Category Archives: Health, Wellbeing and Care

Data Workshop – 15 September 2015@ Impact Hub Birmingham

Presentations from the session are now available below:

Birmingham’s Smart City Commission invited key individuals with a keen interest in all things ‘Data’ and ‘Health’ to their share knowledge and expertise which will be key to enabling Birmingham to become an‘Open by Default’ city.

The work follows on from June’s Smart Commission meeting and the recommendation from Cllr Lisa Trickett for a Data Workshop to shape the development of the Open Data and wider Data agenda of the Birmingham region with a view to producing a briefing paper for wider circulation and adoption.

Smart City Commission Data Workshop
Hierarchy of Data Needs

Hosted by Impact Hub Birmingham and Facilitated by Robin Daniels, Managing Director of Redpill Group, the day included a case study contribution from Atos and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council/Public Sector partners on their Multi Agency Data Sharing:  Vulnerability Intelligence Project (VIS); and participants were asked to help determine the challenges/pain points, service engagement and data interactions in a ‘Day in the Life’ of an archetype citizen (focusing on the ‘Health of Older People’).

The workshop details can be viewed on Eventbrite.

Please post your comments and perspectives here as we would welcome your input.

Transforming Care – Call for Participation

International Congress: Transforming Care – London February 2015
ICT and digital, citizen centric solutions for better care provision

On 24 February 2015, the International Congress – Transforming Care is being held at De Vere Venues – Holborn Bars, in London, UK. This is bringing together health and care professionals, practitioners, carer organisations, policy makers and academia to discuss and further advance the uptake and innovative use of digital technologies to enhance care provision and support services for carers and the leaders who will redefine health, wellbeing and care systems.


It will share findings and results from the European (CIP-ICT-PSP) project DISCOVER that is challenging existing practices to create accessible learning solutions for carers and care workers to improve care provision through unique training methodologies and use of ICT solutions.

The Congress will include Ministerial address, high profile speakers from across Europe and a range of interactive and participative sessions providing the platform for discussion and debate to exchange ideas and discuss concrete solutions to improve and deliver the best possible digital inclusion and services for carers as well as share lessons from successes and failures across the wider care sector and international activity.

As part of this event, we are also inviting short position papers and posters proposals describing initiatives undertaken to advance the use of digital technologies to support care provision and services including training in ‘skills for home care’ and ‘connected care’. There is also the opportunity for organisations with innovative products and services to participate in the digital showcase

For more information about the event and call, please visit or download the information leaflet here

Birmingham, the smarter, greener city

British Science Festival, Birmingham 2014
British Science Festival, Birmingham 2014

Wednesday 10 September 2014, 2.30pm-8pm
Millennium Point, Birmingham

As part of British Science Festival 2014, this event will showcase research and innovation in the theme of smarter and greener cities.

The need for cities to work smarter and in more environmentally efficient ways is essential to ensure the wellbeing of citizens, and to help businesses reduce their impact on global warming.

Jointly hosted by Birmingham City University, Aston University, Millennium Point and the Smart City Alliance, Birmingham: The Smarter, Greener Science City will include an exhibition, site tours and a series of lectures throughout the day.

Our keynote speaker is Dr Rick Robinson, Executive Architect of Smarter Cities, IBM.

Registration is free, with an option to attend a drinks reception at the end of the day. Please note that limited places are available for the drinks reception. Tickets for the event available here



Boost for Health Care Innovation in the Midlands

Creative England has announced a new £1million fund for regional based SMEs, designed to stimulate creative and digital innovation in UK healthcare. The first of four programmes to open as part of this fund is the West Midlands Interactive Healthcare Fund, in partnership with Nominet Trust and the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. The fund aims to encourage small creative and digital businesses in the North, Midlands and South West regions to develop innovative concepts or prototypes using digital technology to improve patient care and health services…

…The West Midlands Interactive Healthcare Fund offers local businesses a unique opportunity to work directly with the Health Trust to develop their concepts. “This partnership provides an extremely exciting opportunity for all involved,” explains Bethan Bishop, Head of Innovation & Industry Engagement at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. “It enables us to give insight into the areas of healthcare which will benefit from existing & new technology sitting within creative businesses. Importantly the fund will deliver the vital investment required to enable these developments to be used and make a real difference across healthcare services and the health & wellbeing of patients and the community.”

More about how to apply here

Delivering healthcare digitally

Birmingham (creative commons

There are increasing number of citizen centric health care consumer products on the market to support self-care management enabling individuals to engage digitally with their own health and care and the care of close family members. A number of emerging opportunities are taking forward a disruptive and transformative approach to deliver new models of healthcare. The opportunity for the Council, NHS and other partners is to look at how we support better integration around new pathways of healthcare. Health United Birmingham is a recent initiative and great example of this supporting Action G1 in the Birmingham Smart City Roadmap. It has just won £1m from the Prime Minister’s £50m Challenge Fund to pilot new ways of providing primary care.

