“Our story begins with my childhood experiences of spending a lot of time at my granny’s home in North Karelia, where I first encountered the problems of home pharmacotherapy. Even though I understood very little about what was happening at that time, the experience left a very strong impression and greatly influenced my own subsequent decisions,” explains Mika Apell, who founded Evondos and originally conceived its business idea.
“I remember when the nurse came to refill granny’s red pill organizer. My granny was a garrulous North Karelian who would always be eager to chat, offering coffee and buns while the nurse was trying to focus on filling the pill organizer correctly. The nurse would nevertheless concentrate on arranging the medication, giving only the briefest of responses that were often reduced to mere nods of the head. I also found some pills on the floor once, but luckily my mother noticed in time to stop me from eating them.”
“Granny deserved more attention and human interaction, but instead her nurses had to pay close attention to arranging her medication correctly and avoiding mistakes. Even then some human errors occurred occasionally,” Mika continues.
“During adult education at the University of Turku in 2007, we teamed up with other students for a project. Shared experiences of pharmacotherapy problems led to the idea of helping the daily lives of senior citizens and their carers, with the team even developing the first version of a medicine dispenser in 2009.”
It still took years of painstaking and persistent work to develop the medicine-dispensing robot from a mere early prototype into a working service concept.
The first practical prototype emerged in 2012, with the company filing its first patent applications at this time. Encouraging customer comments at this stage justified the decision to press ahead with R&D and to bring in more expertise in financing the operation and subsequently solving the problems of initiating production.
Clinical trials began in 2013, with conditions for launching sales and marketing satisfied when the company gained its CE mark in March 2014. The first robots were then delivered to customers.
“It has been wonderful to be part of this process as Evondos has evolved from an idea to a working service concept. We have an opportunity to do something really worthwhile and promote wellbeing in society through a service that liberates care staff from the mechanical work of medicine dispensing so that they can focus on functions that require a human touch. Carers can now concentrate on people and on quality of care,” Mika Apell enthuses.
Evondos is currently based in Finland, with subsidiaries in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The R&D and manufacturing operations for medicine-dispensing robots are located in Salo, Finland. The company has a total staff of some 70 people, of whom about 50 are based in Finland.
From features to effectiveness and time for essentials
We have evolved and enhanced our service over the years, developing from a health technology provider into a partner and supporter for our customers in change projects that deploy technology in care work and free up the time previously spent in dispensing medicines for high-quality client care.
“Following sustained R&D work we were highly – and deservedly – satisfied with our own product and its many fine and unique features, and we proudly stressed these in all communications,” explains Evondos CEO Eetu Koski.
“It’s easy to see in retrospect that this boasting was pointless, because our customers were not interested in technical features, nor are these features of any intrinsic significance to them. Our customers are seeking solutions to their problem of how to improve the quality of care and enhance operations in ways that ensure adequate care services. Technical features are merely a means of achieving effectiveness,” he continues.
Eetu Koski explains that the key factor governing the ability of Evondos to serve as a partner to its customers is close co-ordination of the company’s R&D, customer service and manufacturing operations under the same roof, so that customer comments quickly come to everybody’s notice and evolve into ideas for development.
“We are a small business on the verge of rapid growth that has learned to listen carefully to customers and generate added value for them. It is our ambition to remain an agile and dependable partner that can assist in solving tomorrow’s problems today,” Koski concludes.
Evondos is hedquartered in Salo, Finland, where the company also maintains its own production plant manufacturing medicine-dispensing robots. Our service is accordingly entitled to use the Key Flag of the Association for Finnish Work.
The Evondos service is currently available in more than 150 local authority districts in the Nordic countries, including Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. We are industry pioneers both in home-based robotics and in automated medicine dispensing.
Our worst competitor is resistance to change, meaning an insistence on working in traditional ways even after realising that there will soon be too little labour available for all of the work involved in homecare, sheltered housing or informal care.
The Evondos service has assisted in correctly dispensing over 5 million accurate medicine doses to the right individual at the right time.
Key figures of Evondos
7 mil. EUR
+ 5 000 000