Published: 26-04-2024 16:45 | Updated: 27-04-2024 20:27

KI students help new parents sleep well

Four smiling studens during KI Impact Challenge Event.
There was a good atmosphere in the teams during this year's KI Impact Challenge Even. Photo: Linnea Bengtsson.

New parents were in focus when the KI Impact Challenge was arranged on a weekend, a student event to promote innovation. More than 40 students worked over two days on the challenge of improving parents' health and well-being.

It is the second day of the KI Impact Challenge, an annual event at Karolinska Institutet where students work in teams to try to solve a health challenge. 

This year's challenge is "How can we improve the health and well-being of parents-to-be and new parents?".

Rebekah Ding Jin, who is studying the Bachelor's Programme in Biomedicine, thinks that the theme is particularly interesting because it is outside her area of experience.

Group hard at work during KI Impact Challenge Event.
Rebekah Ding Jin (centre) finds the theme of the day educational as it is a new area for her. Photo: Linnea Bengtsson.

"I get an insight into a subject that I haven't thought about yet, and then I also learn more."

Lectures broaden the picture

To give the students different perspectives, the event begins with lectures on everything from psychological perspectives on parenthood, to innovation and problem solving. 

Then the students are divided into groups, teams, and an intensive idea work begins. 

The purpose of the event is to give the participants a better understanding of innovation from the users' perspective, by using the problem and product solving method "design thinking". 

Each group is assisted by expert users, i.e. parents, as well as a design thinking coach. Once the participants have interviewed their expert users, insights will be turned into concrete ideas. It's bubbling with energy. 

Chrisa Vlasiou, Filipa Alpeza and Konstantinos Koufou, who are in the first year of the master's programme in health economics, policy and management at KI, and Triphose Khonde, an external participant with a connection to KI, have identified sleep deprivation as the biggest challenge. 

"We conducted an interview with a couple who recently had a baby and they felt exhausted. So now we're trying to find a way to improve their situation through an app," explains Konstantinos Koufou.

Group at work during KI Impact Challenge Event.
(Left) Chrisa Vlasiou, Konstantinos Koufou, Filipa Alpeza and Triphose Khonde. Photo: Linnea Bengtsson.

Students lead the event 

New for this year is that a project group of students has been working for six months to design and lead the event, with support from the steering group. 

Menno Visscher, who is doing his master's degree in bioentrepreneurship, is one of the project group members.

"I think a lot of people here have interesting ideas that can actually be turned into products or services," he says.

The event's project manager Annelie Hultman feels that the concept of a student project group has been successful.

Portrait of Annelie Hultman in a black t-shirt.
Annelie Hultman. Photo: Linnea Bengtsson.

"Since the whole essence of design thinking is to ask your users, it feels much better to be able to include a project group of students in the organization of a student event," says Anneli Hultman.

While the students finalize their prototypes and prepare for the final presentation, Frode Paulsen, research and innovation coordinator at the Norwegian School of Economics in Oslo, sits and drinks coffee. 

Jury member from Norway

The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences has started the project HEInnnovaSport, which is one of the financiers of the KI Impact Challenge, and Frode Paulsen has been invited to sit on the jury. 

During the evening, he will be involved in judging the best idea.

Portrait of Frode Paulsen, one of the judges of KI Impact Challenge.
Frode Paulsen. Photo: Linnea Bengtsson.

"For all of us who are here, it's about learning, and playing a little serious. So tonight I'm going to be strict," he says with a laugh.

The event was organized by the Bioentrepreneurship Unit (at LIME) at KI, with KI Innovations and the External Engagement Office (RSO) as co-organizers. 

It is arranged as part of, and co-funded by, the project HEInnovaSport (an EIT HEI Initiative) and sponsored by A Working Lab.

About the design thinking method 

Design thinking is a systematic method of solving problems and developing new products and services with the users in focus. The method is applied in five steps: understanding the users, defining the problem, coming up with ideas, making a prototype and testing it.

Winning team 

A winning team and a second place were selected by a jury with representatives from KI Innovations and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (HeInnovaSport) as well as from the psychology clinic Familjen Psykologi. 

Winning Group: Grandy 

Grandy is an app that matches parents with volunteers to enable meetings and relief.

  • Dorothea Anderssen
  • Julia Matyjasiak
  • Laima Kampa
  • Sara Bressanutti

Second place: Sleep Right 

Sleep Right is a personalized website that gives tired parents the opportunity to connect with a sleep coach

  • Chrisa Vlasiou
  • Filipa Alpeza
  • Konstantinos Koufou
  • Triphose Khonde

Impressions of the day

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