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Unique procurement in port – Virotea creates virtual healthcare training

The very first procurement in DigitalWell Arena's demand accelerator is in port. For the municipality of Karlstad, this means that you get access to a new, virtual training tool that can increase the staff's understanding of challenging situations in care.

In the end, it was Virotea's concept that best met the needs of the care unit. The purpose of the procurement is to create a new, digital service that increases the healthcare staff's understanding of cognitive impairment in LSS and elderly care. Cognitive impairment is a collective term for symptom images that involve a reduction in cognitive ability, which includes, for example, dementia.

- The big difference is that the staff does not have to imagine what we are talking about, but gets a real and more concrete experience. We got what we wanted, and it's a type of experience that gives you goosebumps, says Maria Andersson, cognition representative in Karlstad municipality, who together with colleague Magdalena Swierczek represented the needs of the business in the procurement.

They believe that Virotea's digital service also provides the opportunity to create a more equal level of knowledge.

- This service means that we can work method-based and not person-driven, it must work equally regardless of which person comes to the workplace, says Magdalena Swierczek.

Magdalena Swierczek and Maria Andersson believe that the new service will increase understanding of customers' needs.

Virotea's service visualizes through VR (Virtual Reality) various everyday situations where it can be difficult to understand the customers' perspective. The virtual experience affects the staff through both visual and auditory impressions. For example via an inner voice, everyday sounds that increase in strength or the field of vision becoming colored or blurred. Overall, an experience is created that both disorients and gives a feeling of discomfort.

Provides educational guidance

The film scenarios that are shown are followed by an educational part designed by the care and social care unit, where the staff learns how to best treat the customer. It is, for example, about dealing with situations linked to delusions, perception of time or where a certain environment creates challenges.

- This experience should contribute to strong empathy, increased understanding and better treatment - supplemented by pedagogical knowledge, says Ivan Perlesi, CEO of Virotea, who emphasizes that it is not possible to know exactly how customers experience reality.

He himself has many years of experience working within LSS, and knows that it can be difficult to read the customers without a deeper understanding.

- It can be about small things where you think you are doing the right thing, but still get a plate on your head. I would never have seen this need if I hadn't worked within LSS, I have experienced the film scenarios we show on a daily basis.

Virotea has previously created VR services that contribute to a meaningful everyday life for customers, for example guided tours. Ivan Perlesi thinks it has provided important insights for the new service as well.

Seven companies involved in the innovation process

Initially, seven companies were procured to participate in the innovation process. The companies have then had to meet representatives from the health and care unit and the team around the demand accelerator to present their concept proposals in more detail. Three companies were then selected to continue the development work, before the final choice fell on Virotea's concept.

A prerequisite for the procurements that may become relevant for DigitalWell Arena's demand accelerator is that there is a market potential linked to the need. This means that the services and products that are developed need to be scalable and can be spread to more customers. The companies have therefore received support from the DigitalWell GovTech Incubator, among other things with developing their business models and establishing contact with other municipalities to get to know the market. 

Scheme that will benefit pilot customers

The aim is to benefit both the companies, who get a larger market, and the first customer in the public sector, who does not have to bear the development cost alone. Several other customers have already shown interest in Virotea's service, which will be available this autumn.

- The service would definitely have become more expensive if we had developed it exclusively for the municipality of Karlstad. In a normal procurement, the question is usually what it costs and what we can deliver. In this case, no one knew from day one exactly what it would be, but we have developed it together with the municipality. It minimizes the risk of buying something that in the end is not at all what you imagined, says Ivan Perlesi.

At the same time, he sees great value just in participating in the process, and Virotea would have continued the development of the service even if they had not received the final agreement. Ivan Perlesi also thinks that the fact that all the companies that participated in the innovation process have received a certain amount of compensation is of great importance.

- The money shows a sign of commitment, that the client is serious and that it is not just a process of inspiration.



The regional project DigitalWell is financed by the European Union - European Regional Development Fund. The purpose of DigitalWell is that we will together develop digital solutions for needs in welfare with the user's own abilities in focus.