TESSA is an egg-shaped looking robot, which wears a woollen jacket and hat, has blinking eyes and a flowerpot on its head. TESSA is well loved by all who use her and is proving to be a popular addition to many care homes in the Netherlands and other European countries, with more than 1,000 of them now providing support for older people.
TESSA offers this support at home and in care homes with reminders and prompts about medication, when to eat or preparing for appointments, for example. It also offers routine guidance on tasks, provides social stimulation, learns common behaviours and monitors deviations. TESSA also supports care givers by providing information about the patient as well as supporting the patient in preparing for visits.
The pandemic has led to a huge boost in interest in TESSA, with a doubling of implementation in the past two months. Wang Long Li believes this is due to an increase in acceptance that technology can play an important role in the care of older people. “Confronted with the reality of not being able to go into people’s homes, and that this will happen again in the future, people are more open-minded to try technology,” he says.He also believes this will have a lasting impact, both on the use of technology in the home and for his business. “Willingness to try TESSA out was a big barrier for us,” he says. “Now more people are trying her and are seeing the benefits, so others will follow, which will in turn increase the pace of development with what TESSA can do.”