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Digital hub in Linlithgow welcomes tenants for first look

Housing technology of the future unveiled as part of innovative project

A NEW digital hub in West Lothian showcasing housing technology of the future has opened its doors to tenants for a first look.

Last year, Bield Housing and Care secured £75k worth of funding from the TAPPI project as the only Scottish demonstration site. The organisation has used some of this money to open a digital hub at its West Port development in Linlithgow, allowing tenants, staff and other stakeholders to trial and give feedback on digital care advancements of the future.

The Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project aims to improve the way technology is used in housing and care for older people. Led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the TEC Services Association (TSA) and funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust, TAPPI seeks to address the opportunity that technology has to enhance the lives of our ageing population and the barriers that prevent its adoption.

The West Port hub consists of four spaces including two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, one kitchen space and one living space. There is also a consultation room and a dining space. Each room nhas been fitted out with different technologies for people to test.
Tenants were welcomed to the space by Dr Lynne Douglas, CEO of Bield, on Friday 31 st March ahead of a formal launch in May.

She said: “Setting up the digital hub will bring life-changing technology to
West Lothian and it’s fantastic to have this space to enable people to get first-hand experience.

“It’s very important that Bield tenants and customers get the chance to familiarise themselves with this incredible tech which is available to them through the TAPPI project. After all, the technology is designed and installed in order for them to reap the benefits.”

The funding will give Bield the unique opportunity to work with Linlithgow-based tenants to test a range of devices, apps and systems across a variety of housing settings. With co-production at its heart, Bield staff and tenants will have shared responsibility to produce digital services to support independent living – a first for the Scottish housing charity.

The West Lothian hub will showcase three main technologies. The first, Anthropos, uses predictive and analytical technologies to map individuals’ daily routines and sends insights to family or staff. If abnormal action is detected, Anthropos intervenes to prevent a crisis moment from occurring. This supports independent living for as long as possible by proactively averting potential injuryor danger.

Aquarate drinking cups, which track individuals’ fluid intake by measuring liquid volume
automatically, are also available. This monitoring means that optimal fluid levels are maintained, and can be personalised to reflect individuals’ needs and care.

The third technology is Vayyar, a non-wearable, non-invasive, 4-dimensional tracking technology which supports fall detection. It also determines room presence and tracks mobility levels and bathroom visits, all of which facilitate autonomous living.

Lynne added: “Our team have worked hard to ensure that the three new technologies are extremely relevant to Bield tenants, customers and their families. By focusing on preventative care techniques across the board, we’re confident that there will be fewer falls and emergencies, gene mrally helping people to live independently and be more confident in their homes.

“Accessing this innovative hub will allow Linlithgow-based tenants and customers to live more independently for longer, which is at the centre of the latest Bield strategy and ethos. We are constantly seeking new ways to integrate technology into our services to suit their care requirements.”

Bield’s use of innovative technology has already received major recognition – it’s ‘Inspire Phase 2’ project which utilised proactive telecare was the winner of the Transformation Award at the 2023 ITEC Awards in Birmingham. The ITEC Awards celebrate innovation within the sector and the positive impact Technology Enabled Care has on the lives of millions of people in the UK The Transformation Award honours services that have planned and implemented major transformation with a proactive and preventative approach.

Bield is a housing and care charity committed to providing innovative, flexible and high-quality housing solutions and support for older people. Bield Housing and Care has around 180 developments which facilitate independent living across Scotland.

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