Bield officially launches innovative digital hub in West Lothian
A new digital hub in West Lothian showcasing housing technology of the future won Bield stakeholder approval after its official launch last week.
Following a tenant sneak-peek in March, Bield Housing and Care has officially opened the Bield Tech Hub in Linlithgow, having secured £75k of funding through the TAPPI project.
The launch allowed stakeholders, including local health and social care partnerships, staff and other housing associations, to trial and give feedback on digital care advancements of the future.
The Bield Tech 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 has been fitted out with different technologies for people to test.
Stakeholders were welcomed to the space by Dr Lynne Douglas, Bield CEO, who said: “We are delighted to have officially opened the Bield Tech Hub and we’re sure it will bring life-changing technology to West Lothian and further afield. It was fantastic to give our stakeholders and project partners the opportunity to see first-hand what their support has facilitated.
“It’s very important that people get the chance to familiarise themselves with this incredible tech made available through the TAPPI project and get a true insight into housing 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 funding will give Bield the unique opportunity to work with tenants, staff and partners to gain insight into 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 Bield Tech Hub features 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 injury or 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 Bield tenants, customers and their families are beneficiaries of extremely relevant tech that could make a real difference to their day-to-day lives – we are certain that the three technologies achieve that.
“Preventative care technologies across the board underpin our major tech revolution at Bield and we’re confident that there will be fewer falls and emergencies, generally helping people to live independently for longer and be more confident in their homes.”
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.