From Denmark to Tokyo: A Health Tech Research Expedition and Cultural Exploration

In late August, we embarked on an exciting journey from Denmark to Tokyo, Japan. This remarkable endeavor was made possible through JDTeleTech and a collaboration between the Laboratory for Welfare Technology – Digital Health & Rehabilitation in Denmark and Juntendo University Hospital in Japan. Our primary objective has been to conduct our research projects as part of our separate master’s programs at Aalborg University, Denmark.

Mathushan Gunasegaram, pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, has been working on a research project to predict Heart Failure events using a sleep sensor device.

Bertil Sivertsson is enrolled in a master’s program in Clinical Science and Technology and has undertaken a research project in collaboration with the ‘Future Patient – Telerehabilitation of Patients with Heart Failure’ project. His research delves into exploring the opportunities and barriers surrounding the implementation process of sleep sensor devices for heart failure patients.

Our stay has been generously accommodated by Juntendo University in the cozy Yushima neighborhood of Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. Under the guidance of our esteemed supervisor at Juntendo University Hospital, Dr. Takatoshi Kasai, we have been granted access to invaluable resources within the department for our research. Additionally, Dr. Kasai has facilitated our participation in various conferences and seminars closely aligned with our areas of study. Furthermore, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dean Dr. Hiroyuki Daida, Dr. Tetsuya Takahashi, and the outstanding team members within our department for their warm and gracious welcome and helpfulness.

When we are not working on our research endeavors, we have seized the opportunity to explore the captivating landscapes and vibrant cities of Japan. When not in Tokyo, our adventures have taken us to breathtaking destinations such as Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Nikko. The beauty and culture of this country have left an unforgettable impression on us, and we are profoundly grateful for the chance to collaborate with such knowledgeable individuals and experience the spirit of Japan.

As our departure date approaches at the end of this month, we look forward to cherishing our final moments in Japan, hoping that they will be as memorable as the incredible journey we have had thus far.

A special thank you to the organizations and to the grants for their funding that made this journey possible: Obel Fonden, Dansk Tennis Fond, Knud Højgaards Fond, William Demant Fonden, Marie & M.B Richters Fond, Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation, Otto Mønsteds Fond, Aalborg Stiftstidendes Fond, and Edel og Wilhelm Daubenmerkls Almenvelgørende Fond.

Master student in Robotics on an exchange stay at AAU

Koto Sakamoto w Mugyu

Master student Koto Sakamoto from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan is visiting Aalborg University for 4 weeks. The aim of her stay is to see how we work with research in social robots and to test her own prototype of a social robot in a Danish nursing home.

Koto has also given a guest lecture on her development of the social robot “Mugyu” (in Danish meaning “kramme-robot”).

Koto Sakamoto w Mugyu in lab

Visit to Japan January 2023


Professor Birthe Dinesen had a visit to Tokyo and JD TeleTech January 23-28 2023.

It was the first time after the COVID-19 pandemic that Dr Dinesen had a visit to Japan.

The aim of the visit was to meet with current collaborators and to establish new collaborators within JD TeleTech.

Thank you to Rumi at the Danish Embassy in Tokyo for help organizing the visits to the companies and other partners.

Visit Groove-X
Juntendo University

April 25 the JD TeleTech will have a round table at Jutendo University Hospital in Tokyo. Please stay turned on this webpage about more details.

The social robot LOVOT has become a media darling


The LOVOT project (the social robots) has been presented on nationally and regional TV during the last week:

The LOVOT project has in the past week been mentioned on 62 other Danish media as can be seen here.

It is great to see that there is interest in our research here at the Laboratory for Welfare Technology at AAU. We thank Groove X, Japan for lending us the LOVOTs, many thanks to the municipalities of Aalborg, Viborg and Skive and TUCV for their dedicated participation in the experiment. The National Board of Health has supported the project financially and thank you for this.

New publication: Use of Orihime

Collaboration between master students in Clinical Science and Technology, AAU, Aalborg Municipality & Ory Lab, Japan:

The telepresence avatar robot OriHime as a communication tool for adults with acquired brain injury: an ethnographic case study


We conducted an exploratory ethnographic case study, applying the framework ‘community of practice.’ The intervention consisted of sessions where ABI patients at home interacted with a member from Aalborg Rehabilitation Club using OriHime. Data collection consisted of documentary materials, participant observations and semi-structured interviews.

Findings: The patients at home found nonverbal communication valuable, while the members at the rehabilitation center felt that OriHime lacked human features and preferred direct verbal communication. The technology facilitated a feeling of being a part of a community of practice between the participants, and it motivated the patients at home to participate in the rehabilitating activities at the center.

Reference: Vikkelsø, S., Hoang, T-H., Carrara, F., Hansen, K. D., & Dinesen, B. (2020). The telepresence avatar robot OriHime as a communication tool for adults with acquired brain injury: an ethnographic case study. Intelligent Service Robotics.

LOVOT calls for joy and smiles for elderly with dementia


LOVOT is a social robot developed by Groove X in Japan. In March Laboratory for Welfare Technologies was about to begin to test the LOVOT with citizens with dementia at nursing homes in Aalborg, Viborg and Skive Municipality in Denmark as the first place in the world. LOVOT was brought to the nursing homes and ready to interact with the citizens. Unfortunately, Covid-19 started spreading, causing Denmark to go into lockdown and stopped us from testing LOVOT at the nursing homes. This has brought us in quite a unique situation: LOVOT being in lockdown together with citizens with dementia at the nursing homes. We are therefore excited to see how LOVOT will interact with the citizens in a lockdown period. The nursing homes now report back that the citizens have enjoyed the LOVOT and it has created joy and a lot of smiles for the citizens with dementia. We have postponed our scientific test supported by the National Health Authorities (Sundhedsstyrelsen) in Denmark to the fall 2020.

New publication: Individualized asynchronous sensor-based telerehabilitation program

Mohammad Reza Naeemabadi, PhD student at Laboratory for Welfare Technology, Aalborg University, has published a study aimed to identify patients’ requirements after a total knee replacement following a self-training rehabilitation program, leading to the design and development of a telerehabilitation program.

Telerehabilitation programs can be employed to establish communication between patients and healthcare professionals and empower patients performing their training remotely. Let us hope it will be used more in the future.

You can see and read the paper here.

Cooperation between HiSC Nordic and students from Aalborg University

One of the objectives of JD TeleTech is to collaborate on developing, testing and evaluating new telehealth, telerehabilitation and welfare technologies between universities, hospitals, municipalities and industry in Japan and Denmark. This has been experienced by two students from Aalborg University, who in the fall of 2019 collaborated with the Japanese company HiSC Nordic ApS.

The collaboration came about when the two students Lahila Diaby and Jens Thorsen, who study masters in Clinical Science and Technology, wanted to make a project about telerehabilitation. As HiSC Nordic develops software for telerehabilitation to diabetic patients, the collaboration between the students and the company was formed. Together the students and HiSC Nordic tested the software on Danish diabetic patients, and the results are expected to be published in an article this summer of 2020.

As it was a collaboration between a Japanese company and a Danish university, the two students joined JD TeleTech in Tokyo, where they presented their project, and talked about the good cooperation they had with HiSC Nordic. This was well received by companies and the healthcare system in Japan, and gave inspiration on how to collaborate between Japan and Denmark in the field of telehealth and telerehabilitation.