Ängen operates several innovative projects funded by the EU and Swedish national agencies. Some of the projects are at the concept stage, whilst others are close to market launch
AssiStep is a Norwegian innovation for housing adaptation and fall prevention. It is a “rollator for the stairs”, which gives the elderly and people with reduced mobility and disabilities support walking up and down stairs, keeping them active and independent and staying at home for longer. As a tool, work and physiotherapists, ergonomists and physiotherapists can also use AssiStep in case-preventive work and in rehabilitation.
AssiStep wanted to cooperate with organizations and authorities in municipalities and county councils that work with housing adaptation, elderly care, case prevention, disability support and physical therapy, such as auxiliary centers and occupational and physiotherapists. They would also have contact with potential users / users and staff to evaluate the needs of the product and how they can be met.
By testing the product via Smart Elderly, the company hoped for a verification of the benefits of the product for both prevention, assistance and support in rehabilitation and physiotherapy. One purpose was to ensure functionality and ease of use with the AssiStep product “a walker rollator” for persons with reduced mobility and disability.
A workshop was conducted on Markbacken’s day-hopping during an afternoon in Nov-15. Participants were staff (physiotherapists) and employees from housing adaptation. A total of about 8 people tested the stairway solution and evaluated in groups. Thereafter, the staircase was available for a few days for other people who wanted to test. A further two employees from home care and 2 elderly / disabled tested and responded to an evaluation survey.
In Smart Elderly, Spring 2015 started a research project with CloudEnablers and researchers from the School of Business, Örebro University.
The iHug product is a passive security alarm and a communication solution aimed at increasing the safety of the elderly living at home as well as the elderly relatives. The purpose of the study was to investigate how iHug is experienced by the elderly and their relatives with regard to: security, utility, usability and integrity. After a first “expert evaluation” the product was installed at 5 elderly / relatives and a user evaluation was made. Then a pilot test was conducted on a group of 10 people aged 65+.
The schedule for the project was about 4 months and content 3 development cycles. After preparation with expert evaluation, user evaluation and the ethics application, an information meeting was held and 5 test sites were identified. The original test period was May – October, but it was extended ngt. Data collection was through interviews, diary, support and scenarios / observation.
The user experience was documented on issues such as:
• Is the product intuitive and easy to install, assemble and use?
• Missing any features?
• Are the intended increased safety for the elderly and the relative
• How does the balance between security and personal integrity experience?
The user results were divided by technical, physical and social environment.
• Great commitment / many valuable ideas
• New Uses
• Discovering aspects beyond the solution itself
• To question existing stereotypes
• Finding test subjects
• To inform / train / install
• Keeping the testimony’s interest alive
• Collecting views
• Handle unexpected changes
• To deal with technical issues / support
That after illness, surgery, injury through accident sports or the like start exercising with the opportunity to rest whenever the need arises. PromenAtouR is the solution.
The target group is those who need REHAB and those who want to walk freely in nature despite some permanent weakness (eg balance). The freedom to be able to walk anywhere, despite the need to make rests whenever and wherever. One step between snob and walker. It is remarkable that even a rehab patient can get the sharp effect of muscle training in the hands, arms, back, legs, heart, lungs and also get an important and more resilient attitude.
Arne 88 years, titles himself as inventor and entrepreneur. He has sat in his kitchen and mounted this device himself.
Arne would reach the target group older and / or disabled and therefore participated in the research and innovation facility at Ängen in connection with one of our Open Views. The interest was great and Arne was full of demonstrating his invention. Arne also participated with Smart Elder in the booth at the Senior Festival Fair in the fall of 2014. Here too, interest was high.
Arne today sells its solution through a retailer and continuously works to improve and develop the product.
Bestic is an eating aid aimed at people who suffer from illness or injury that makes you unable to eat yourself.
Common users of Bestic are people with different neurological damage such as MS, Polio, ALS, Parkinson’s, CP or spinal cord injury. Bestic is described as a robot arm with a spoon at the top that is easily maneuvered. There are today a number of controls for maneuvering Bestic, such as joystick or a five-button plate.
As there is a need for easier control of Bestic, the company has developed a new way of managing where a single button can do different things. One would now try if this button was found to be easy to use and therefore sought help finding people who could test the controller.
In the autumn of 2013, a test was carried out on this instrument in the research and innovation facility at Ängen. 5 people participated in tests and interviews about how they perceived the control device.
The tests and interviews proved to be very positive and the result was that the new button / new control device was patented.
