Emerging Designs course 2021

Hopealinja – Synthetic audio intermediator service

Connecting dementia patients with their relatives and others through a new simulated audio service that also analyzes patient’s cognitive wellbeing
Concept image of Hopealinja showing the connection between a woman and her elderly mother using Hopealinja intermediator service

Team's description of the project

With the increase in life expectancy, the number of dementia patients is forecasted to grow. This will put a strain on the rural healthcare system. Dementia can also be challenging for both the patient and their relatives especially over long distances. Dementia is sometimes called a condition of the family, because of the major effect it has for the family dynamic.

From our background research and interviews there were three main themes we wanted to respond to with our proposal. First being that we want the dementia patients to stay connected to their family members regardless of the condition. Second is creating a way to gather data of the development of the condition in an easy and embedded way. And third, find ways to alleviate the symptoms of dementia that evoke stress to the patient and family members.

With the audio-based “Hopealinja” intermediator service people with dementia and family members can communicate without stress. With the help of the online Hopealinja app the family members voice can be simulated to answer the dementia patients' possible repeated questions in a familiar tone 24/7. With consent from the family member or friend, we are able to collect and simulate their voice using the synthetic audio technology. In the beginning this is limited to simple questions and answers which can be expanded overtime to basic dialogue.This service is designed to complement the existing phone call interaction between the dementia patient and family members. The system will also analyze the dementia patients cognitive health and mood in each call. The service helps to mitigate some of the most common issues dementia patients experience during their daily phone calls.

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In the autumn of 2021 students enrolled in Emerging Designs course were given a brief to design concept for tackling problems in the healthcare system. The focus was on developing healthcare and social care in sparsely populated areas of the Nordics, visioned in 2030 with distance spanning solutions. Altogether seven concepts were created and Hopealinja is one of them. 

Team members

Ninni Laaksonen (Finland)

Service designer

Juho Salokangas (Finland)

Product manager

Pai-Feng Chen (Taiwan)

Industrial designer, video editor

Xingrui Zhao (China)

Graphics, product system

More about the course and the related study programmes

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Emerging Designs course 2021

During Emerging Designs course seven student teams developed conceptual solutions for developing health care and social care in the rural areas. The focus of design work was in the Nordic countries, which vision in 2030 to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. Here you find the students' proposals with detailed descriptions.

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Master's Programme in Design - Collaborative and Industrial Design

The studies in Collaborative and Industrial Design (CoID) focus on design's role in society. Students develop skills enabling them to work as design experts and leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in a range of roles within industry, business, communities, education, and public sector.

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Master's Programme in International Design Business Management - Master of Arts

IDBM is a pioneering and renowned study programme that truly embodies the vision of Aalto by integrating design and technology with global business development. Through transdisciplinary teamwork and real-life business challenges provided by our prominent industry partners, the programme prepares students as the next generation of creative professionals. IDBM is uniquely positioned as the only programme offered in all six schools of Aalto, allowing programme graduates to earn a Master’s degree in either business, design or technology. Students graduating from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture will complete and be awarded a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in International Design Business Management (IDBM).

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The Department of Design is a diverse community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. In design, we appreciate technical skill, social significance and artistic expression.

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