Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ShowerPod Report Summary

Project ID: 735067

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ShowerPod (ShowerPod)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The project adress the problem of hygiene for vulnerable people. Nowadays there are many people who can not manage to take care of their own hygiene because of physical disabilities. These people need and get help from healthcare personal with some basic daily routines including to take a shower. Depending on the person's disability, one or two persons are needed for assistance. Needing help from others for basic things like personal hygiene can be felt like an uncomfortable intrusion in the patient privacy and integrity, beyond the feeling of being unable to fend for yourself. For healthcare staff, this part of their work duty means a lot of heavy carrying, lifting, pulling and holding. Assisting a disable or vulnerable person with a shower comes with issues such as difficult postures that put a strain on backs and necks, often in confined spaces, physical and mental strength needed to do this work with several patients on a daily basis as well as intrusion in another person’s privacy, integrity and intimacy. The proposed innovation is a solution to these problems.

In addition to the patient and staff experiences, there are specific costs that accompanies the hygiene routine for the care provider e.g. salary costs for 1 or 2 healthcare staff needed to help 1 patient when showering and costs related to accidents and injuries resulting from the heavy lifting, carrying and moving of the patient. The proposed innovation project can considerably reduce the total amount of falling accidents in the healthcare sector all around Europe.

The innovation is a unique shower robot that gives vulnerable people the opportunity to manage their hygiene care themselves, while maintaining security, comfort and privacy through the showering process. The novelty of the innovation is that, as of today, this type of innovative solution will be the first of its kind in the world when introduced in the market. In collaboration with Awapatent AB we have conducted research regarding "State of the Art and Freedom to Operate", and we have not found anything similar in Europe, or anywhere else in the world.

The overall objective of the proposed innovation project is to plan, develop, secure and bring our innovation “POSEIDON” to the global market. During the innovation process before market introduction we will also prepare for full scale production and deliver a first launch event of the innovation (both in phase 2). In measurable terms, related to the functionality of the innovation, we aim to document and reach the following results:
• Increased perception of integrity by the user at showering
• Increased perception of independence of the user at showering
• Decreased risk for falling accidents connected to showering
• Enable showering every day for patients at hospitals and elderly care institutions and save up to 10 minutes per day per patient for showering

The purpose of the phase 1 project is to get the viability of the innovation confirmed and if shown feasible in a phase 2 project demonstrate the functionalities and properties of the shower robot, its benefits on hygiene, safety and integrity as well as economic gains."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"The project has one work package with 10 tasks. All together they will contribute to a Feasibility report, including a business plan delivered at the end of the project life-cycle. The tasks executed are:
Task 1. Map where demonstrations actions can be made with varying conditions and geographical location which links to market potential and technological challenges. Task 1 will select demonstration partners for phase 2. Partners are primarily sought within advanced homecare, elderly homes and hospitals. The chosen demonstration partner(s) will be highly involved in order to make an optimal plan of phase 2 on the scope of the project, targets, measurements and execution. This includes an analysis of the needs and demands each partner places on the innovation. The needs may differ due to what is the actual problem to handle at the demonstration site.
Task 2. Investigate potential knowledge partners for phase 2. The task will include to select and negotiate contracts with the knowledge partners needed to implement and evaluate phase 2.
Task 3. Market studies will be performed which will give us deeper market intelligence and that will define the European dimension considering needs, potential clients, competition, market size and commercialization process on targeted potential clients in Europe and globally. This will clarify the primary target groups in phase 2 and 3 as well as surveying potential competitors and potential resellers and partners. The survey will also document the development trends in the market. All together this will be parameters that will shape the exploitation strategy (which will be further elaborated in task 6).
Task 4 A willingness to pay study (WTP) will measures the user benefits of Poseidon. We will use a WTP methodology where we construct a hypothetical market and ask people to state their WTP for the product. WTP is based on empiric and theoretical research about individual economic behaviour and has been used for a long time in welfare economics. Information on user preferences will be collected by the use of questionnaires. This includes follow up questions to identify protesters and to check for scale and scope bias. Relatives to the elderly person may be involved too.
Task 5. Development of a communication strategy to be used during phase 2 with definition of target groups, messages to be communicated and possible tools and channels. Phase 2 will be designed with the ambition of creating maximum impact for the innovation.
Task 6. Elaborate an exploitation plan including a strategy for pricing, financing and organisational changes needed especially for the organisation of sales, marketing and distribution.
Task 7. Elaboration of an IPR strategy, continued monitoring of freedom to operate and legal appliance analysis
Task 8. Preparing the innovation for demonstration (to be made in phase 2) including CE-marking of the innovation to enable demonstration in medical clinics
Task 9. In this task we will put together The Business Innovation Plan 1 that takes into account the results of task 1-8 and will present the predicted business- and market opportunities.
Task 10 Project coordination

Through the various tasks in phase 1 we have served the purpose of the phase 1 project i.e. is to get the viability of the innovation confirmed. The innovation is feasible to bring to phase 2. There we will demonstrate the functionalities and properties of the shower robot, its benefits on hygiene, safety and integrity as well as economic gains together with potential clients and end-users in real environment. A major result is that we have further proofs of the demand for the innovation and we have also pinpointed better the willingness to pay of the customer. This has led to a change of business perspective where we communicate that we will deliver an automatic shower service rather then delivering a shower robot. This has an effect on pricing and financing for both the customer and for the company. The plan for phase 2 and beyond starts with demonstrating with 5 different clients at least one "automated shower service" per client for a duration of 12 months in a first version. During that period we will continue to develop the product based on the feedback from the real environment client tests. We will also prepare for large scale production and market roll-out. We plan for the international market launch during the final stage of phase 2. The second improved version will also be tested with the same demonstration partners but also adding a number of new users which represent new geographical markets."

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state of the art includes new knowledge related to combinatorty challenges of various technologies e.g. low-voltage exposure to water and solvent in close contact to the human body and material of the shower robot. This is related to the high requirements of safety for the user according to the stipulated specifications for medical technical products in EU. The innovation has been developed according to the new knowledge gained in the project and the innovation is well prepared for phase 2 tests with clients.

The socio economic impact expected is linked to job creation which in turn is linked to the business strategy of the company. We will continue preparing for full scale production during the phase 2 project and before those arrangements are secured it is a bit uncertain of where new jobs will be created that is related to the production. Production, however, will occur within the European Union and most likely not within Robotics Care but with contracted suppliers. Nevertheless, we expect to generate new jobs during the first 5 years of sales that amount to 30 workers. Within Robotics Care we foresee to generate 25 new jobs related to functions such as product development, sales, marketing, management, administration, distribution, regulatory and legal affairs, IPR and after sales services. Local maintenance and sales are calculated to 5 employees per geographical market. That could be within subsidiaries owned by Robotics Care, but it could also be with joint ventures with local companies. Within 5 years the innovation could generate at least 80 new jobs in Europe.

The wider societal implication of the project includes increased safety, personal hygiene, self-esteem, working environment for health-care staff, attractiveness at health care workplace and health economic efficiency.

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