Implementation of the Servo Glove – Health Economics Study
The servo glove is a power tool that is used today by people who, because of a weak grip or weak hand strength, can not lift, carry, grab themselves to the extent they need or want. Reduced strength may be due to various factors including obesity, neurological diseases, muscular diseases, rheumatological diseases or accidental injury.
We want to investigate how Servo Glove is used and experienced by older people who today need support to manage themselves. How their quality of life is affected and how their independence and independence evolve.
Target audience: Older people from 60 upwards, men and women. They can live at home or at the elderly.
In parallel, today, a comprehensive clinical study of Servo Glove at the University Hospital in Örebro is done. We want to supplement this with shorter usage studies where usefulness, views and suggestions are documented. We do not require to follow clinical research guidelines but will use the results in our further development of the existing product and market. The result will also help us understand the misunderstood way and in what situations the SErvo glove optimally supports the individual in ADL situations and its influence on self-esteem and self-esteem.
Within the framework of Smart Elderly, a health economics study was conducted by Mikael Svensson, School of Business, Örebro University, to see how the glove affected the individual from an ADL perspective. The study was conducted on those who participate in the clinical study that is ongoing in parallel via the University Hospital. Other supporting actor, in addition to Smart elderly, is the Robot Valley.
The final outcome of the health-economic study has not yet been completed.
Interactive stroke rehabilitation at a distance
Smart Elderly collaborate with a project like Robot Valley, together with several strong partners, runs the STRADA project “Interactive Distance Solutions for Implementation and Follow-Up of Stroke Rehabilitation in Home Environment.”
The project develops modern communication technology that provides patients with stroke better support in their rehabilitation. The goal is for patients with stroke, between regular exercise at home or on care facilities, to train motor functions at home based on the technology developed within the project. This can be done either by the patient exercising on his own using computer-assisted exercises or by the patient practicing with a rehabilitation therapist located remotely via video conferencing.
Within the project, a technical prototype has been developed in close collaboration with representatives of patients, related and rehabilitation staff. Until October 2014, the technology’s utility in stroke rehabilitation was tested in a pilot study of 10-20 patients (three different groups of patients). Installation and initial testing of the patient was done.
Technology development: During the past year (2016) a version 2 of the system has been worked out. Together with IUS innovation, we have further developed the content and appearance exercises. The new version now has a number of exercises whose design (to appearance) can be similar to commercial game applications. The part of the system that allows the caregiver to plan and follow up exercises has also been further developed. This along with Alkit Communications.
Studies in 2015: Danderyd Hospital completed a feasibility study of version 1 in 15 patients in 2015. The results and experiences of this study have been used in the process of developing version 2 of the system. Smart Elder’s role was to find ways to test the technology developed in the project in county councils and municipalities in Örebro County. This resulted in three tests of STRADA, which were placed on the Skebäcksgård day care center, Ängens dagrehab and the Rostahemmet in Örebro during the first half of 2015. The comments received led to changes in the training program. Smart elderly have also given input about commercialization opportunities.
The test of STRADA in Örebro has resulted in:
Computer-based, customized training programs
Video communication and the possibility of continuous contact with the patient
The patient can either train himself or with rehab staff at a distance (via video
Sensor technology – motion measurement during exercise
Support for follow-up and planning of training including compilation and visualization of training results
Scheduled and ongoing studies: Danderyd Hospital has applied for research at the Swedish Research Council for a clinical study in 2017. Other parties who wish may also be involved in this. The three systems in Örebro have been updated to version 2 and we are investigating opportunities to continue working on developing proposals for exercises / games that focus on everyday activities.
Commercialization: During the past year, Jan Erik Hedborg has worked with the companies involved to develop a commercial plan regarding the upcoming product. Conversations with different partners and financiers have begun. A demonstration film and product sheet on STRADA has been produced for distribution on the market.
Important actions remaining before STRADA is ready to launch on the market is a clinical study to determine clinical and health economics evidence, exercise extension, documentation and CE (MDD) classification. The goal is to find a financial and commercial partner that is advantageously established in the healthcare market. This will accelerate sales and thus increase the chances of becoming a successful provider of interactive rehabilitation services at a distance. Robot Valley will continue to work for both technical development and additional marketing activities.
Appvas Medication and Care Support System (MCSS) is a system developed in close collaboration with staff groups on special accommodations. The purpose has been to replace today’s manual paper lists with modern technology to give the employee support to do the right thing. In Sweden, approximately 100 million medical doses are signed annually. MCSS creates traceability, shows real outcomes, generates data for business development and business improvement and, above all, a reminder of prescribed efforts is not performed in time to ensure adequate patient safety.
