COUCH & Innovation Management Activities-Tech episode 6

As the project is moving slowly to the final period, and we are highlighting the outcomes that the consortium achieved, we wanted to highlight the Innovation Management activities that took place in the period of three years and how they helped shape the exploitation outcomes. These workshops were run by Innovation Sprint.

The exploitable outcomes are deliverables of the project, such as new ideas, algorithms, concepts, methods, products, services, or applications that can be exploited through effective monitoring and controlling processes.
Some important workshops that helped to those outcomes are the following.


ENSCHEDE 2-3/11/2017

Business Model – Value proposition Canvases

Τwo months after the formal start of the project, the members of the consortium gathered for the Council of Couches kick-off meeting in Enschede. There, presented and discussed the project concept and its technical aspects with the work-packages leaders and other members of the consortium.

Α great moment of this meeting was the role-playing game, where the partners were split into teams that worked on a preliminary business model based on their ideas of the value proposition and customer segments, for the overall COUCH solution.

Business Model Canvas
VAlue Proposition Canvas

This meeting was held firstly in the buildings of the University of Twente and then at RRD property. Coordinators of it were Hermie Hermens (University of Twente) and Harm op den Akker (Roessingh Research and Development – RRD), assisted by Jorien van Loon (UT).

DUNDEE 17/12/2018

Pitching Workshop

Partners in this workshop were split into groups and had to prove with a quick pitch, why their outcome was unique and innovative. This was the theme of the Dundee workshop hosted at the University of Dundee and the objective was to present all potential exploitable outcomes that had been identified during the last period through calls and emails.

In the video below you can see images and video of what exactly happened in the 2 workshops, Enschede and Dundee.

PARIS 4-5/2/2020

The Sprint Product Design Methodology

The overall product design was based on the Sprint Product Design methodology, introduced by Jake Knapp and optimized with more than 150 startups in Google Ventures. The concept of Design Sprint is to build and test a prototype in just 1 working week. For the purposes of the project, this has been reduced to 1 day of a physical meeting hosted at the University of Sorbonne and additional work performed remotely.

The Design Sprint starts with structured conversations to build a foundation by defining key questions and a long-term goal.

Some of the Key questions:

  • How can we overcome barriers related to uptake of technology, e.g. amongst older people?
  • Can we market/advertise COUCH with a medication/treatment approach?
  • How can we develop a platform that can be easily adapted to different scenarios?
  • How can we help a user in behavioral change through dialogue? 
  • How can we make virtual agents collaborate with other virtual agents?
  • How can we make the product trustworthy enough that doctors will actually trust it with the patient?
  • How can we Develop sufficient personalized/”intelligent” content that engages people and makes them use the application in the long run?
  • How can we make the conversation with these coaches feel (close to) as satisfying as talks with actual coaches/health experts/friends?
  • How to make a convincing argument for the need for our platform, to both practitioners and end-users?
  • How to target the needs of our population in terms that they understand and can relate to?
  • How to ensure the interactions and content are natural, but not too natural?

Long-term goal

Make the first collaborative virtual environment for behavioural change a game changer in traditional coaching for application in Digital Therapeutics.

Once the fundamentals are in place, the Design Sprint involves the creation of a simple map of the product or service that can trigger the discussion among experts of the team to share what they know, so that a target that represents the greatest risk and/or opportunity is identified. In the Couch-as-a-Product, the target was the basic registration flow.

Basic flow:

Basic Flow

The basic flow is then challenged against a number of HMW (How Might We) questions as follows:

Some of the HMW:

  • HMW replan the responses or dialogues of the coaches. More interactive
  • HMW make the “World” of Council of Coaches appear to be alive, with things continuing to happen while the user is away (in order to entice the user to come back through the “Fear of Missing Out” concept).
  • HMW define the “end” of a coaching session?
  • HMW involve doctors or Associations by incentivizing them to prescribe COUCH
  • HMW make the end of every coaching session a cliff-hanger, ensuring that users come back for the next one?
  • HMW: Send notification to the user on coaches having discussed something about you based on your data.
  • HMW convince a user he needs behaviour change?
  • HMW make the coaches nice enough to interact with to get users to want to keep coming back to them?
  • HMW convince the user to put his personal data in the app?
  • HMW make the user feel good for accomplishing small steps towards their goals?
  • HMW keep the user interested once his behaviour change is done?
  • HMW make our users see that sharing their personal data actually also personalises their coaching/improves the quality?
  • HMW get users to bring in other users if they like the application?

Following the above step, the HMW questions are grouped into those that are more critical and with highest impact. This process is based on a selection and decision process from Design Sprint that aim to refine (or even totally change) the initial flow. In our case, the result is indicated below.

Elaborated Flow

The main point raised and integrated in the above scheme was the prescription of COUCH, which was a key driver to focus Couch-as-a-Product to the Digital Therapeutics (DTx) market. Following the refinement of the flow, the concept was elaborated and presented in several discussions among the partners to result in the final outcome.


The Innovation Management activities facilitated the transformation of the project results into potential exploitation outcomes. This was achieved through conference calls, the above mentioned physical workshops, and a lot of offline work on the description of the outcomes, the identification of the “Outcome Owner”, and the discussion on SWOT Analysis / Marketing- and Execution Plans as well as the IPR management activity. All these processes are described in detail in deliverables of Exploitation and Innovation management but we wanted to stress the importance of the physical workshops as also great team-building exercises and project goal setting. We are all very proud to see COUCH’s exploitation plans evolving during these years leading to the final two outcomes of the Couch as a Product and the Agents United Alliance and Platform

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