“Digital Life Sciences has teamed up with Birmingham GPs to make it easier for patients see their doctors where and when they want to.

It’s part of a consortium called Health United Birmingham (HUB) that has won almost £1m from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund to pilot new ways of improving access to general practice.

HUB is a partnership between two GP partnerships – Vitality and Bellevue – and Digital Life Sciences, a healthcare technology and change management company. It’s supported by Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups, Sandwell Council and Birmingham City Council.
It aims to radically change the way in which 60,000 Birmingham people access primary care. From July this year, patients will be able to:

• see GPs from 8am to 8pm seven days a week
• use instant messaging to chat to clinicians
• manage their care from their homes.

The pilot comprises a central hub which acts the single point of entry for 60,000 people. Technology is used to increase access to the hub. There is a digital channel through which patient records are stored and shared. The patient, the GP, the specialists and community workers can all see the patient’s medical records at the same time.

Patients can use instant messaging, or teleconferencing for consultations with a range healthcare professional to access their healthcare from home.

They can upload their care plans, monitor and record their blood sugar levels and exercise regimes, and choose to share this with clinicians and support staff at the touch of a button.
As it has already been proven that self-monitoring in this way reduces hospital admissions by 15 per cent, it is expected that the benefits to patients of extended hours and self-monitoring will be funded by the reduction in cost of patients using secondary care.”

Read the full article here

Debate: how technology skills can support a carer

Last Tuesday (18/3),  Digital Birmingham together with its UK Discover partners – Bham City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology , Health, Design & Technology Institute (HDTI) and The Open University held an event to spark dialogue about digital and ict related training for formal and informal carers, how new technologies and the use of technology can support them in their lives as a carer as well as those they care for.

There was a great mix of people in the audience, from carers (formal and non formal) to carer support agencies to health and care providers to skills agencies to Universities to training providers which encouraged an dialogue about the imorertance of it skills in this day and age.

With Bob Gann, from NHS England chairing, the event kicked off with its first presentation from Verina Waights (Discover PartnerOpen University) who spoke about the Discover EU project  ( and the benefits of digital skills to carers.

Madeleine Starr MBE of Carers UK then went on to speak about the key roles of technology in a caring environment bringing to light that even tech savvy people are not aware of how technology can support them as well as those that they care for. She also emphasised that statutory and private services need to adopt technoloigies and change skills of whole workforce to promote tech. View Madeleine’s presentation here

Matthew Kemp of Midland Heart went through a care plan for an older person outlining all possible interactions between family, friends, care authorites, NHS etc by way of a cleverly designed ‘web of care (or despair)’. He then went on to explain the 10 recommendations from the User and market analysis report: Planning and co-ordination of informal and formal care for older people (this will be made availaible shortly – currently pending final checks and signoff). View Matthew’s presentation here

A research study piece by Midland Heart and commissioned by Birmingham City Council through part funding from ERDF and Carillion, explores the relationship between care and technology capturing the challenges faced by informal and formal carers in managing care planning and coordination. Read the full report here

Nigel Wynne of Birmingham City University (Discover Partner) spoke the importance of embedding digi skills and technology in care  followed by a showcase of the Discover e-learning  platform (email if you’d like to trial this for yourself or for carers in your organisation).

Robin Vickers of Digital Life Sciences went on to speak about about exisitng technology enabled care tools (DALLAS programme) and what the future of digital healthcare will look like with the emphasis of the user at the heart of their health/caring journey.

Kevin Campbell-Wright of NIACE gave a presentation about technology and learning, spoke highly of digial champions in organisations and out there in the community to act as mentors to support learners. He also spoke about reluctance to want to use the internet for security (identity theft, online fraud etc) reasons however with the Digital by Default agenda, communities will have no choice but to do things online. View Kevin’s presentation here

Dame Philippa Russell DBE talked about improving lives of carers and the cared for through the use of  telehealth, and smart homes and about the importance of independence and well-being outlined by Norman Lamb MP and then followed on by explaining the challenges she sees; that 2/3 of carers unaware of benefits of assistive technologies; loss of community libraries, where will people go to use a computer and the internet; Digital by Default agenda and that many areas in the UK still do not have decent broadband connections. View Philippa’s presentation here

If you would like more information about the Discover digital skills for carers project, please email

Action G1: Delivering new models of citizen centric digital health and care

The aim is to explore the potential of  customer focused digital technologies and new business models to support delivery of health and care services in new ways.  Particularly to address issues of integration, interoperability and adoption of digital services across informal and formal  processes. It will develop a range of project
areas that include:

  • Cooperation with Birmingham SMs such as Digital Life Sciences and Maverick TV with the aim of developing a Digital Health initiative for Birmingham
  • Building on existing initiatives in Birmingham, e.g., developing an integrated health folder for the Digital Log Book roll out during the Universal Credit Pilot; creation an “e-Redbook” – a digital version of the parent-held child health record that covers the 0-5 period
  • Support channel shift for GPs to enable them to offer remote consultations via video and help surgeries make better use of e-communications for appointment  bookings/cancellation, test results, etc.

