There are plenty of pocket-sized smartphones in the world. But sometimes the situation calls for something a little bigger. Yetitablet is a giant tablet with an open Android OS that offers improved access, and applications for care environments. Due to its larger screen size, the user interface is enlarged so it can be used by people with reduced vision or mobility. It is a rehabilitation platform that provides access to applications for people who lack the motor, visual or cognitive skills to use handheld devices. The Horizon 2020-funded Yetitablet project tested the product in technical, market and financial feasibility studies, to examine how it could improve digital access for the elderly and those with disabilities in Europe. “Our existing Yetitablets are making a big impact in senior care homes. The better access to technology helps seniors feel less lonely, live happier, with healthier minds, and bodies,” says Maria Jokelainen, CEO and co-founder of manufacturing partner Kuori and Yetitablet project coordinator.
Innovation from the home
The Yetitablet is the brainchild of Maria and Jarkko Jokelainen (the latter, CTO and co-founder of Kuori), who originally developed it for their three children, who all have autism spectrum disorder. The positive effect the device had with their children made them realise the potential benefits for others in society. In many cases, people – particularly those with autism – can get lost in their own individual devices. The Jokelainens found that this larger digital medium was helping their children to talk, discuss things, and simply be together. The same effects were found through testing in specialist autism centres in Finland. “The feedback is that a ‘visual-and-digital’ Yetitablet helps autistic people to work and come together. Some who haven’t even entered the group room before, now have the courage to come in and listen. It was such a surprise still that our findings were proven over and over again!” says Maria Jokelainen.
A wealth of global success stories
The Yetitablet is used by hospitals, care homes and rehabilitation centres across the Nordics and around the world to provide their clients with new forms of cognitive, physical and recreational therapy. The City of Stockholm invited the Yetitablet team to run a pilot project together with their innovation hub for the elderly at the end of 2019. “Both staff and residents of the Stureby nursing home for dementia were very happy with Yetitablet. The staff could save time in preparations for activities, and Yetitablet increased activity and interaction among the residents,” says Maria Jokelainen. The State of Connecticut in the United States is recommending Yetitablet use for all its state-wide care providers. A current pilot with special needs children is currently being run in the city of Espoo, Finland, where the Jokelainens’ children are currently in special needs classes.
Next generation, new style
The current version is durable and safe for even rough handling, designed to be used in hospitals and different care facilities. Some 700 units of this early model have already been sold, with 60 000 unit sales forecast by 2023. A next-generation product will be launched for individual households, and a prototype is currently undergoing testing. “When we go to individual homes, the Yetitablet will be lighter, with a more attractive design to match interior design needs, and will be thus more cost-efficient for individuals,” says Jarkko Jokelainen.
Yetitablet, tablet, technology, enlarged, senior, autism, helping, rehabilitation