Public-Private Partnerships in South Denmark – solutions for people suffering from delirium

15 February 2023
South Denmark Ecosystem ECHalliance

Workshop with public and private partners provided insights to private partners on how these collaborations can support user-driven development of solutions for cognitively impaired patients suffering from delirium.

In December 2022, the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark and Lillebaelt Hospital facilitated an open call workshop focusing on new solutions and products supporting and shielding patients suffering from delirium – including patients with dementia. The aim was to present the needs of people suffering from delirium across different departments at Lillebaelt Hospital and to provide insights for design companies and industry partners invited to the

Patients with dementia are at high risk of developing delirium

It is estimated that approximately 80.000 Danish citizens suffer from dementia and approximately 15.000 are diagnosed every year. Patients with dementia are often cognitively impaired and need calm environments and less stimuli. If these patients are not shielded during admission to hospital they are at risk of developing delirium which
leads to longer hospital stays – and in difficult cases it may lead to long-term cognitive disabilities, loss of functional abilities and, in worse case, death.

Lillebaelt Hospital is mapping specific needs for cognitively impaired patients

In Denmark, hospitals have an increased focus on the challenges of patients suffering from delirium and
how to tackle these challenges. This increased focus is the background for involving design companies and industry partners in a public-
private partnership where Lillebaelt Hospital provides expert knowledge and experiences to product development. Lillebaelt Hospital has identified specific needs in the prevention of delirium and set out a number of product specifications to guide the development of new solutions.

One of the cases to be addressed – Stressful admissions

Admission to hospital is stressful for any person but especially for vulnerable people with cognitive impairment. An admission may result in over-stimulation of the senses in an unknown environment with unfamiliar sounds, lighting etc. Patients may become confused, afraid, and develop delirium. Therefore, the hospital has identified and highlighted the need for shielding these vulnerable patients from e.g. light, sounds and other people during transportation. However, shielding the patient must not prevent
the health care staff in providing the necessary treatment. During the workshop, overall requirements for developing solutions for the health care sector were also
addressed e.g. hygiene, compatibility, safety, storage etc.

User-driven solutions

The goal is to ensure the best possible foundation for specialised needs- and user-driven solutions to be implemented at Lillebaelt Hospital and other hospitals for the benefit of vulnerable patients. It is expected that the specifications will result in one or more solutions to be implemented in the health care sector. The partners will meet again in April 2023 where the private partners will present their design concepts and ideas and receive feedback from the public partners and health care staff.

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