Be PART of it!” is the PARTicipative approach, which enables children and adolescents with and without chronic illness to to play a decisive role in shaping the scientific process.

Be PART of it goals



Investigating the impact of Avatar A1 on social inclusion, self-esteem, quality of life, sense of belonging and participation of children and adolescents with chronic disease.



Children and adolescents with or without chronic illness will actively participate in the research process.



The results will be used to develop materials and concepts useful beyond the research project, such as a guide for using the avatar with children with chronic diseases.

The Be PART of it! project focuses on the social inclusion, self-esteem, quality of life, sense of belonging and participation of children and adolescents with chronic illness. Children and young people with chronic illnesses often have difficulty participating regularly in school life and remain integrated among their peers. They are often forced to stay away from class due to inpatient stays, medical treatments, or episodes of illness. This is where telepresence technology comes into play to ensure participation.

One exceptional kind of this technology is the Avatar AV1 telepresence robot, which was developed specifically for children and adolescents with chronic illnesses. The Avatar is connected to a tablet/laptop/smartphone and allows the child to follow lessons and communicate with classmates. Its size makes it handy and easy to carry, so it can be easily integrated into everyday school life and can be taken along on class trips.

The Be PART of it! project aims to investigate the effects of Avatar A1 on chronically ill children and adolescents. The approach of PARTicipative research will be pursued, which enables collaboration between researchers and co-researchers from the very beginning. Children and adolescents with and without chronic illnesses are considered as co-researchers, which has the advantage of including the perspectives of students and letting them shape the research process themselves.

To achieve these goals, collaborations have already been implemented, such as the collaboration with TGM (Technologisches Gewerbemuseum – Höhere Technische Bundeslehr- u. Versuchsanstalt). For instance, this website for the project has been created, and an app is already being designed. This will allow both the expertise of the young researchers to be included in the process, as well as the opportunity for the students to work in a scientific project and gain experience. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that we have received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the OEAD (Agency for Education and Internationalization). The project is carried out in cooperation with four partners: Die Berater; Heilstättenschule Wien; University of Klagenfurt and the Medical University of Vienna.

Through the valuable role of the stakeholders, the project benefits in several ways. For instance, by supporting the implementation of the planned measures to ensure the transfer of the findings to the education system. This includes, approaches such as the development of a guide for teachers on the use of avatars in the classroom, trainings for teachers on relevant topics and public relations. In addition, the results of the project will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences with international experts. Further, targeting different audiences, including education professionals, patient organizations, and the scientific community, has been crucial to the project.

Through close collaboration between researchers and stakeholders, technologies such as the Avatar AV1 can be further developed and improved to better meet the needs of users and promote inclusion and participation in the school environment.