Portale SIVA: The Italian national Portal on assistive technology

Renzo Andrich, Valerio Gower, Lucia Pigini, Antonio Caracciolo, Andrea Agnoletto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Context. In Italy the categories of assistive devices eligible for provision through the National Health Service (NHS) are established by the Ministry of Health. A medical prescription is needed for these products. Users who need assistive equipment currently falling outside the NHS schemes (e.g. ICT equipment) have to buy them out of their pocket; however schemes exist at national, regional or local level to get financial contribution, as well as fiscal benefits. Individual assessment for the choice of the appropriate assistive solution is mainly a responsibility of the Local Health authority. The competences needed for effective assessment are unevenly distributed throughout the Country. A network of Assistive Technology Centres (public or private) exists where people can apply for professional support. Overall, the Assistive Technology market is partially intermediated by professionals of the NHS or other Agencies, while partially is directly driven by the end-users. The Information system. The SIVA Portal has been designed having in mind five main targets: 1) end-users of AT 2) care professionals 3) industrialists 4) policy-makers and 5) researchers / developers. The Portal is bilingual (Italian/English) and includes six main databases 1) products 2) companies 3) centres 4) ideas 5) experiences 6) library, and a set of interactive services. An advanced search engine guides the user in retrieving information on AT in the different databases. The data are updated mainly by the manufacturers and then validated by the Portal Editorial Team on the basis of a ISO-9000 certified procedure. Impact. The Portal databases currently include some 8500 products, 1400 companies, 250 assessment and research centres, 650 hints for daily living and 300 library documents; it is considered the "golden standard" of AT information in Italy for end users, health care professionals, industrialists, policy makers and researchers; it is the key instrument for the activity of the assistive technology centres. Further developments. The ongoing developments include 1) the extension of the Portal to manage the national Register of AT products eligible for NHS provision 2) additional tools for supporting rehabilitation professionals 3) an overall re-engineering with state-of-the-art technology and 4) the upgrade of the automatic translation system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssistive Technology Research Series
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameAssistive Technology Research Series
ISSN (Print)1383813X
ISSN (Electronic)18798071


  • Assistive Technology databases
  • Assistive Technology information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Portale SIVA: The Italian national Portal on assistive technology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this