Memocate is a company producing digitally supported interaction training for healthcare professionals and other caregivers of memory disorder patients. The services are available to professional nurses, nursing students and family caregivers. The Memocate vision is to use its training to benefit everyone encountering memory disorder patients in their daily lives, from taxi drivers to hairdressers.
“Information about memory disorders and interacting with memory disorder patients should be available to everyone,” says Camilla Lindholm, scientific advisor at Memocate.
What’s unique about Memocate is its basis in research: the company’s foundation is Lindholm’s long-term humanities research on interaction and dementia. Thanks to this, the Memocate services can address the intricacies of interaction.
Owned by the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS) has already incubated several companies based on research conducted at the University during its six years of operation. Memocate is the ninth such company.
Information improves interaction
Memory disorder patients and their caregivers struggle with a variety of interaction problems. The disorder may manifest as loud, disruptive or violent behaviour, difficulties recognising locations, times or situations, or the inability to express oneself in any way. Memocate addresses these issues. Problematic situations are resolved by holding to the company’s values: focus on the client and respect.
“Research proves that improved interaction can reduce challenging behaviour among memory disorder patients. We improve the quality of life by providing information to help solve misunderstandings,” explains Camilla Lindholm.
Memocate offers a variety of solutions for different challenges, for example by disseminating information about memory disorders and the ways they influence language use. Thanks to its research basis, Memocate can address different situations from the perspective of what has gone wrong in the interaction, causing misunderstandings or agitated behaviour. This way information and understanding increase and it is possible to prevent difficult situations.
Science yields innovations
Memocate sets itself apart from other training solutions by offering new information about the grass-roots level problems of communication, where efficient processing and behaviour models have previously been unavailable. This is thanks to Camilla Lindholm’s interaction research. Lindholm has served as University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki since 2009.
The basis of the training is the detailed analysis of interaction situations: what is really happening in the situation, why the interaction succeeds or fails. This generates a library of situations, which features information and procedures for different situations, such as meals or aggressive behaviour. Memocate’s speciality is the conversation analysis perspective on interactions and ethnographic data on the different care contexts.
“In addition, the training service helps nurses perform better, supporting the wellbeing of both the patient and the nurse. Meanwhile, care organisations benefit from a more productive staff with higher occupational wellbeing,” explains Heikki Viitanen, CEO of Memocate.
Another distinctive feature of Memocate is the way it applies the latest research in web-based learning to practice. Digital learning materials and web-based learning methods are used in many ways in cooperation with healthcare professionals. Based on animations, text and assignments, the material promotes a new kind of learning.
“We follow the latest developments in web-based learning to find out the most efficient online learning methods and the things we should consider,” explains Camilla Lindholm.
The benefits of web-based education include efficiency, accessibility and democracy. Web-based learning is very little used in the current education of nurses.
Multidisciplinary team for internationalisation
Memocate has been developed by a young, multinational team, where every member has a special competence.
“The team members live in Helsinki, Tampere and Lohja, so most of our work is done remotely but in close contact. Our offices are in central Tampere and at the Business Lab of the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki,” says CEO Heikki Viitanen.
Anastasiia Kozina is in charge of the visual design, Daniel Landau of programme development, Soile Törrönen of content creation, Liza Kinner of animation and Chrystal Giam of illustrations.
Memocate is currently piloting the first prototype of the service for professional nurses. The pilot involves one nursing home and one educational institution. A separate development project, funded by the Centre of Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, launched this October, aiming to render the Memocate materials into a format that is appropriate for family caregivers. This spring, a larger pilot project will be launched with the Municipality of Sipoo.
International expansion is part of the plan for Memocate. Towards that end, the company is about to launch cooperation with an international pharmaceutical company and translate its service into Swedish and English.
Read more about Memocate.