Helsinki’s Kalasatama Smart City Moves Forward with Wellbeing

Kalasatama Wellbeing pilot projects provide solutions for stress management and healthy eating

Helsinki, Finland, Sept. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Smart Kalasatama project in Helsinki proceeds with wellbeing initiatives carried out by Finnish startups with public and private-sector health care providers and the community. The pilots measure stress levels, alleviate anxiety, provide virtual therapy, and help local residents and workers to eat healthier.

Kalasatama is a new area in Helsinki’s inner city, under construction at the site of a former commercial harbor. The City of Helsinki has designated the area as a platform for smart city development. The Smart Kalasatama project produces and tests new solutions for smart urban living, and a key method is by agile pilots of short duration carried out in real-life situations.

Five pilots are underway in the fall of 2018, focusing on wellbeing.

Moodmetric provides real-time stress level measurement with a smart ring. The ring observes electrodermal activity to measure the user’s sympathetic nervous system responses. Moodmetric tests the solution with healthcare providers and customers at the occupational health unit of the Finnish wholesale and retail corporation Kesko, a Smart Kalasatama partner and a prominent corporate player in the area.

Mello VR alleviates stress and anxiety through virtual escape. The startup takes people to “happy places” in the midst of stressful situations with the help of relaxing videos and virtual reality headsets. Mello VR tests the product with dental patients waiting for operations at the recently opened Kalasatama Health and Wellbeing Center, which is a City of Helsinki public health center.

Auntie, a provider of life crisis solutions and virtual psychological support, has produced a chatbot that gives anonymous users feedback with the help of an AI and directs them to appropriate self-help services. For the Kalasatama Wellbeing pilot, Auntie has co-developed the chatbot with the City public health organization and customers as a potential future care option.

MealLogger is an image-based platform that coaches users in food choices, using an AI that analyzes the users’ meals. A focus group of Kesko employees at risk of developing type 2 diabetes take pictures of their meals and receive nutrition advice from a proprietary neural network and a dietitian, as well as obtaining peer support from other group members.

Miils is a digital shopping tool that puts together tailored grocery bags from organic foods on the basis of the users’ personal preferences. The bags come with healthy recipes and reports of the carbon footprint of the contents. The groceries are selected in collaboration with MealLogger, the recipes come from the Martha Finnish home economics organization, and the bags are delivered by the Makupiste online organic food store.

“A smart city is a place for good living, where smart services ease the everyday lives of citizens and create wellbeing. The Kalasatama Wellbeing pilots seek novel approaches to promote urban wellbeing,” says Kaisa Spilling, who runs the Smart Kalasatama agile piloting program at Forum Virium Helsinki.

Forum Virium Helsinki is a City of Helsinki unit that develops new digital services and urban innovations in cooperation with enterprises, the research community, public organizations, and citizens. The unit coordinates the Smart Kalasatama project including Kalasatama Wellbeing, which it conducts with the Kalasatama Health and Wellbeing Center, partner enterprises, and Laurea University of Applied Sciences as part of Helsinki Smart Region.

Besides wellbeing, the urban living concepts developed in Smart Kalasatama embrace smart mobility, sustainable energy solutions, circular economy, advanced waste management technology, and other resource-efficient lifestyles. Residents are key to the development both as testers and initiators of concepts.

Today home to 3,000 people, Kalasatama is projected to grow to 25,000 residents and to provide 10,000 jobs in the 2030s.

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