Surgery and Laboratory Instruments Identification

Kristian Saari,  elaborated an application to help in the identification of surgery and laboratory instruments as the final thesis for the Degree Programme in Information Technology of Savonia University of Applied Sciences. The  work  was done for the FutureEdu project in collaboration with Savonian experts and degree supervisors.

The purpose of the thesis was to create an application for social and health care students that would allow them to identify surgical and laboratory instruments. The application should also offer a comprehensive database of these instruments. The output was to be executed as an Android application that works on both mobile phones and tablets.

The application was created by using the TensorFlow machine learning framework and the Teachable Machine platform that generates machine learning models. With the help of these two, an image recognition function was created, where an object can be identified by a real-time image. This function enabled the display of instrument information in the application. Other ready-made class libraries were also utilised to build a 2D code recognition for situations where making an image is not an option. A library was also created in the application that gives the user access to all the instruments that are found in the database without an identification feature.

The result was an Android application that works on both mobile phones and tablets. The application offers teachers a good and easy-to-use tool for their work that supports both the teaching and the learning of students. It is a workable first version of an application with the following three functions: image recognition, 2D code recognition and a library. The application is not yet directly ready for users, but it must first be tested and developed further insofar as needed.

For more details (in Finnish): Surgery and Laboratory Instruments Identification

Expert in Perioperative Nursing and Simulation Pedagogy

Tommi Kinnunen, Senior Lecturer
Expert in Perioperative Nursing and Simulation Pedagogy
Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Unit of Health Care

• Bachelor Degree in Nursing, Savonia University of Applied Sciences
• Master’s Degree Programme in Social and Health Care Development and Management, Savonia University of Applied Sciences
• School of Professional Teacher Education, JAMK University of Applied Sciences

Work experience:
• About 9 years’ working experience in operating room as a surgical nurse in Kuopio University Hospital.
• 5 years´ Educator Nurse in Savonia University of Applied Sciences
• Since 2016 Senior Lecturer in Savonia UAS

My expertise for the project:
My main contribution to the FutureEdu –project is in the field of perioperative nursing. I teach perioperative nursing in professional studies and optional professional studies. I also work as an internship instructor in different perioperative nursing environments so I have good links to the working life. This expertise is very valuable when developing new learning methods.

I also teach clinical examination of patient. In Savonia UAS we have a great Simulation Center where students can practice real situations and actions that they will encounter in real life. In the Simulation Center, students can also train different kind of hand skills. I am also one of the simulation pedagogy educator in Savonia UAS, and I use this method frequently in my courses.

In healthcare education, extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) are rarely used, especially in nursing education. Learning environments using these new technologies complement traditional methods. They offers authentic and patient safety environments, where participants receive feedbacks about their performance, indicating what went good and what can be improved. Studies also shows that by observing another exercising one can also learn, so it is a versatile method of learning.

Traditional nursing education is changing, that´s for sure. Lessons are going to be diversified from the traditional classroom lessons to web-based clinical instructions and virtual based skill stations. This will change our teaching strategy and affects the curriculum of nursing education bringing also new opportunities for the in-service training.

VR Microscope

VR Microscope
Thesis for the Degree Program of Information Technology
Kimmo Pakarinen

The purpose of the thesis was to produce a virtual reality learning environment for learning the use of microscope and the parts of microscope. The subject and the goals for the thesis came from Future Technologies in Education project (FutureEdu).

The theoretical section of the thesis covered theoretical studying of microscope parts and using of microscope. Information was gathered from the Internet and interviewing the professionals in the field. The theoretical part also included practical learning with a real microscope.

The development section of the thesis covered a modification of the 3D model of the microscope, developing microscope operations to the 3D model of microscope, researching and developing environment guidelines, the user interface, implementing software to the
Virtual Reality environment and researching further development opportunities.

As a result of this thesis, 3D virtual reality software was developed for learning the parts and the usage of microscope. The first pilot of the software was planned for last autumn, but unfortunately piloting was rescheduled for fall 2020, due to COVID-19.

As piloting was rescheduled, this opened an opportunity to further develop the software. During this summer, a student from Savonia UAS did his internship in our project and developed the software further. All in all, the internship made it possible to produce even better software to be piloted this fall.
You can find this thesis from Theseus, the Open Repository of the Universities of Applied Sciences:

Conference Participation

FutureEdu team participated in the online-conference together with the project partner, Yatrus Foundation from Bulgaria to share and disseminated innovations in education.

11th International Conference Education, Research & Development
Bulgaria, 24th – 26th August, 2020

The conferences dealt with broad topics concerning e-learning, virtual innovations, internationalization and research in education.  Anssi Mähönen, project manager of FutureEdu project presented the two topics below:

Work Life Related Virtual Learning (XR) Environments for Biomedical Laboratory Science



Satellite Education Model -Work Oriented Professionals for HealthCare by a Distance Learning Method


Anssi Mähönen, Sirkka-Liisa Halimaa, Paola Kontro, Jaana Heiskanen, Tommi Kinnunen, Susanna Vuohelainen, Kimmo Pakarinen

Anssi Mähönen, Sirkka-Liisa Halimaa





International Cooperation in Extended Reality, why to collaborate?

Paola Kontro, Expert in International Cooperation, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

My training briefly:
I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences in International Relations from the University of Tampere, with minor studies on development studies, sociology, women studies and environmental studies. I have also studies on health, wellbeing, social work and technology. I have over ten years’ experience in coordinating international activities and extensive understanding of international cooperation in education in Europe, Africa and Latin America, in particular in the area of public health. I have also knowledge of project management and funding.

In a globalize world with rapid technological developments, cooperation with international actors highly contributes to the development of societies. FutureEdu project promotes international cooperation through the activities with its Bulgarian partners in the field of Extended Reality (XR). Finland, considered as one of the most innovative countries in the world, also stands out for its research activities and growing markets on specific XR applications. Bulgaria, while having many potential initiatives and opportunities in the XR industry, is slowly coming up with companies developing a wide range of XR products. Both countries, with their cultural diversity, skilled workforce and technological expertise are working together to further develop their potentials in this promising XR sphere.

Considering both countries’ background, the FutureEdu project encourages the exchange of knowledge and ideas to develop products according to the needs and purposes of the final user in the educational institutions. We work with a variety of institutions to develop XR products that benefits all actors involve in the process. Products include joint XR training, XR products and XR manuals.  Both countries long-term common objective is to create innovation that increase education and empower the working force. Technology and XR is seem here as a common sphere to cooperate and build mutual trust, an area that transcends national boundaries.

As a social scientist expert, my tasks in the FutureEdu projects focuses on highlighting the importance of cultural encounters to develop and strengthen the countries potential and capacities in the field of XR.  This implies a multilevel perspective.  A global oriented perspective benefits in understanding how global scenarios are affecting national strategies and international development projects. At a national level, it is fundamental to understand the nature and role of the institutions and the regional resources and challenges that determines the outcomes of the cooperation.

Coordination and management skills are of importance in this type of projects. My task requires cultural understanding, communication and language skills. The understanding of technology as a tool to foster human development is crucial. At the end, however, cooperation is between people and they should be at the center of our aim to foster international cooperation.

“It´s not a faith in technology, it’s a faith in people”
Steve Jobs

Sources: Bloomberg Innovation Index, 2019, Virtual Reality and its potential for Europe