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Careables: a definition

How to come up with a new name
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The idea for this project was born a few years ago, when some of our team members realized the great potential of digital fabrication and the maker movement for personalized healthcare. First initiatives where people took control over their health products inspired us to support DIY in healthcare in a more structured way. With a successful Horizon 2020 proposal that guarantees funding from the European Union until 2020 we were stuck with the project name Made4You.

From Made4You to Careables

From the onset we were not happy with this name. Our approach to personalized, open, DIY healthcare products was never intended to be made by someone for someone else, but rather to be co-created, co-designed and co-constructed. In addition, the term personalized healthcare product may seem appropriate for what we want to support, but at the same time it sounds a bit clumsy and definitely not sexy.

Brainstorming in Berlin

It took the team a few online brainstorming sessions and finally a face-to-face meeting to jointly agree on the new term careable, which embraces best what we want to support, open personalized DIY healthcare.

During the first year we started operating the platform under the domain name and, in parallel, our understanding of what constitutes a careable was shaped by the experiences in our co-creation sessions. We went through various iterations of the definition and are ready now to launch a Wikipedia entry for careables, the next step in our ambition to promote careables as an established term.

The definition

Here is our current definition of what a careable is:

A careable is an open solution that aims to improve the quality of life for people with unmet particular needs or facing physical limitations. Careables are often co-designed, replicable, accessible, adjustable and shareable online using digital technologies. Careables is a relatively new category, that promises more readily customized solutions and a more horizontal and collaborative approach to health and care.

… and we do not only have a definition, we also have a great vision for careables:

By 2025 careables is the preferred platform, all over the world, to find and create open, inspiring healthcare solutions & methods, transferrable to local contexts.


Barbara Kieslinger


Waag (cc by-nc-sa)


Stomanoir developed during MakeHealth


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