A healthy City
Ensure that public services are joined up and that people stay healthy and independent.
Health, care and well-being has always been a challenging area with reduced budgets, demographic challenges, a rising demand for care and a requirement for more citizen-centred services. All these challenges open up some real opportunities to accelerate Cardiff in becoming a smarter city.
We want to nurture an ecosystem that looks at new ways of gathering, analyzing and presenting data – via new and established technologies such as wearables, machine learning, virtual assistants, sensors, telecare and telehealth solutions. Innovative digital technology with the effective use
of data will allow citizens to lead healthier and more independent lives. It will also promote preventative and early intervention methods which will create efficiencies and reduce financial pressures on all parts of the health care system.
We will work with partners to:
Over the next 20 years the number of older people living in Cardiff is projected to rise significantly. A growing older population will place increased demand on budgets and put pressure on our hospitals, general practitioners and health and social care professionals.
The ‘Digital Health and Social Care Strategy for Wales’ details the Welsh Government’s ambitions to transform the health and social care sector in Wales. In order to meet these ambitions we need to question old ways of working, embrace change and look at cost effective, innovative technologies that will ease the strain on services and support the elderly and disabled to live as independently as possible.
There are a wide range of different technologies in this space which can help people remain independent and allow individuals to take control of their own health. These technologies include mobile apps/devices, smart technologies, video conferencing, telecare and telehealth services, and an array of sensors and devices which can help collect important data and manage and control the physical environment. For instance, telehealth can allow an individual to measure their vital signs at home. This information can then empower the individual to take more control of their own health, but importantly vital sign information can also be transmitted to medical professional for them to diagnose and monitor conditions. This could potentially reduce hospital admissions and unnecessary visits to health and care professionals.
We aim to expand the use of smart and assistive living technologies to give people the freedom to look after their own well-being and allow them to remain living independently for as long as possible.
Our service users and employees need to play a part in designing health technologies for the future, as they will ultimately influence if new technology is embraced and implemented successfully.
Many of our service users and employees use different types of digital technologies and online services on a daily basis, they use it to stay in touch with family members, to access social media or to shop, bank or read online. However, using technology as a means of improving health and social care provision is not always explored – this needs to change so that it becomes mainstream.
We need to ensure that service users as well as health and social care professionals are given the opportunity to see and use new digital technologies. By exploring these digital technologies they will get a better understanding of its technological capabilities and grow confidence in their own abilities. We will ensure that the people using these new technologies are involved in the decision-making process – service users and professionals can express their views and determine what they want from their technology solutions.
In order to break down barriers we need to encourage and support service users and employees so that the transition to digital is seamless. We will work with suppliers to look at ways of prototyping and piloting new technology to ensure they meet the needs of service users as well as health and social care professionals.
Public Services information is held in various IT systems throughout Wales, making it difficult to share information across public services. This particularly effects areas such as health and social care and the emergency services. This inability to easily share information causes a number of issues such as data silos, service inefficiencies and makes it difficult to make informed decisions.
To join up services we will look to move towards interoperability. This will enable systems and employees who work in or with the care sector to share information easily. We will investigate a range of different techniques to improve data sharing and look for opportunities to purchase new solutions that can enhance services and improve outcomes for service users and our public services. This will involve collaboration, open standards, data sharing agreements and new ways of working together.
We will look to harness the information that is held in these different IT systems so that we are in a position to analyse and better understand service user journeys. This will allow us to adopt preventative, predictive and tailored care for our citizens and create more efficient services.
We will also look to set up a Digital Health Board which will oversee work in this area and create a digital health and social care strategy that set goals and objectives for the future.
People already use a wide range of technologies to improve their health and well-being. There are a range of applications which use GPS to track exercise and wearable devices which track your activity levels, exercise and sleep patterns.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has brought further developments in this area. For instance there are IoT solutions which clip on to existing asthma inhalers, allowing medical professionals to track when and where the puffs are being taken by users. This data can then be used by medical professionals and users to monitor inhalation technique and frequency. This allows for better management of the respiratory condition.
We will investigate ways that technology can promote activity and improve well-being such as gamification which can act as a motivation tool that looks to change or influence behaviours through incentives – Pokèmon Go and Geotagging apps are good example of how games can improve physical activity and wellbeing.
In order to be successful in this area we need to work closely with our public services partners and local innovators to develop ideas on how we can influence behavior through IoT, mobile apps and wearable technologies. We need to ensure that digital technology is promoted for physical activity and ensure we are not ‘re-inventing the wheel’ as there is already a wide range of apps, IoT sensors and wearable devices out there.