I attended a seminar organised by CIDe Cluster Finland in Laurea´s Tikkurila campus. CIDe Cluster is a joint project of Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Vantaan Innovaatioinstituutti Oy (Innovation Institute of Vantaa, Inc.). It focuses on the development of products and services promoting good care and rehabilitation. CIDe Cluster brings together health care and well-being companies, public sector organizations and other community players to create business development and innovation know-how. CIDe Cluster offers their partners networking events and welfare business and welfare technology trainings.
Don’t fear the restructuring
CEO Jari Koskinen of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities opened his speech by saying that the Finnish administrative structure is moving towards the European model – state, autonomous areas (countries) and municipalities – with the new Social welfare and Healthcare reform. His opinion is that when planning those reforms, one should keep in mind the number of inhabitants in Finland. Not only was he comparing Finland to France where he, still as a spokesman of the Päijät-Häme region, wanted to create a partnership with one of the northern regions of France, but while the Finnish one had 200,000 residents, the French equivalent had over four million! Understandable, the French were not enthusiastic about a joint action. He also compared the Finnish regions with one another – Keski-Pohjamaa having 70,000 inhabitants, and Uusimaa getting close to two million! His message was “How do you divide the responsibilities in the upcoming reform if the autonomous regions aren´t homogenous?” He noted that there are 20 cities in Finland that each have a larger population than the entire region of Keski-Pohjamaa.
He had more questions to which he would want answers from the new reform policy makers. The municipalities own real estates and if the responsibilities for health care are transferred from them to the autonomous regions, will the latter purchase those properties from the municipalities? If so, will they pay the market price? How to arrange it so that nobody suffers because of the responsibilities being taken away from the municipalities?
The role of the Universities of Applied Sciences as reformers of welfare and well-being services
Director Katariina Raij of Laurea University of Applied Sciences had an innovative approach: as soon as a new innovation appears, new training/studies should be made available swiftly. Otherwise, we won´t utilize the innovative ideas properly. The innovation should be quickly introduced to the markets, there are lots of innovative technologies that were never applied. How do we bring agility into the process of innovation? When thinking about health care in the public sector, it is an industry focused on curing diseases, and the whole system is based on illnesses not health. The research findings of the JADE project 2014, Active and Healthy Ageing Report 2011, Special Euro Barometer 378 and Digi Barometer 2014 show that technology is very poorely utilized in solving the problems of the public sector.
In order to be internationaly “visible”, it is important to invest in high-level development and know-how. Finland has a reputation of being slow in putting new health technology innovations into use in the health care sector. Finland is also very careful when approaching new innovations because of the risk of conflicts of interest. That prevents the creation of partnerships between the private and the public sector which are very important especially for the health care system. Insufficient revision of regulations and standards delays the entrance of innovations into the markets by months or even years.
She praised the new National Curriculum that is currently being drafted by the Finnish National Board of Education. She called the new curriculum fantastic, with the mindset the children will acquire and the way in which they will perceive the future. As of 2019, there will be a freedom of choice among public, private and third sector health service providers. How does the client recognize the best quality? How do we help clients make good choices? The question is: Do we need a new college degree/ complementary educational training in service navigation/ guidance?
The Well Life Center of Laurea created a research project called HyvinvointiTV (CaringTV) . The HyvinvointiTV’s studio was built in the Well Life Center with professionals offering individual guidance and advisory services that were co-created with clients. The aim of the interactive HyvinvointiTV was to support the health and well-being of elderly people living independently in their own homes. At that time, the founders of course had no idea how fast the e-services would develop. HyvinvointiTV was a pioneer in robotics. The award-winning service gained a lot of attention all around the world. The clients claimed that the screen felt so real they felt as if they had invited guests to their homes.
Care Innovation and Design (CIDe) was founded in 2010 in collaboration between Laurea and Vantaan Innovaatioinstituutti Oy (Innovation Institute of Vantaa, Inc.). CIDe sees itself as an innovation environment with an emphasis on advancing health and well-being, supporting self-care and enabling customer-centeredness in all research and development activities. At the moment CIDe is owned by Laurea only. Care Innovation and Design as such doesn´t exist in any other University of Applied Sciences in Finland.
Jana Arhio, Laurea