Archive | October 2012

Pioneer groups – Alison’s blog Friday 26th October

Have just returned from a lecture on ” Gas leaks,bombs and chemical contamination : how lasers are revealing the hidden dangers ahead “. Dr.David Stothard explained how the academic study of the technology of photonics has developed into a commercial application which will deliver safety, security and economic benefit to society. I was struck by the parallels with our endeavours in the Pioneer group. Today’s topic of building a business model was directly relevant to the procedures Dr. Stothard had followed. I may not have understood the physics but, thanks to this afternoon, I could appreciate the need to understand the market, to engage in commercial partnership etc. Talk about transferable skills and you never know when learning will come in handy!!

Pioneer Group, Sheffield, Jackie’s Blog

We’re now on week four of the COBALT project, and working as a group many new features have been suggested to be added to NANA in its present form. After a re-cap of our thoughts we divided the group into pairs and decided which we thought were the five most important features.

Things became a little bit more complicated at this point! How do we design a universal product to attract professional bodies, carers, the elderly and not so elderly?

Since being part of this project I have come to realise just how much technology has progressed in recent years, it’s amazing what lies behind that touch screen! The two hour session flew by and we look forward to a talk from Age UK next week.


Pioneer Group, Sheffield, Researcher’s Blog – Session 4

Yesterday’s session ‘Collecting Evidence’ required some last minute changes to the format to make sure we got the most out of the session but this is all part of the iterative nature of the project. We were feeling confident with the session plan and came up with the idea of participants listing their favourite ideas from the last session, thinking of the benefits for potential users such as care homes and healthy older adults and then undertaking some of the traditional research techniques that would provide an evidence base for the effectiveness of the product. The group as usual had varied ideas including an idea for the use of the product for tenants who need housing repairs and the use of the wristband to detect dehydration by using a skin sensor. The group spoke about how important nutritional information and feedback is for the user and how methods such as interviews, observation and questionnaires could be used in conjunction to provide evidence for the amended NANA’s effectiveness. Next week is something new for me, business models, and so will be interesting to see how what we have done so far links in to this and furthers the project.


Pioneer groups – Liz’s blog Tuesday 23rd October

Definitely much more stressful afternoon even though when I got the idea of what we were trying to do, I was more relaxed. I only took part once at the hospital in trying to manage a survey. As a volunteer, I was asked to go round all the patients and ask them lots of quite difficult and even obscure questions which, as most of the patients were quite frail and not very alert,weren’t understood.. There were choices and abcd gradings and very few (if any) yes/no questions. With this in mind, I feel that any survey aimed at older people needs to be very simple to follow, not too long and if possible just straight yes/no answers. Most surveys I have taken part in for holidays, supermarkets etc are all grading from 1-10 and became very boring.Looking forward to seeing our questionaire that we would use!!!!
Looking forward to the next ghallenge as it is definitely a new idea for me to tackle.

Pioneer groups – John’s blog Saturday 20th October

Trying to find a route to a market, this was a much more challenging session perhaps due in part to following such a stimulating experience the previous week when we met as a relaxed, mutually respectful, self-confident group. We appeared to be working outside our comfort zone this week, with much less focus. Task headings seemed to produce much repetitive discussion with diffuse thinking. Each individual had their own variation of the product and how it would be used. We accomplished less, therefore it was less satisfying. Work in small groups seems to be a  more productive dynamic than trying to incorporate the talents of the whole group in a single discussion. Still enjoyed our new friendship group.

Brian’s blog – Monday 22nd October

I have not posted since last Thursday. Unfortunately my Dementia has caused me to forget what actually happened to the last three or four days. This does not happen too often thankfully. I have checked my Daily Journal (no entries since Thursday 18th October). My phone and my computer tell the same story. This is quite frustrating and has a fairly weakening side to it. However, here I am to tell the tale. My iPhone is all mixed up. My wife tells me that I was attempting to use it constantly during the lost weekend. The good news for me is I am due to see Maggie on Wednesday. Hopefully she will be able to make some sense of the information stored in the phone. I am thankful that I am able to use the computer and the phone, so obviously most of my newly learned skills have been retained. This is very important to me as it is the opposite of what has been happening to me in the past. I see this as a positive experience. I am still fully committed to taking part in the Cobalt Project and look forward to sharing my experiences with you soon.

Pioneer groups – Alison’s blog Friday 19th October

Maggie  had a harder task today and so did we. Until now we were working within our comfort zone. We could see ourselves as consumers of assisted living technology and giving a name to a company and designing a product.It was a different story trying to determine the best methods to test the viability of the product. We could all make suggestions, and did, but what the validity of these is open to question. I think we questioned why we were being asked to do this. Looking forward to the support of an expert next week. Yours aye Alison

Brian’s blog – Thursday 18th October

J was in again today. She is so happy that I am again going through another stage of this new learning process. She is convinced that “Cobalt” is very positive for me. I asked J to get me fully connected to the Internet. I watched her doing this and decided that this is a step too far for me at this time. She also connected my Facebook account to the phone. J asked me if it is my intention to keep my Daily Journal in the phone. I think this is a good idea as my writing  has deteriorated a lot since I was diagnosed with Dementia. I intend to start this tomorrow. I have decided to keep the Journal in the Notes section of the phone.

Brian’s blog – Wednesday 17th October

I turned the phone on this morning with the fear that my calendar would be empty. I was relieved to find all the contents safely where I had put them yesterday. J dropped by in the afternoon and was pleased to hear there had been no more disasters overnight. For the next hour J demonstrated to me how to use the phone’s Reminder function. She left me with written instructions. During the evening I managed to do some work on a presentation which I have to give in two weeks. I was able to do about half of the presentation before the evening had ended. I intend to work on this over the next two weeks. I think I have taken a huge step forward today although I am still aware that there is so much to learn.

Brian’s blog – Tuesday 16th October

My daughter J came in today. I had to tell her that I had managed to delete all the information from my calendar. J suggested that we should start again from the beginning and enter a full up to date folder for appointments and events which would take me to 31st December. Although Maggie and J had already demonstrated to me how to use the phone’s Calendar function, I was somehow managing to press the wrong buttons. I was also still using Maggie’s written instructions. After one hour with Jennifer assisting me and regularly referring to Maggie’s written guide I was again becoming competent at this task. I worked during the afternoon and evening and was surprised to find, that I have successfully entered fifty contacts and their telephone numbers. Enough for today or I will end up doing something silly and end up deleting all my hard work. Hopefully, no more accidents with the delete button.