Award-winning innovations improve the services offered by the City of Espoo and drive the city’s sustainable growth. A total of 17 entries were submitted to the competition.
The winner of the Mayor’s Innovation Competition is the mobile hospital LiiSa that brings on-call services to nursing and service homes. A specially trained nurse of the mobile on-call unit visits nursing and service homes, providing care to the inhabitants. This frees them from having to travel and wait in emergency wards. The mobile hospital can for example treat wounds, stomach symptoms, rashes, urinating problems and provide intravenous fluid therapy. The mobile hospital also carries examination equipment and medications. The nurse can consult a doctor via video call, and the inhabitants are always taken to hospital if necessary. The mobile hospital complements other medical services in nursing homes. Launched in March, the service will expand later this year to serve home care clients.
Three other prizes were also awarded in the Innovations category. The HVAC unit of the Premises Department has innovated a way to use multi-objective optimisation to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint and total costs of buildings already at the planning stage. This operational model opens up new opportunities for the optimisation of energy consumption and contributes to Espoo’s climate goals. Optimisation facilitates the construction of safe and healthy buildings. When planning is based on unambiguous and well-justified calculations, the selected solutions will have transparent and unambiguous grounds as well.
Another award-winning innovation was location-specific nature data that can be used to ensure that the densifying city retains its green and diverse urban structure. Nearby green areas increase well-being, encourage people to exercise, reduce noise and purify water bodies. When connected to geographic data, nature data makes it possible to generate maps that reveal places with lots of green areas and those in need of more. The end result is a well-functioning tool that supports smart urban development.
The fourth winner in the Innovations category was the Short physiotherapy consultations model developed by the Social and Health Services sector of the City of Espoo. The model addresses the low availability of physiotherapists’ appointments. After diagnosing an acute condition, a doctor can refer the client to a short physiotherapy consultation. In 15 minutes, a physiotherapist instructs the client on how to prevent the problem from getting worse. Ideally, 80 per cent of those who have attended a short consultation will not need another physiotherapy appointment within the next two months.
Two second-place winners in the Innovations with Potential category
No winner was declared in the Innovations with Potential category. Instead, the second place was divided between an on-duty nurse’s video appointments and school indoor air quality indicators.
Samaria Health Centre offers video appointments with an on-call nurse in case of urgent, acute illness. The infection will not spread when the patient stays at home and gets answers via video call. The service has garnered positive feedback from clients, and the health centre staff is enthusiastic about its development. In the future, they plan to replace some emergency ward visits with video appointments. The service improves Espoo’s competitiveness among health care service providers. As the number of Espoo residents increases and the population grows older, video appointments are a cost-efficient service.
The other winning idea in this category was the Premises Department’s model that supports the Schools in Shape goal of the City of Espoo. Real-time data about the indoor air quality in schools and day care centres is collected using the latest technology. The model was piloted with various sensors installed to 13 schools. In addition, pupils and teachers used tablets to give feedback on the indoor conditions. The collected data can be used to develop, assess and improve the condition of these buildings. Next, the Premises Department will team up with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to prepare a set of good indoor air quality criteria by comparing the measurements with the feedback. This innovation is part of a joint project between the Smart & Clean Foundation and VTT, in which Espoo is also involved.
The winners of the Mayor’s Innovation Competition were awarded on Espoo Day 30 August 2019 in the Iso Omena Service Centre.
The Mayor’s Innovation Competition has been organised annually since 2012 in cooperation with Laatukeskus Excellence Finland. Intended for the city’s employees, work communities and networks, the competition sets out to find innovations that improve the city’s services and streamline its activities. The competition entries also take part in Laatukeskus Excellence Finland’s Quality Innovation Award competition, in which competitors from Espoo have previously achieved good success, both nationally and internationally.