The students of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences are developing a system to monitor the residents of the new senior center, which will be part of the service block built to Koskela in Helsinki.

In the new senior center, each memory patient will have their own home with their bathroom. In addition to this, there will also be a common space for dining and living, among other things, and an outdoor area, where residents can catch some fresh air.

The senior center to be built in the Koskela service block will utilize modern intelligent solutions in its operations, which will enable people with memory disorders to live an even more cozy and free life.

Influences have been sought from the Dutch village of Hogewey, which is a nursing home disguised to look like the outside world. Hogeweyk provides memory patients with a safe and free living environment that supports resident involvement by bringing services close to them.

THE MONITORING and tracking system developed by Haaga-Helia’s students and lecturer Harto Halmström is based on Bluetooth (BT) beacon technology. BT beacons can send short messages over a local area network, giving the patients an access to value-added services and sending information about the their movements.

According to Haaga-Helia’s lecturer Holmström, the system would distribute smart BT-bracelets with pre-installed tags to the patients. These tags can open doors and floors according to the condition of the health and individual needs of the patient.

– Testing of the Bluetooth beacons at the senior center was scheduled for spring 2020, but the coronavirus put our plans on hold, he says.

However, a small setback did not stop the students ’enthusiasm for development. The test versions of the beacon bracelets were ready last autumn, and they were eventually tested on Haaga-Helias’ own premises. The browser view for the end-users and a mobile phone application for the nursing staff were also completed in Fall.

FOR KOSKELA Senior Center’s Director Anneli Walldén from the City of Helsinki, building an intelligent senior center is a matter of the heart. Minimizing the limiting factors, she said, will improve the quality of life of the residents. With the utilization of digital technology, nurses will have more time for the residents themselves.

According to Walldén, freer movement can also help calm people with severe memory problems.

– The group home environment is known to cause a lot of unnecessary distress when the doors have to be locked and movement restricted to a small space, she says.

Walldén says that she has always seen cross-sectoral cooperation projects as a bottomless resource that will be used even more effectively in the future. Therefore, it was easy for her to jump into cooperation when Haaga-Helia was contacted.

– I think students are an important resource in combining care and nursing with digital technology and technology, as well as service design, she says.

Walldén believes that the principal of the memory-friendliness in services and their development has become more and more important. And that can be seen in the construction project of the Koskela Senior Center, where several different intelligent solutions have been devised.

The primary goal of the City of Helsinki is that the solutions being developed would be suitable for both new and old group homes. The first smart senior center is expected to be completed during 2024.