Getting senior citizens to stay active is just as challenging in Stavanger as in many other parts of the world. To solve this problem the municipality chose to use the new public procurement method in Norway, Innovation Partnership, to find a solution. The medical aid provider, Topro, won the contract. Then together with EGGS as the design partner, set about developing a smart rollator to help encourage the elderly to be physically more mobile.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.