Potential to improve quality of life

The municipality of Stavanger’s challenge was to find a way to increase the activity level of elderly users on short-term stays in nursing homes. To give them a larger degree of physicality and more capacity to live and cope with life in their own home. Better physical health leads to a reduction in the average length of each stay, and the time in between, which may contribute to improving users’ quality of life, as well as potentially saving the municipality a considerable amount of money.

With a rapidly growing elderly population in Norway, it’s crucial for the public healthcare service to find new ways of keeping senior citizens as active and healthy as possible. So-called emerging technologies, such as this smart rollator, provide an excellent solution.

Gaming as an activation tool

Topro, EGGS and the municipality of Stavanger are now conducting an ongoing innovation project where we are designing training programs and games that the elderly can use with their Topro rollator. Together we are creating a smart rollator which can activate users’ both physically and mentally, via fun and engaging apps. For senior citizens, physical activity is one of the most efficient ways of preventing accidental falls, in addition to maintaining an overall healthy physique.

Being on site with users makes for a unique project. It enables us to continually test, improve and change solutions for optimal results.

A project in the making

The project started in April 2018, and is ongoing, with an expected completion date of winter 2019. EGGS’ multi-disciplinary team of designers and developers continue to work in close collaboration with Topro and the municipality of Stavanger. The pilot nursing-home, Bergåstjern, is also involved in the project where all prototyping and testing is taking place in close collaboration with both staff and seniors at the nursing home.

The success of the innovation process is largely due to the essential involvement of the nurses and other staff at Bergårstjern, who are now able to teach and motivate users.

The development and testing of the sensors used on the rollator has happened in parallel to the development and testing of software, hardware and data management increasing the complexity of the innovation project.

So far, the team has done a lot of the innovation work, including insights, prototyping and testing, on-site at the pilot nursing home, Bergårstjern, where we’ve established a pop-up design office.

About the collaboration

The partnership consists of Stavanger Municipality and Topro, with EGGS as the design partner, and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia as the research and technology partner. Vangen & Plotz is responsible for the back-end during the innovation process, along with who’ll be operating the back-end IT systems after launch.

This new way of doing procurement (Innovation Partnership) gets used in projects where the service or product doesn’t yet exist in the market. It’s the first time a public organisation has applied the method of Innovative Partnership in Norway.