The sign-up list is created digitally with space for instructions and linked to delegation requirements. Employee delegations are in the system and are searchable for, among other things, title, person and type. Nursing staff sign the insert on a mobile device (reading plate or phone) with clear instructions on the implementation of the operation. Support for Drug Checking, etc.
Target groups are special housing and home care.
The customer value is measured by measuring the entire implementation of the business, not just deviations and shortcomings, which creates a huge opportunity to learn from the good examples and work on continuous improvement efforts for both the user and the executive.
MCSS has been evaluated since November 2013 at Mikaleigården in Örebro. The system enables daily monitoring that medication is given properly. This is a clear improvement against the paper forms used earlier and could be followed up only several weeks after signing. Tests have also been performed in a home care area (Norrby Home Care with 4 nursing groups, nurses and occupational therapists).
With experience from the pilot round at Mikaeligården, you will now proceed and install the system for more residents in the municipality of Örebro.
Contact person Cecilia Lundberg, Örebro (cecilia.lundberg (a) orebro.se or
Ulrika Kjellberg, Appva AB (ulrika.kjellberg (a) appva.se)
Jan 2014 – Dec 2014, Länsförsäkringar Research Fund
Researchers: Annica Kristoffersson, Ella Kolkowska, Amy Loutfi
Partners: Örebro University, Örebro Municipality, Alfred Nobel Science Park
When marketing products developed to support older people living in their homes, concepts such as increasing security are often used. But what is safety then? According to the National Board of Health, safety includes physical, mental and existential aspects. Often it is easier to describe what makes us feel unsafe. In this project, an attempt was made to measure the safety of using the HOMEbasic sensor network from Abilia.
HOMEbasic was installed in seven older men with self-relapsed memory difficulties for a period of about five months. All men lived with their wives, two of whom were still working, their men had an analogue memory board before the project started. Data was collected through a number of surveys that measure various aspects that can be linked to safety and / or usability, and by interviewing each person a total of four times. It was difficult to measure security, the surveys showed small and varied changes over time. Several people suggested that these changes were not due to HOMEbasic but on other factors. The data collected is about usability, what is good with the system and what can be improved.
Both test subjects and relatives prefer digital calendar in front of analogue equivalents
sure to be able to see what activities have been acknowledged
Easy to insert repeat activities
no annoying sounds
Two test subjects have MEMOplanner today
but the calendar needs to be shut down at night. There are also requests to be able to control what others can see in the calendar.
Wishes about sensor reminders in the mobile phone
You can be gone when it’s alarming
relatives want to know that there has been an alarm
The tip sensor located in several commercial sensor networks is too large to fit into the box under the cooking hob. No need for information that the door is open, only if it is locked or not. The range between router and MEMOplanner needs to be expanded.
Relatives wish to access more information from the sensor network, such as logging function for the use of micro and medication.
A new device, the so-called The Soft Extra Muscle Glove (www.bioservo.com) is a body-borne power tool designed to look and smooth as a glove while compensating and delivering the right amount of hand power when the user needs a stronger grip. A previous pilot study of people with disabilities describes how the grip strengthening glove can provide both increased grip strength and reduced pain. However, there is no scientific study on the importance of a power tool that Servo Glove may have for people with neurological disease. The aim is therefore to study the effect of the Servo Glove on people with impaired hand strength due to multiple sclerosis or myopathy.
Target audience: People with a weak grip but sufficient mobility to open and close the hand. First of all, we will investigate the importance of the glove for people with MS or myopathy.
Customer value: The result of the study is expected to highlight the effect of a power-generating device for people with MS or myopathy. By publishing the result, prescribers and other stakeholders will gain knowledge that can lead to greater assurance of the help of those people who are most in need of it. This may lead to further studies, which in the long term may affect more people with weak grip, such as people with rheumatic disease. The study has been initiated by Bioservo, which has developed the product, and will be implemented in cooperation with them. The results may be important at national level for the extent to which an aid such as the Servo Glove should be prescribed to the patient groups. The results are also expected to be spread internationally by publishing the results.
