A pilot project at Kustaankartano Senior Centre in Helsinki will explore how a shower innovation that utilises robotics could help clients with reduced mobility and support their ability to live independently. The project will test two shower robots during the autumn of 2020 in Kustaankartano.
The shower robot, named FREJA, will be tested at the Kustaankartano Senior Centre during autumn 2020. FREJA is a type of smart shower cubicle, which the client enters with the help of a moving chair. While sitting on the shower chair, the client can adjust the functions of the shower with a control panel, which can be used to control the direction and water pressure of the shower and the temperature of the water, for example. The aim is to have 8–15 clients try out the shower during the testing period.
The shower solution was developed by the Swedish company Robotics Care, which tested a shower robot with similar functions developed for institutional use in Sweden last year. In contrast, the FREJA shower robot is intended for normal home use and is being tested in both Sweden and Finland.
Duration, partners and funding
- The project will run from January to December 2020.
- The project has a total budget of 592 500 euros, of which Forum Virium Helsinki’s share is 102,500 euros.
- The project is supported by EIT Digital, and the Helsinki subproject is supported by the City of Helsinki.
- The project is coordinated by the Swedish Robotics Care AB.
- The project partners are Forum Virium Helsinki and the Swedish Nordic Electronic Partner.
- Kustaankartano Senior Centre is involved based on a subgrant agreement.
The role of Forum Virium Helsinki
Forum Virium Helsinki is responsible for the piloting to be carried out at Kustaankartano and for the collection and analysis of feedback. The pilot will include interviews with both care staff and physical and occupational therapists. In addition to clients, feedback will also be collected from home care staff to gain a deeper understanding of the suitability of the FREJA shower robot for home care needs. Based on the feedback, the shower robot will be developed to better correspond to the needs of clients and care staff before the product is introduced to the market in 2021.
Benefits for Helsinki
The pilot will provide Kustaankartano with knowledge of new technologies and an opportunity to participate in a product development process. Furthermore, the pilot will help determine how a shower robot could lighten the workload of nurses and improve work ergonomics and safety.