

    2000 Bachelor degree Occupational Therapy (Zuyd University, Heerlen, the Netherlands). 
    2000 - 2007 Work as Occupational Therapist at a Rehabilitation Centre and Nursing Home in Germany. 
    2007 Master degree Health Science (Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands). 
    Since 2007 PhD candidate, title research project: "Study on the effect of innovative Electronic Mobility Aids (EMA) on participation of visually impaired persons". 


  • Paulette Wauben-Penris

    Paulette Wauben-Penris

    I started working at EIZT in April 2014, first seconded from LIOF and then under the employment of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences since November 2015. The CrossCare project, in which companies are supported in the testing and further development of their products for the healthcare sector, is my primary focus. 

    The main goal I set in my work is to connect the distinct worlds of research, education, healthcare, business, and government in order to create new product-market combinations that offer solutions to real problems in the care sector. I contribute to this through my education, work experience, and specific knowledge of the infrastructure and the current processes within the various domains. 

    I was awarded my PhD in cell biology in 1988, following the fundamental scientific research, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for Yeast brocades and Yamanouchi Europe. Subsequently, at the Limburg office of the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation, I learned a lot about how care works. At the regional development company LIOF, I built up a large network in Life Sciences & Health, and got to know companies in this sector in particular.


Research centre Assistive Technology in Health Care
Henri Dunantstraat 2
6419 PB Heerlen