Ageing society and lack of professional carers drive the need for innovative products and services in the area of homecare. The challenge however is to deliver solutions which will be accepted by end-users. Co-creation is a promising method to tackle this issue as feedback from seniors is included in the design process from early on. Does it really help, though?
To get answers, 20 SMEs and Public service providers in 6 European countries took part in the HoCare2.0 project and tested the co-creation method in development of their own products and services. They were supported by Co-creation Labs – networks of relevant SMEs, Public service providers, researchers and end-users. Moreover, Tools were available to them with guidelines on how to approach co-creation with seniors effectively. All SMEs and Service providers eventually drew similar conclusions, such as in Italy and the Czech republic.
Easy access to clinical data
In Italy, the company MEDnoTE developed an IT system for integrated use between specialists and home that allows the digitization and recording of clinical data and all home services. Through an access device – such as a tablet or smartphone or PC – the user or the caregiver talk to the doctor, in real time share clinical data such as vital parameters, results of blood tests performed at the patient’s home. A key advantage is avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital and increased level of serenity to the users and their caregivers, by knowing that the user is always monitored.
“The company representatives were positively impressed by the co-creation method. They appreciated the valuable feedback they received from participants which allowed them to improve the solution during the testing period,” says Matteo Donelli from the Cremona Chamber of Commerce who also participated in the testing. He adds that “the involved seniors appreciated most the feeling of protection and usefulness that the solution conveys”.
The Social Ambulance
The Institute for social services Prague 4 in Czech republic developed an innovative public service during the pilot – the Social Ambulance. It is dedicated to providing complex help to the clients and their care-givers as a continuation of the „Centre for Family Care Providers”, already working within the Institute. The service includes social counselling, orientation in state support schemes, mediation and cooperation with registered social services or other facilities, psychological counselling, group activities (self-help group for caring), and palliative counselling.
Michal Souček from the Institute for social services Prague 4 says that “having used the co-creation approach has led to improved care quality, e.g. by including modern technology in communication between clients and their loved ones during covid-19 lockdowns.” He adds that “the Institute is very satisfied with the jointly developed service and happy to see the positive impact on the clients and staff.”.
About HoCare2.0 project
The project supports the delivery and deployment of customer-centred home care solutions using the co-creation method. It is funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme. The project is implemented by 11 partners from Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Slovenia.
About the Institute for social services Prague 4
The mission of the Institute of Social Services in Prague 4 is to support an active and dignified life of seniors and disadvantaged citizens on the territory of the municipal district of Prague 4 through the provision of residential, outpatient and field social services and counselling.