Metropolia takes charge
Spearheaded by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the Peili project has brought together a plethora of experts from various fields. Project lead Kaisa Puuronen from Metropolia says that there are professionals from e.g. IT technology, service design, health promotion and social services behind the launch of the app.
“We have a wide network with plenty of expertise in order to make sure that we cover all aspects in the lives of the target group,” she says, adding that during the project, also the views and opinions of the young men themselves have been taken into consideration to create an app that really connects with the group.
According to Puuronen, there have been projects and tools that try to reach this particular target group previously, too – but the approach of Peili is a little bit different:
“We are really solution-oriented and committed to serving the target group very closely,” she says. Part of the “magic formula” is taking the time to map out the problems young men face first – and in sufficient depth – and then zero in on the solutions.
“In Finland, we have a situation where there are plenty of organisations and actors readily standing by to help these young men – but the target group is not always even aware that such support exists.”
AI to improve the service
A key part of the project is the use of AI tools to harness the data. According to Puuronen, as the app will gain more users – hopefully thousands and thousands across Finland – important information will start to accumulate and AI can start mining that data for improved service.
“We’re obviously not there yet, but, eventually, we want to develop great solutions based on lots of user data.”
Right now, the makers of Peili are hoping that through the use of the app the various service providers and the youth are able to “find each other” a lot better than has been the case previously.
“We need to do a better job of connecting the two and Peili has been designed to achieve just that.”