Design methodologies, service concepts, interaction paradigms and future
usage cultures for an ageing society.
Quality of Life through life-based and human-driven design
VTT’s approach to technology is driven by the idea that technology should
improve quality of life by adding value to everyday lives. The proper role of
technology is to solve the real-life problems or challenges faced by people.
This calls for a thorough understanding of the target users’ chosen form of
life, and of the human and social values that people live by. Design
thinking of this type approaches the design challenge holistically, from the
human angle. Product and service concepts are co-designed with ageing citizens
and subjected to a fit-for-life analysis. Such an analysis examines the
benefits and meaningfulness that users gain from the solutions developed, and
ways of improving these solutions in pursuit of better quality of life.
Ethical and responsible design
VTT examines the ethicalness of design solutions and creates a conceptual
framework for responsible design. Current ethical codes of practice are
not always capable of dealing with rapid and innovative technological change,
and often provide a poor fit with the contexts involved in ageing. In the
first instance, ethical design means conscious reflection on ethical values
and choices with respect to design decisions. It also includes reflection on
the design process itself and the choice of design methodologies. In addition,
authentic co-construction of a normative approach to design and, finally,
ethically acceptable, responsible and sustainable design outcomes – i.e.
outcomes that contribute to the ‘good of man’– are involved.
Senior citizens and consumer behaviour
VTT studies the interplay between consumer and product characteristics, and
analyses how this influences consumers' product perceptions and their
subsequent decision making. By gaining insights into consumer
characteristics and the behaviour of ageing people, as well as their values,
attitudes and lifestyles, we aim to understand how ageing consumers prioritise
various product features when making choices and how this information should
be applied in marketing efforts. In addition to insights into product choice,
our studies help to evaluate the potential of certain products among different
target groups in various contexts.
Global ageing as a trend, driver and challenge
VTT’s foresight studies discuss the drivers, emerging directions and
opportunities involved in a rapidly expanding global research landscape.
Active ageing holds a key position in the international discourse on social
policy related to ageing. This phenomenon conveys an inclusive message and
draws attention to the determinants of how people and populations age and how
new technologies can contribute positively to the quality of life of ageing
people. VTT’s foresight studies include ageing as a driving force in our
future society, societal and individual values, ageing citizens as end-users,
future contexts of active technology-supported ageing, and the societal and
ethical impacts of technology.
Meeting the needs of senior citizens
VTT creates emerging technologies, such as pervasive computing and nano and
microtechnologies, which play a significant role in enhancing the quality of
life of many senior citizens and young elderly people. These technologies
can provide means of prolonging careers and working lives, providing
additional safety and security, supporting mobility, and enabling independent
living and social participation. Emerging technologies have considerable
potential to meet the needs of increasing numbers of ageing people, while
putting the spotlight on senior citizens as proactive participants in a modern
Technologies and innovations for health and wellbeing
VTT is a powerful contributor to recent developments in eHealth, the
application of ICT to healthcare delivery and personal health management. The
provision of useful, user-friendly and secure digital services for citizens is
predicated on interoperability between systems. VTT joins forces with health
service providers in applying research and technology to real life processes.
VTT‘s expertise combines social services and healthcare know-how with new
approaches and operating models. The challenges facing local authorities,
joint authorities and customers in the health and well-being sector are
complex and require broad-ranging expertise. VTT can also transfer its
expertise accumulated through extensive development collaboration within the
industrial and business sectors into solutions in the well-being sector.