Introducing | EGGY
Our society is aging. Existing healthcare systems already have some difficulties to provide sufficient care towards dependently and independently living elderly. How will they cope with the forecasted increase of these elderly? The EGGY concept is proposed here for this purpose. EGGY is an easy-to-use eggtimer shaped medium that enables to show willingness and openness for contact to others in the neighbourhood. The medium encourages social interaction among elderly, who have fears for making the first steps in inviting others. The product integrates new technology of software in traditional looking hardware to comfort the target audience, elderly, with the introduction of a new tool. Due to its characteristics of easy-to-use, low accessibility, traditional look, non-commitment and connectedness elderly, are able to create (better) relationships with peers. EGGY creates motivation among seniors to participate in and to organize activities. This enables elderly to reduce feelings of loneliness and to increase their level of activity, and, hence, independency. Furthermore, it enhances care for caretakers, because EGGY optimizes the organization of activities by providing more personal and efficient communication, and may lead to a delegation of care. Users can request a need towards other users in the network.
EGGY focuses on social participation and reducing feelings of loneliness, which is a main element to ensure people’s happiness and level of activity. EGGY’s looks and functionality incorporates the needs of current elderly instead of going with technology and societal trends of the common population, and, hence, this ensures possible quickly adoption of EGGY. EGGY will be a low-cost product, can optimize efficientcy and effectiveness of healthcare by improving the quality of care, enabling a delegation of care and decreasing the need for care. Due to these improvements, EGGY will on the long term lead to savings in multiple sections such as healthcare and data communication. EGGY has a well-considered implementation plan where much attention has been paid to create synergy among the stakeholders, such as health care organisations, health insurances and educational institutions like SummaCollege or universities. Implementation will take time, but with the strategy of involving active elderly, a meeting centre and good instructions EGGY is a product that soon will be a part of the elderly’s life. In practice, EGGY has already shown that curiosity and pleasant experiences of contact among peers stimulated the usage of EGGY, social interactivity and level of activity. Further development is also possible such as usage expansion. In the sense that family members can also invite their parents or grandparents to join them for dinner.
To prove the concept and to gain insights and knowledge about the concept in context, prototypes have been tested in everyday life of elderly people. Hence, it also has shown the result and the value of the design intervention.
The EGGYinfograph is a flowchart that shows the needs and the experiences with the EGGY concept of the seniors and other stakeholders at different stages of implementation.
To test EGGY’s value and its business potential, more research has been conducted. Workshops and expert meetings have been organized to discuss the intention, the implementation and the value of EGGY for stakeholders. This research has shown the need for a collaboration network with professionals from various business fields to create synergy. Each stakeholder can use its own resources to fulfil needs of other stakeholders and vice versa. Moreover, certain stakeholders already have shown interest in further development of EGGY.