10 Oct 2018

Tech-a-step into someone’s reality with Samsung

Many people connect Samsung with phones, but did you know they make important contributions to people's health? Health is directly connected to sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals clearly shows this in goal 3 "good health and well-being".  We, the ASAP team,  wanted to know more about health and tech, so we asked our partners at Samsung to write a blog post about it. The following text is written by them, we hope you'll find it interesting too! 

It might not come as a surprise, but Samsung is a very big company. Well, actually there are several companies under the Samsung-umbrella. Did you know that our sister company Samsung Healthcare produces Ultrasound systems, digital X-ray sensors and CT scanners? While these products are not available in the Nordics, health and wellbeing is still one of our focus areas when creating social impact in the Nordic region.

Ok, we gotta be honest - we are not healthcare experts. But we know tech innovation so by teaming up with people with other areas of expertise, we can create great solutions together. Let us show some examples of how we are trying to innovate solutions that can support health and wellbeing in the Nordic countries.  Around 5% of Swedish kids have ADHD - that’s one pupil in every class. It may be hard for parents, classmates and teachers to understand how these kids perceive problematic situations that might occur in everyday life. To explain this, Samsung teamed up with the social enterprise Underbara ADHD and created the “ADHD-box” - a 3x3 meter sized box with walls that are covered with tablets equipped with tailor made software simulating how it is to live with ADHD.     

“Once you step into the box you’ll realize how tricky ordinary situations can be if you have ADHD, such as talking to a friend on a crowded bus or doing an exam in a noisy class room.”

Once you step into the box you’ll realize how tricky ordinary situations can be if you have ADHD, such as talking to a friend on a crowded bus or doing an exam in a noisy class room. The box is now being used to raise awareness, educate and advocate for systemic social change so children living with ADHD get the same possibilities and opportunities. The ADHD-box has been travelling around on events, exhibitions and conferences for a year and has so far helped over 7000 parents, teachers and politicians all over Sweden to get an understanding of how it is to live with ADHD.

This is one example of the concept “stepping into someone’s shoes” that can also be used the other way around. Together with the Norwegian Cancer Society, we have let kids that undergoes cancer treatments at Oslo University Hospital use calming VR experiences, such as swimming with dolphins, as a part of their therapy. After two years of piloting, both the kids and their psychologists see that these breaks from reality have   positive effects and can be used as a tool to support the kids’ mental wellbeing.

While ADHD and cancer are two major and complex issues, we need to join forces with experts and combine different areas of expertise. Innovation never happens in silos, and in order to come up with innovative solutions for societal challenges we need to work together - with everything from startups, NGO’s and academia to young experts in sustainability, ASAP!

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