The Sound of Future Healthcare Solutions

 
 
The project was completed in 2016

 
A project that identifies, maps out and develops conceptual audio solutions for people with dementia and mental health problems

In cooperation with Patient@home, Struer Municipality will examine whether the use of sound can contribute to the development of new methods and solutions for two of the most costly patient groups of Struer Municipality, namely the dementia-stricken and the mentally ill.

 

Background

It is estimated that about 90,000 Danes suffer from dementia, and an extrapolation indicates that the number will double within the next 25-30 years. The social costs associated with dementia in Denmark today are said to be around 24 billion DKK. The increase in the number of citizens requiring special needs also counts citizens with a diagnosis of mental illness, and the number of Danes treated for psychiatric diagnoses soared by 48 percent from 2000 to 2009. Figures provided by Danish Regions indicate that in Denmark depressions alone cost about 14 billion DKK per year, while anxiety disorders cost about 6 billion DKK per year.

Research shows that it is possible to design specific audio environments and technologies in terms of desired behaviour and healthcare. Sound can create moods and plays an important role in our ability to reflect and create mental images. Hence, it makes sense to examine and test audio solutions within several areas of healthcare, e.g. dementia and psychiatry.

 

Vision and purpose

Struer Municipality wants to develop audio concepts, e.g. in cooperation with local companies, that can partly prevent unpredictable and inexpedient behaviours of the dementia-stricken and thus improve their general well-being, and partly help the dementia-stricken remain in their own homes for a longer period of time. Another aim of the project is to find solutions that can support citizens that are affected by mental disorders, and who find it difficult to cope with everyday life. Here the main goal is to inspire an increasing number of mentally-ill people to exercise more, as exercises demonstrably affect the mentally ill in a positive way, and to help provide the peace they often need when falling into an unwanted, chaotic thought pattern. It is all meant to make more patients master their own lives and improve their perceptions of self-reliance.

To ensure that the audio solutions developed will have a positive effect on the citizens involved, Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark will contribute with a requirements analysis based on the needs of the mentally ill and the dementia-stricken. User involvement will be an essential part of the study, which will identify and unite areas where sound can make a real difference.

 

Expected results

At a workshop held in Struer on 6 May 2015 employees, relatives and managements of the two institutions: TROIA, for mentally-ill persons, and Svalegangen, for dementia-stricken persons, were gathered to introduce ideas and concepts that may be transformed into applicable audio solutions for the mentally ill and people with dementia. The next step is aimed at developing those ideas and concepts further with reference to the results of the requirements analysis and the workshop, followed by real-life tests performed at the two institutions mentioned above.

The challenges facing Struer Municipality are not only shared by the majority of Danish municipalities, but also by communities abroad. Therefore, a subsequent scaling of the project will be an obvious possibility.

 
Contact PersonCaroline 
                Strudwick

Caroline  Strudwick

Project Manager / Innovation Consultant


Region Syddanmark, Syddansk Sundhedsinnovation

Email:  LOADEMAIL[Caroline.Strudwick]DOMAIN[rsyd.dk]

Tel:      +45 4024 7587

Partners

Region Syddanmark, Syddansk Sundhedsinnovation

Caroline  Strudwick

Email:  LOADEMAIL[Caroline.Strudwick]DOMAIN[rsyd.dk]

Tel:      +45 4024 7587

Web:   http://www.syddansksundhedsinnovation.dk/

Struer Kommune

Claus  Falk Petersen

Email:  LOADEMAIL[cfp]DOMAIN[struer.dk]

Tel:      +45 5114 2631

Web:   http://www.struer.dk/