Smorgasbord of health tech innovations presented in Finland; country’s senior


Attendees wander around the Radical Health Festival in Helsinki, June 2023 (Photo courtesy of Messukeskus/Radical Health Festival)

Medicine-dispensing robots. A breathing aid shaped like a coffee carafe. A virtual-reality ICU training headset. 

A large array of new and emerging healthcare technologies, many of which were aimed at senior populations, were on display at Finland’s recent Radical Health Festival, the first of what the country hopes is an annual event. 

Other tech solutions for aging showcased included an artificial intelligence screener for abnormal heart rhythms, and remote patient monitoring software for seniors living at home, The Straits Times reported.

In addition to tech for seniors, the festival also featured discussions and showcases based around tools ancillary to healthcare such as cybersecurity and AI.

Finland’s government has made a major push to be an innovator in healthcare tech, and their LTC industry has reaped the benefits. 

One large LTC site in Helsinki with 300 residents features a tram that holds virtual “rides” for dementia patients. That particular community, the Kustaankartano Senior Centre, also has “smart flooring” to detect falls and a lighting system to optimize residents’ sleep patterns, one story notes.

Although the U.S.’s large population has created a looming issue over aging baby boomers and the need to rapidly grow the elderly caregiving field, European countries still dominate the list of nations whose populations are graying.

Finland is the third-fastest aging country in the world — behind Italy and Japan – which explains some of their urgency towards healthcare innovation. 

Despite embracing tech solutions, Europe is having its own staffing issues with LTC and healthcare professionals. A recently-released report stated that within Europe, higher wages and better working conditions were needed to attract the necessary workforce for an aging population, a concern shared in the US.