Last week at the invitation of the Zorginnovatiewinkel (Care Innovation Shop) our co-founder and executive director Rahzeb Choudhury spoke at the International Conference for Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Together with the Dutch Ministry of Health the team of the Zorginnovatiewinkel organized an Innovation Plaza. They were focusing on the three conference themes: the changing position of nurses, leadership in transformation of health care and interprofessional collaboration between nursing specialists.
It was lovely to see the wide range of ideas people have recently brought to market, ranging from low-tech, such as True Doors, to high solutions like social robots and virtual reality (VR), to help people.
During the sessions dedicated to dementia care and assisted living, Rahzeb gave heartfelt and well received talks about the importance of feeling at home when people with dementia move to a nursing home.
We've had two lovely days at the International Conference for Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing in Rotterdam!...
Between the sessions we had took time to attend a couple of workshops. One by nurse practitioner Angelien Sieben from Radboud University stood out for me. Her message was that the care focus of nurses work and the regularity of interaction with the patients means nurses are well placed to share insight on what improvements are most needed and how they might best work.
As a consequence her strong recommendation is that nurses should be involved in design and decision-making processes. Especially when it comes to care innovations, as a posed to medical interventions.
Care robots played a prominent role at the Innovation Plaza. It was fascinating to see how they might improve the quality of life of people that need specialized care. Tinybot Tessa for example, was designed to aid decision-making for people with dementia (“Do you want to make a cup of coffee for yourself?”) and to help them taking care of themself. Because Tessa talks and replies to the person it can also stimulate social interaction and decrease loneliness.
While Tessa has a home-like and not too technical look, robot LEA is a walking aid that helps people keep their balance and meanwhile communicate with their loved ones. Since it is easy to take LEA everywhere the person goes, it is possible to connect with your relatives, receiving verbal assistance through a computer screen and to walk around independently.
In our ageing society where so many people need care, but not enough human hands can provide this, care robots seem to be a possible approach to filling this gap. The wide range of use scenarios and ability to personalize care can be of great value for helping to maintain people’s independence and self-worth.
We were happy for the opportunity to exchange stories and ideas with others in the field. And to also experience the warm culture that pervades nursing. Of the many innovations on display at Zorginnovatiewinkel’s Innovation Plaza I am curious which will actually be successful in the healthcare market and why they succeed.