The Living Lab on Wellbeing Services and Technology Project

The Living Lab on Wellbeing Services and Technology, a two-year project during 1.12.2009-30.4.2012 is being carried out in Finland to support elderly people with a memory disorder living at home. The purpose of the project is to test, survey and study the user’s experience of the latest welfare technology installed in real homes. The test groups of the new technology are: 1) elderly people, 2) domestic help and nursing personnel and 3) relatives and other care givers. As a result, suppliers receive feedback from real users in order to develop or re-design their products and new, user-driven innovations.

The partners of the project are Pori Regional Development Agency Ltd (POSEK), South-Ostrobothnia Health Technological Development Centre (EPTEK) and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK). The project is being supported by the Regional Council of Satakunta, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and municipalities of the regions. The project is being implemented by three regions (Satakunta, Tampere and South-Ostrobothnia) in Finland. There are three independent projects (one in each region) focusing on a different perspective under the same theme. The purpose of this innovative cooperation is to create several Living Lab environments in Finland.

Key objectives of the project

1) To create a needs-driven service concept which enables elderly people to live safely and longer in their own homes, to improve their overall wellbeing and quality of life and to diminish their feelings of loneliness.

2) To create a functional PPP partnership (Public-Private-People) in order to produce products and services for elderly people.
The target group of the project is aged people with a memory disorder.

The main principles

A company can participate in the Living Lab environment as long as the ultimate aim of the product or service they provide is to enhance the quality of life of aged people. The most common factors which have a detrimental impact: fear of loss of independence, fear of losing capability, feeling of insecurity and loneliness.

The companies will provide their products and services for free and at their own risk. No costs can be incurred by the provider of the testing environment, testers, their relatives or the project. Testing is a product development process for the participating company. The providers of the testing environment will offer the use of their staff for free during the duration of the testing period. This is quite a major investment in these times of tight human resources in the nursing sector.  

Should there be willingness by the provider of the testing environment and the products/service provider, co-operation can be continued after the testing process.