Research Projects – effective integrator of master’s studies and work life development
Wellbeing Enhancing Technology research group (WET) welcomes Welfare Technology master's students to join the research and development project activities together with researchers. Through multidisciplinary development tasks and projects, students gain important experiential learning. Working with various actors in real life situations motivates students to better identify opportunities to use their potential and needs to gain deeper knowledge.
DigiMind (Digimieli) project for the welfare of young people
DigiMind (Digimieli) project, funded by European Social Fund (ESF), searches new means and tools from digitalisation and technologies to improve mental wellbeing and employment requirements among the youth. Wellbeing Enhancing Technology research group at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) co-ordinates the project partnered by Satakunta Hospital District, International work community coaching (TYP) at TE services, and other interested labour market providers. The project engages SAMK's welfare technology students in customer-oriented development of applications, where young people are consulted, and multidisciplinary solutions are sought together. Students can thus apply their previously acquired know-how as well as implement their current studies in practice.
At first the project deploys virtual reality (VR) to generate an exposure application to handle fears and self-esteem issues, and a mental health diary application based on mobile technology. Multiprofessional student groups work together in planning, designing and searching technological solutions sharing their professional expertise. Engineers oversee prototyping while students from health or social sector bring their expertise and understanding of end users and service delivery systems. A significant part of the welfare technology studies is carried out in project type courses. Thesis topics are also often related to the research group projects or other real-life development processes in student’s own work community.
Max Karukivi, head of adolescent psychiatry department, testing a VR application designed by master of welfare technology student Peter Virtanen.