A microwave oven that is caring, wise and intuitive, which with the help of sensors such as cameras and barcode readers can understand from the food packaging which program is best for cooking,
It may not offer exclusive delicacies, but it can help fragile and vulnerable people to get hot and nutritious food on the kitchen table.
The proposal came from strategic dementia nurse Kerstin Skornicka Persson and participates in the international innovation competition Queen Silvia's Nursing Award for nurses.
Care and nursing often takes place in a home environment and with the help of home care staff. They are not allowed to cook and in many cases the customer is referred to frozen food that is to be heated in the microwave.
It can work for a period of time, but for those who are on their way into a dementia disease, it comes to a point when what has previously been banal becomes difficult. Handling a microwave oven becomes complicated and the risk of mistakes increases, in the worst case with the food in the oven catching fire.
Regardless, there is a risk that the microwave will be unused and the patient will eat the food cold. It worsens an already fragile situation and leads to a poorer quality of life and often a faster course of the disease.
The need is very great, almost two thirds of all people with dementia live at home. There are thousands of people in Helsingborg alone who could have a safer home environment and live a more independent life longer.
The microwave oven can also be used by other target groups.
A first prototype has been developed together with the idea bearer and the next step is to identify a partner who can help us develop the prototype further and carry out tests together with users.
In the first situation, it should be easy to use the microwave oven also for those who suffer from dementia with the help of a clear interface. In later development, the oven should be able to independently understand what kind of food it should heat and do so in a safe way.
- Based on the "food analysis", the oven must determine the appropriate program (heat, time, functions such as grill and steam) and run it.
- The oven must be able to determine when the food is ready and completely remove the risk of overheating and fire.
- The oven must be able to give clear instructions to the user. For example, if an outer casing should come off, in addition, the oven should be able to determine if this has happened.