Stakeholders identified to date

  • BCC
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham SMEs
  • Health Care providers
  • Housing groups
  • Science City – Innovative Healthcare Working Group
  • Birmingham City University

What makes this approach smart?

Working towards stakeholder-led service transformation and integration of services and systems

Short-term actions

Work with Birmingham health and social care providers to develop a strategy for digital health and care focused on use of ‘consumer’ technologies and online services to transform health and care

Future actions

New business model and intervention to demonstrate delivery

Action G2: Improve care co-ordination and planning between family, community and professional care givers

The task of being an effective carer is highly demanding and complex. It requires significant knowledge of the patient and the network of provision around them. However, coordinating care between these disparate groups is very challenging. This lack of coordination creates sub-optimal care for the patient, increases costs in the system, and creates unnecessary stress for family and community carers.
The opportunity is to enable individuals and professional and non-professionals carers to self-support, co-ordinate and co-produce care. Part of this is by improving access to information and practical help, particularly via the internet and social media solutions.
This will be partly focused on making existing resources across the range of public provision, including the NHS and the publicly funded community sector, work in a more integrated way. This integration is in alignment with the broader public policy agenda around social care reform.
The other aspect is encouraging take-up of online tools that enable sharing of information and care responsibilities between professional and non-professional carers working with an individual person being cared for.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • Carillion
  • Midland Heart
  • Care organisations and providers

Potential stakeholders

  • Community Navigators
  • Community Trusts
  • Birmingham SMEs

What makes this approach smart?

Working towards stakeholder-led service transformation and integration of services and systems

Short-term actions

User and market needs analysis study to identify potential project

Future actions

Develop business case for identified interventions / prototypes

Action G3: Services to improve digital skills of carers, cared for and older people to improve health & wellbeing

An ageing population and decreasing levels of social care services provided by the state mean that most people will need to take on a caring role during their lives. This can and often has a direct impact on the physical and mental health of carers.
Digital skills are invaluable to find information and support, address loneliness and isolation but also to use digital technologies to improve care and independent living of the elderly.
Improving the digital skills of carers and care workers will have multiple benefits for the carer and the cared for.

Stakeholders identified

  • Birmingham City Council – BCDA and Carers Centre
  • Birmingham City University
  • Digital Birmingham

Potential stakeholders

  • HealthWatch
  • Community Trusts
  • Care Homes
  • Third Sector e.g. Carer’s UK
  • Training Providers

What makes this approach smart?

• Exploiting digital technologies for quality of life

Short-term actions

  • Build on the Impact Evaluation of the EU DISCOVER Digital Skills for Carers Project ( to mainstream elearning for carers
  • Develop business case for potential commercial service
  • Link to e-passport in skills section re e-portfolios created for carers to record skills
  • Work with training providers re use of training/learning resources contextualised for caring
  • Develop models around the use of award winning Social Media Surgeries –
  • Scope Skills for Care proposal around young employed

Future actions

  • Embed digital skills within existing training providers material; Accreditation / certification of digital skills training material; scope delivery of commercial service
  • Deliver digital skills for carers service

Action G4: Challenge based social innovation programme for public health challenges

Obesity costs Birmingham £2.6bn each year including costs to the NHS, social care and wider economy. 40% of 10-11 year olds in Birmingham are overweight or obese. By focussing a series of public health challenges on childhood obesity we are addressing preventative action and developing the concept, which can be transferred to other areas of health challenges. The programme will work with the ERDF Creative Digital Solutions, Innovation Engine and Hub Launchpad and engage with citizens, community leaders and healthcare professionals and technology lead developers to identify solutions. This has the potential to use everyday technology to trigger behavioural change and enable better lifestyle choices. Addressing the ‘digital natives’ generation provides an opportunity to utilise consumer technology and data to help tackle a significant public health challenge.

Stakeholders identified to date

  • Accord Housing
  • Public Health – Birmingham City Council
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Birmingham Science City
  • Digital Birmingham
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Innovation Birmingham Ltd

What makes this approach smart?

Exploiting digital technologies for quality of life, using data to create new insights and solutions

Short-term actions

Define process to manage public health challenges through involvement of communities

Future actions

Identify challenges with communities and public health leads through workshops; identify data sets; look at crowd sourced community funding schemes