Making communication easier in Arendal

10 October 2022 - Published by Walter Wehus
In a South Norway municipality, new technology enables increased social contact for the elderly, without complicated tablets.

The technology called “Komp” consists of a screen with a single power button. The screen features two-way communication, where family and friends can connect with a companion app.

Komp supports sending photos, messages, and two-way calls.



A simple tool

Arendal municipality is a partner in the project From Isolation to Inclusion, which works on reducing loneliness and increasing social cohesion in North Sea Region communities. Arendal now loans Komp to people who wishes for more social contact in their daily lives.

“We had a project with tablets in 2021, but they turned out to be difficult to learn for many of the elderly. Komp is simpler, with only one button needed to operate it”, says health worker Ida-Anine A. Hagnar in Arendal municipality.

undefinedParticipants at the workshop.

Next of kin must participate

In a workshop on the 30th of September, members of the I2I team got feedback on user’s experience with Komp.

On the positive side, Komp is seen as easy to use, it can strengthen family ties, and counteract loneliness and isolation. It can also be a cognitive aid for people with dementia.

On the negative side, it was seen that Komp could increase the feeling of isolation if family and friends didn’t participate in the use. This showed that next of kin must be onboard before starting to use the tool.

Stays in touch with family

Karl Dagfinn Fossum is one of the new users of Komp. He has a daughter and a grandson who live far away. Komp helps him stay in touch with them, he says.

“I feel I get close with my family. Due to Covid, I haven’t seen them for three years”, says Fossum.

20 Komp machines have been distributed in the municipality so far, with more to come.