A robot that hands glasses of water to patients, a television that reminds you about rehabilitation and a toilet seat that weighs a patient who has difficulties balancing on a scale. Technologies can help care staff in many ways, but first the technologies must find their way to the social services, health care and rescue services sector. The REDI SOTE project was one way of helping cities and technology companies find each other.
“There are many challenges in the social services, health care and rescue services sector that new innovations and technologies could address with the support of the sector’s professionals,” says Peeter Lange, project manager of REDI SOTE and several other projects related to health technologies.
“Since the sector’s personnel are heavily tied up in the implementation and maintenance of services, additional hands are welcome when it comes to searching for and piloting new technologies and innovations to develop the sector.”
Lange used to work as a project manager at Forum Virium Helsinki before taking up the position of senior business advisor at City of Helsinki’s Health Incubator Helsinki at the end of 2023. He has organised several pilots with cooperation partners in hospitals, home care and assisted living facilities, so he is very familiar with the field of innovation in the health sector.
“The adoption of new health technologies requires persistent work. Arranging suitable pilot venues and periods and responding to genuine needs also require interaction.”
In recognition of this, the primary objective of REDI SOTE was to strengthen the dialogue between companies and the social services, health care and rescue services sector through pilots, events and meetings. One of the events organised was the Seniorien digiarki (‘Digital everyday life of seniors’) event, which was attended by over 5,000 people, bringing together health sector professionals, technology companies and city residents.
The project also organised market dialogues, providing the City with a fresh overview of the latest technologies. REDI SOTE also developed co-creation methods through which service organisations supporting companies’ business operations were integrated into innovation and co-creation activities.
Each pilot provides more information and experience
The REDI SOTE project carried out five pilots, the subjects of which were based on a needs assessment of social services, health care and rescue services sector professionals. In other words, each pilot responded to a genuine need. The challenges and technologies also supported new future hospital projects, the largest of which is Laakso Joint Hospital to be completed in 2032. Innovations and pilots are what will pave the way for the requirements of the hospital environment of the 2030s. They must be taken into account now, as the facilities are still being planned.
Pilots provide lessons for both companies and the social services, health care and rescue services sector. During the pilots of REDI SOTE, companies received feedback from both patients and care staff, and the innovations being tested were improved based on users’ experiences. A few of the piloted technologies are still undergoing further development. For others, the pilots even revealed new applications.
Some of the technologies remained in the service of the social services, health care and rescue services sector after the pilots were concluded. These include the technology for preventing pressure ulcers developed by Digital Factory Finland and the gamified rehabilitation application from GoodLife Technology.
For Forum Virium Helsinki, it is important to find innovations and new technologies that can simultaneously contribute to urban development, the everyday life of city residents, Finnish know-how and companies’ opportunities to grow and internationalise.
Photo: Välkky pilot/Forum Virium Helsinki