26 Feb 2015
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Robot cat helps dementia patients

By Shannon Williams

A new robotic therapy has been launched to help people who suffer from dementia and intellectual disabilities, in the form of a cat.

JustoCat, which is being launched on the European market, was scientifically evaluated in cooperation between robotics researchers and health care researchers at Mälardalen University in Sweden. 

JustoCat was developed and tested in consultation with patients/users and professional caregivers in Swedish dementia care. “The product innovators have assumed that many people have memories of spending time with cats and linked this to the reminiscence method – to use memories from the past,” the company says in a statement.

The functions of JustoCat makes it resemble a live cat. It breathes, purrs and meows. JustoCat aims to provide peace, be soothing and be a tool for increased interaction and communication. It is a complement in the care of people with dementia and in the care of people with intellectual disabilities.

Tests and research demonstrates positive results from the users, as well as patients/clients and care-givers.

“The goal of JustoCat is to enrich the daily lives of people with dementia. It can provide increased psychological, physical and social well-being,” says Lars Asplund, creator of JustoCat. 

A preliminary study made by the researcher Marcus Persson at Mälardalen University also shows the positive impact of the psychosocial work environment for health care personnel. 

JustoCat is now available on the European market, both for sale and through leasing, via the company Robyn Robotics AB operated by the researchers at Mälardalen University.

Several units have already been sold to a number of health and social care operators in Sweden and Europe.

“JustoCat is a product that provides an improved quality of life, which is the core of Robotdalen’s focus on new technical solutions within the field of health robotics,” says Erik Lundqvist, general manager at Robotdalen. Robotdalen participated in and contributed to the development of JustoCat.

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