The study is done in the form of a pre-study study. The study is approved by the Ethics Testing Board in Uppsala. People who participate in the study may conduct three hand-held tests, fill in two questionnaires and answer any questions about what is difficult due to their weak hand. The same thing will then be repeated two or three times, in one and two or three months. It takes about 60 minutes at every time. Either way, the person will start testing the glove, then you can do the test a total of four times, or the person will try the glove in a month, and then you will have to do the test a total of three times. The test of the glove takes about one hour, then you can come back once a week for three weeks to follow up on how it goes with the glove and make adjustments if needed.
Christmas 2010 – Dec 2013 (AAL Project ExCITE)
Jan 2012 – Dec 2014 (FP7 Project GiraffPlus)
Örebro University, Örebro Municipality and Region Örebro County have previously collaborated on testing and development of the Giraffe, which can be briefly described as “Skype on wheels”. The product is aimed at older people who can move freely in the home and yet communicate with the one who joined the Giraffe and control it through a computer program.
In ExCITE, the Giraffe was tested in a total of 21 homes in Italy (Rome), Spain (Malaga) and Sweden (Örebro) to gather input about what needed to be improved to allow such technology to be used in home environments. Among other things, the project led to the following improvements:
Information about who is calling on the screen
Ability to choose whether or not to answer incoming calls
Multiple access levels (eg alarm operators should always be able to access)
Raise and decrease camera / screen (seat / stand height)
In GiraffPlus the focus was on building a sensor network in which different sensors collect information about activities and physiological data. The giraffe is used to stimulate social interaction. The project put users in focus, therefore, different prototypes of the GiraffPlus system were tested in a total of 15 homes in Italy (Rome), Spain (Malaga) and Sweden (Örebro). Smart Older was crucial for finding test subjects in Sweden and maintaining contact with these people.
The project, which paid close attention to the European Commission, chose to make a press release and film with one of the test subjects (Nonna Lea).
Furhat Robotics AB in collaboration with Robot Valley and Smart Elder evaluates how the social robot Furhat could be used in cognitive contexts.
Smart elderly have identified experts / competencies within our network and the goal is now to define what is required to succeed in Furhat Cognition (and then primarily focus on children and adolescents with cognitive challenges). The focus in autumn 2015 was to:
- Define areas for Furhat to focus on
- Discuss (and possibly determine) hypotheses about expected effects of using Furhat
During autumn 15, two workshops / focus groups were conducted with participants from both Örebro Municipality and Region Örebro County (Habliteringen). Interest was from Habilitation to continue discussions in order to arrive at a field of application where a possible test can be carried out. This led to a separate workshop with full child rehabilitation in spring 2016. It agreed to want to continue the work and a further workshop was carried out in June 2016.
The workshop in June 2016 had participants from the Neuropsychological team, Furhat and the Robot Valley. The purpose of the hit was to give Furhat Robotics a foundation for what needs to be developed to make Furhat a good support in the habilitation care.
In conclusion, it was concluded that:
- Furhat can be a good tool for learning rules for social interaction (for example, chatting with small children) and for developing strategies to cope with everyday life
- Important to give the therapist the opportunity to better take the meta role
- In a first step, solutions are developed where an individual user communicates with Furhat (single interaction)
Next planned steps:
We found that there are two training situations that should be prioritized.
- “3-in-one”: Furhat looks at objects on the big screen. Users should understand / see what Furhat is looking at (joint attention), and then ask what Furhat thinks / feels (reading emotions).
- Mall for single interaction to practice chatting
The Furhat team was tasked with drawing up a development plan for these two situations (including schedule and budget), and returned when it came into place.
To ensure functionality and ease of use with the Multi Trolley Standard product for persons with reduced mobility and disability.
Strengthen Independence and Integrity in the management of furniture and beds in the home environment and as a task in an employment such as caretakers and furniture dealers.
Target group: Persons with reduced mobility and disability.
Customer value: People with disabilities and with reduced mobility “can themselves” handle furniture and other at home. If the person is very disabled, for example The personal assistant handles this to the user.
Social benefit: That an individual “can himself” in an ergonomically and safely manner, performs what is quality of life!
The company wanted to cooperate with organizations that have a test bed (eg Smart Elderly, Aid Centers, etc.) and with their focus groups, users and staff to identify the problems and needs of the product. Based on the results, you would then adapt the product to meet identified needs as well
Verify the result.
Smart elderly people initiated a meeting / reference group with current persons / features, which together with Multi Trolley, and based on a number of questions, gave a comprehensive picture of how and if you thought the product was of interest. In addition, Smart elderly worked as a ballboard in the preparation of a survey. However, it was unclear whether the company had such a good basis to change / develop its product.