Last Wednesday saw a gathering of public sector leaders descend upon Edinburgh to meet, network and award some of the amazing achievements and projects executed right across Scotland from the past year. This is, of course, the Holyrood Magazine Tech Connect ICT awards. Conceived in 2013 to spotlight various public-sector projects that were largely going unnoticed by those they didn’t affect, the awards have gone from strength to strength with 2018 being its biggest year thus far.
The FITsense project, a collaboration between The Data Lab, Albyn Housing Society, Carbon Dynamic, NHS Highland and Robert Gordon University was nominated for two categories in the highly contested categories “Connect Data Insight Award” and “Connect Digital Health & Care Award”. The competition was fierce with Glasgow City Council being crowned winner of the Connect Data Insight Award for their project ‘One Glasgow Reducing Offending Partnership’, a fascinating project initiated to demonstrate how public-sector service outcomes could be improved. Our congratulations to them as truly deserving winners. Our time was to come, and with a struggle from the MC to list the many parties involved in the project, the FITsense project was named winner of the “Connect Digital Health & Care Award”.
The FIT Home initiative is pioneered by the Albyn Housing Society, in partnership with Carbon Dynamic (a manufacturer of sustainable, modular homes) and NHS Highland. FIT Home aims to develop housing solutions to enable people to live independently for longer – supporting them to make their own choices, providing a secure environment for them to live in and focusing on maintaining their wellness for as long as possible. Examples of FIT Home features include flexible walls and spaces for storing additional medical equipment, to allow residents to be treated at home instead of in hospital.
The homes also include state-of-the-art assistive technology, including various levels of ambient sensor equipment that captures data as the residents move around their homes. The so-called FITsense system within the Fit Home, will collect data from the sensors and learn activities and behaviours from the sensor data, specifically focusing on those that are pre-cursors to falls. Essentially, FITsense fall prediction will enable alerts that allow intervention so that falls may be prevented.
Moreover, the FITsense project aims to reduce pressure on public services and resources, by predicting, and therefore preventing injury. As injury from falls costs NHS Scotland £471 million a year, the wider economic benefits of the scheme could alleviate pressure on health and social care services, whilst also empowering residents, care providers, social landlords and a range of health professionals.
Being presented with this award helps shed light on this project that has largely gone under the radar of many people. The benefits of the project will become even more evident over the coming weeks and months as the first occupants have moved in recently. Fit Homes is looking to set a trend across the UK and beyond, and hopefully will offer individuals that may occasionally need assistance more independence right across the country in the future.
Overall, a wonderful night of meeting new acquaintances and networking with old was had by all and we are very much looking forward to 2019 and learning about all the exciting projects happening across Scotland in the public sector and hopefully getting a chance to share some more of our own.
By John Callagy, Marketing and Communications Officer
You can read more about the FITsense project in our FITsense case study.