Is this the decent life?  This is also the theme of the InScience Film Festival

Is this the decent life? This is also the theme of the InScience Film Festival

Three short films about the future of healthcare, a FUTURE IMAGES project that will be screened next Friday at the InScience Science Film Festival. “I didn't want to tell a dystopian or utopian story, but one that the viewer could connect with emotionally.”

A headband equipped with a device that measures how enjoyable someone's life is, minute by minute. Is this life still decent enough to continue? It's a rather miserable premise at first glance Rest timesone of three short ones Future Spirits movies Which will be shown on Friday at the InScience Science Film Festival.

“Arnold's level of consciousness and joyfulness have now fallen below the level of what we consider a good life,” a very understanding care worker explains to his partner Kees in the film. “I'm sorry to say this, Case, but it's time to start planning for the end of Arnold's life.”

This opening scene of the film by director Brian den Hartog immediately highlights the theme of the Futures Studies Project: How do we want to shape future care, at a time of increasing aging, rising health care costs, and growing staff shortages? What role can and should technological innovations play in this?

Imagine the future

“Technological innovations can move very quickly. Think about the care robot that is already being used in many healthcare institutions,” says project coordinator Kiki Coleman. “More and more can be achieved, but what do we want healthcare to actually look like?” “We as a society need to continue to discuss this. Film helps us imagine possible futures. We can better empathize with those scenarios.”

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One of InScience's goals is to put science films on the map in the Netherlands. Radboud University is increasingly interested in combining art and science. “This is where the idea of ​​future images originated,” says Coleman. “When funds became available from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the project could actually begin.”

“The knowledge of healthcare workers and residents was equal to that of scientists and filmmakers.”

And so, last summer, filmmakers were able to sign up for one Open communication. Filmmakers Laura Hennig, Valerie Rotjens, and Brian den Hartog were selected from among the applicants. In collaboration with several researchers – from Radboudumc, Radboud University, Vrije Universiteit, Saxion and HAN – and with experts from Kalorama, they produced three so-called “speculative fiction films” about the future of technological healthcare innovations.

For Brian den Hartog, this was a new and sometimes challenging way of working. “Normally, as a filmmaker, you start from your own interest and specifically look for people who can help you further with this search. Now this process has been reversed. Den Hartog, like the other directors, had three days to brainstorm with different participants and then Developing ideas into a film plan “In the group, the knowledge of the healthcare workers and residents was equal to that of the scientists and filmmakers,” explains project coordinator Coleman.

Brainstorming session with filmmakers, scholars and experts at Kalorama. Image: in science

Measuring life satisfaction

Researchers Marcia Tummers (health evidence), Mats Koenemans (digital health innovator), and Mira Feigter (ethics and philosophy of medicine) from Radboud University Medical Center contributed to the project, as did philosopher Anko Pieters (artificial intelligence ethics) from the Donders Institute. “They show, among other things, what future scenarios are possible, but they are also interested in the question: Do we want this or not?”

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It was important for director Den Hartog to put the human side at the heart of his film: “I didn't want to tell a dystopian or utopian story, but a story that the viewer could connect with emotionally.”

This was successful, because as a viewer you initially feel like you are watching an episode of the series Black mirror If you look at it, reality quickly becomes less black and white when the health care worker continues to talk to Case in the film. “I understand that it can be very confusing, and fortunately this system helps us gauge how much value life still has for Arnold. He also found that a reassuring thought. In other words: Arnold himself wanted his happiness to be monitored by a device, but his partner Case is not Still ready for the results.

“Can one measure how much someone enjoys life using technology?”

A well-known topic: “Questions about when a person’s well-being remains sufficient for them to want to continue living and who decides that were frequently discussed in group discussions,” Coleman says. Kalorama residents and employees often face this topic.

But can one measure how much someone enjoys life using technology? He says this is exactly one of the questions Den Hartog wants to raise in his film. “What if it were possible to map the emotional world of a person who can no longer communicate?”

Start the conversation

Now that the production process is complete, project coordinator Coleman is looking forward to the next phase, in which the films will be shown in as many places as possible. “The InScience premiere is a start, and we want to use the films as a conversation starter to continue discussing the future of healthcare. The three films paint a possible scenario and leave it somewhat unclear whether this development is good or bad. It is an example of the added value that can Introduced by science film, and how you can use film in the exchange between society, art and science.

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Den Hartog hopes the conversation will include how to organize elderly care. “If you end up in an institution as an older person, you end up in a system that sets the boundaries within which you have to live. Can people get enough enjoyment of life from that?” This was an important issue that came up in my group during the brainstorming sessions .'

Despite the premiere of Next Friday All tickets have been sold out, and the films will be shown in many different venues in the near future. Coleman: “We show the films to medical and nursing students, health care workers, and health care policy makers, among others.” It will also be shown at Radboud University soon, the date has not been announced yet.

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