Even Grandpa in Pyhtää uses health tech - especially when you get to develop it yourself
Active Life Village's Well-Being Loan Centre
In most cases, elderly people want to live at home as long as possible, and the municipalities do not have anything against this, because it is less expensive than institutional care. Multiple safety, health and wellness devices and solutions have been developed to support living at home. The threshold for their introduction is often quite high because the technology is considered difficult, or even frightening.
Active Life Village, who develop well-being solutions for the elderly, began to think how the situation could be improved. They interviewed all the elderly residents of the municipality of Pyhtää about what they felt would make their lives better at home. The survey gave rise to the Well-Being Loan Centre concept, which provides a testing box containing pre-installed safety, health and well-being equipment.
The Loan Centre was set up where lending processes and systems are already in existence: i.e. at the library.
Demo area in library (Helsinki). Photo: http://huomisenarki.wordpress.com
The essential part isn’t the fact that the box may be loaned, but rather that the equipment can be used and that people want to use it. The users brought everyday perspectives to the development work, which often might appear self-evident with hind-sight, but which the developers could not see from the same perspective as the users.
"One of the most illustrative examples is related to the cables for the devices. When many different appliances are packed into the box, it creates quite a jumble of wires. We considered how the users were going to be able to connect the cables correctly, so we looked at different colour coding for the wires and so forth. Then one elderly man asked whether the wires couldn't just be connected beforehand. We sat around the table, then looked at each other and thought that, well actually indeed...," says the Director of Active Village, Pasi Peho, with a smile.
From Pyhtää to the world
The Well-Being Loan Centre was well received in Pyhtää and has already been extended to Espoo.
Active Life Village is a business enterprise, and is striving to build a business model around the concept. An essential moment in the model is when the loan period ends: how can you get the appliances for your own use?
"It is essential to make the purchase as straight forward as possible, and straight forward expressly for this target group. If we did this for young people, some sort of network solution would be the obvious choice, but in this case not necessarily so. We are currently considering this part of the concept," says Pasi Peho.
When you look at the developing age structure, not only in Finland, but also in any of the post-industrial societies, you become aware that the market potential for the Well-Being Loan Centre is almost unlimited.
Testing boxes with well-being equipment
Juha Lipiainen, CEO
Active Life Village
Tel. +358 405 037 444
Text: Tommi Niittymies