Medical Delta: Improving Mobility with Technology

Our society is aging. Motoric disabilities increase with age, which means there will be more and more people with restricted mobility.

The Medical Delta Improving Mobility with Technology program focuses on the development of accurate diagnostics and treatments to improve mobility. This program consists of two tracks: the rehabilitation track and the orthopaedics track, each with three themes.


The demand for care is expected to keep growing and to become increasingly complex. Stroke belongs to the five diseases with the highest annual care costs. As the society is aging, the number of stroke patients is expected to increase 34% between 2015 and 2035. The rehabilitation track focuses on improving effectiveness and efficiency of motor rehabilitation post stroke.

The way to move forward is to combine the expertise of TU Delft, Erasmus MC, and Erasmus University with Rijndam rehabilitation and Laurens geriatric rehabilitation on developing user-centered technology-based interventions. The sustainability of these innovations depends on factors such as complexity of settings and attitudes and beliefs of both clinicians and patients. 

Orthopaedics: multiscale modelling

The second track focuses on orthopedics: the safety of arthroplasties, sports injuries and, in particular, osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of physical disability worldwide and involves the degeneration of joint cartilage. Working together, researchers from the Medical Delta combine their expertise in epidemiology, the biomechanics of gait, tissue and cell research, and dynamic imaging techniques. In this project, the researchers focus on multiscale modelling, in which biomechanical computational models are made at all levels and combined to gain better insights into the effects of load on cartilage.

Precision diagnostics

Choosing the right therapy to improve patients’ mobility requires knowledge of the etiology. This ‘precision diagnostics’ is a focus for both tracks. “We want to maximize the treatment effect by selecting the optimal option; we don’t want to over-treat or under-treat the patient,” says Jaap Harlaar, professor of Clinical Biomechatronics at TU Delft.


In this consortium, Erasmus MC, TU Delft and LUMC will collaborate closely. The Medical Delta Living Labs will also be involved in early prototype testing.

Photo: Project MARCH

scientific leaders

Prof. dr. Sita Bierma

General Practice

Erasmus MC, TU Delft

Prof. dr. ir. Jaap Harlaar

BioMechanical Engineering

TU Delft

Prof. dr. Frans van der Helm

BioMechanical Engineering

TU Delft / LUMC

Prof. dr. Rob Nelissen


LUMC / TU Delft

Prof. dr. Gerard Ribbers


Erasmus MC

Contact person

Drs. Marijke Will-Janssen Senior Innovation Manager

+31 6 28824228

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