NHS Managers Network: new website (UK)

We don’t usually do ‘new website’ items, but in view of the importance of the NHS Managers Network newsletter (that Roy Lilley sends out several times a week) for anyone who wants to keep an eye on what’s happening in the politics of the NHS, then it seems appropriate to flag up that the Network now has a new website “Management can be a lonely task and this is the place to compare, contrast and calibrate your views.” NHS Managers Network.

Useful 3D printer patterns?

3D printing is one of those technologies full of promise which has yet to prove that ubiquitous adoption is worthwhile. [Sound familiar?] The promise is that we will be able to download patterns for useful things and print them at home, saving the costs of mass production and distribution and, at the same time, enabling customisation for each user. One has the impression that most of the things produced so far have a toy-like quality but in the following item we see the green shoots of the promise becoming reality. Normal game controllers are too difficult for people with weak muscles to use and purpose-built light-touch ones are expensive, then along comes 3D printing and someone with the vision to use it to produce low cost controllers for people with muscle impairments. Building custom game controllers for the disabled (3ders.org) Hat tip to Nicholas Robinson.

Hampshire hedges its bets on telecare providers (UK)

TTA flagged up last July that Hampshire County Council was tendering for a ‘strategic partner’ to deliver a telecare service on its behalf and that the result would be known in May, so this by way of an update. What we learn from a Tunstall press release is that Hampshire has staked it all on the ‘Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership’ – a consortium of providers led by PA Consulting (Wikipedia) and which comprises Tunstall, O2, CareCalls, Medvivo and Magna Careline. [Just when we thought the UK telecare scene was becoming boring – it will be interesting to hear how these rivals learn to pull together to deliver the comprehensive, efficient service for which the people of Hampshire have been waiting for many years.]

Button TrackR: Object and people finding with an added extra

There are a number of small phone app-based tracking devices in development but stick-on Button TrackR has an extra something. The phones of other people running the app can pick up the signal and flag the location to a server if the object (or person) is out of range of the owner’s device. The developers’ modest crowdfunding target of $15,000 has been wildly exceeded. It’s publicity that money can’t buy. Button TrackR adds crowd sourced tracking to search for lost objects (Gizmag)

mHealth reality: Complicated (Uganda)

Do we detect a slight air of surprise in the comment of Pia Rafller, one of the authors of a report by Yale University’s department of Political Science that “The findings do show that the reality is more complicated than at times we like to think, that information can have a different impact on different types of people”? The report was on an mHealth project designed by Google and the Grameen Foundation’s AppLab which allowed users in 60 central Ugandan villages to text questions on sexual and reproductive health to a server and receive pre-prepared responses from a database. The expectation was that the information would lead to a reduction of risky behaviour but it had some unintended consequences… Ugandan mHealth initiative increases ‘promiscuity’ IRIN Africa.

Semi-related item: Let’s hope that Orange Botswana takes note of the Ugandan experience: Orange Roll Out Telemedicine

Supra goes Wonka – update (UK)

UPDATE 20 June 2013: SupraUK has announced that Surrey Heath Borough Council has found the first of the eight Golden Keys in the 18th Birthday Competition (details below). Now they have to start planning a community project to fund.

ORIGINAL posted 12 June: To celebrate its 18th birthday, UK key safe supplier SupraUK is running a Willy Wonka theme-based competition. Eight of its customers will find a golden key in a delivery. Those eight can propose £18,000 projects to improve their community. Once all eight proposals are in, the public will vote for the project that they think deserves the £18,000. The winner will be the project with the most public votes and will be announced at a Willy Wonka themed birthday celebration in November. Sounds like a ‘win, win, win’ to us! Competition website, main SupraUK site.

MyHomeHelper up for an award (UK)

MyHomeHelper, a product for dementia clients to stay independent in their own homes, beat off competition from over 200 nominations to become one of three products selected as a finalist at this year’s Technology4Good awards. They are up against some big companies such as Barclays Bank and would appreciate votes for them on that page and, as tweets count in addition, they are also hoping for tweets about them using hashtag: #T4GMyHomeHelper.

New book: Technologies for Active Aging

“Technologies for Active Aging offers novel answers to a range of aging issues, from safety and mobility to cognition and continence. Written for the non-technical reader, the book examines the potential of information and communicative technologies such as pervasive computing, smart environments, and robotics to enhance seniors’ quality of life and encourage independent living, better care and self-care, and social participation.” We can’t give a recommendation as we have not read it, but it is edited by two respected people in the field: Andrew Sixsmith of Simon Fraser University, and Gloria Gutman of the Gerontology Research Centre, both based in Vancouver. Technologies for Active Aging (PDF flyer). US Amazon link. UK Amazon link.

UK Community Led Care Conference – TTA reader discount

24 September 2013, Manchester, UK

We were just about to give you, Dear Reader, a heads-up on the Community Led Care – Meeting Needs Closer to Home conference when the organisers came through with a £45 public sector members discount, especially for you. The conference will cover:

  • Changing the ‘default setting’ for Healthcare Delivery
  • The Challenges of Providing a Truly Integrated Community Health Service
  • The Role Technology can play in Supporting Care in the Community

Click here for full details. To receive the Telehealth and Telecare Aware discount, enter TELEPUB in the appropriate box when registering online or mention it if booking by phone: +44 (0)161 831 7111 (Ask for Christopher Sheridan on ext 282)

Yecco: New UK social networking with a care dimension

Someone who attended the Health+Care 2013 Show in London this week alerted us to Yecco, saying “One bright spot was Yecco, a new entrant to the market, with a fresh, consumer focussed aim of meeting the needs of both carers and cared for, people of all ages, grandparents and grandchildren. All the staff seemed to have personal experience of helping dementia patients, as well as offering new technology-based communications between family, cared for and carers.” The cheery video below explains it. Yecco website – with some worthwhile offers, too.

[This video is no longer available on this site but may be findable via an internet search]

Is Saga automated lifelogging the future of memory – or just creepy?

The Saga (nothing to do with the UK company of the same name) smartphone app takes journal-keeping to an entirely new level, that is without input by you. It takes data behind the scenes from your smartphone and tries to make some sense of it. For example, you visit lots of burger bars…you must like burgers (unless you are a hygiene inspector, of course). So is it, as the developer claims in the 9 minute video below, the next evolution of memory, for which we will all become grateful or is it just creepy that people would want all that activity logged automatically? Saga app website FAQ page (as the home page is very bland). Hat tip to Toni Bunting.

Piezo-resistive fibers for continuous BP monitoring?

Switzerland-based company STBL Medical Research AG has developed a new ‘blood pressure watch’ that relies on a wristband made from piezo-resistive fibres. These fibres measure the contact pressure of the device on the skin to overcome the problem of the device slipping on the wrist or muscle tension that can affect the measurements. The device is currently undergoing clinical trials. Piezo-resistive fibers enable “blood pressure watch” with continuous monitoring Gizmag – note the comments too.