Archive | July 2013

COBALT at Swindon 18th July 2013

Prof Arlene Astell led our event at Swindon. Starting with an interactive session on discussed what makes people like or hate technology.
Arlene chaired a Q&A session with a local commissioner and telecare/health supplier.
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In pairs delegates investigated assisted living technology.
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and gave feedback on where it could be used.
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Several people said the procedures council’s used made it hard for people to get the right technology at the right time.
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However, sometimes a loud, vibrating alarm just makes everyone laugh.
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Nigel Harris and Tim Adlam from Bath Institute of Medical Engineering talked about ways of improving design
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Finally we asked delegates to write down one action they would take as a result of the day
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Swindon was the last of the events (see below for Cambridge, Edinburgh and Sheffield). We will be publishing our findings later in the year.

COBALT at Cambridge 11th July 2013

Trinity Hall, Cambridge was the setting for our assisted living technology event for the East of England.
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Prof Arlene Astell and the COBALT team offered insights about the adoption of technology to over 40 industry, academics, housing, health and social care professionals and older people.

The day started with a visit to the exhibition of the best of inclusive Design from Norway and UK. We were privileged that Oystein Johnsen and Maja Arnestad came over from Norway for the event.

Delegates – such as Martin Sabry from Aideas the inclusive design consultancy (seated) were welcomed to the college by John Clarkson. John is not only Vice-Master of the college but also Director of the Engineering Design Centre which has an international reputation for inclusive design.
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Several delegates from industry brought examples of technology for us to try outP1020508

With such a range of delegates the feedback was lively and well-informed.
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Compared to previous events where many devices were criticised this event had more devices receiving recognition for trying to apply inclusive design principles.

Delegates were not solely concerned with the problems of older people but could see many devices could help younger people.
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Claire Bruin, Service Director, Adult Social Care Cambridgeshire C.C. gave an inspirational chat about the way Cambridgeshire used assisted living technology extensively
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In the afternoon Anna Mieczakowski presented the findings of the recent booklet on inclusive design Ageing, Adaption and Accessibility that she and John Clarkson had published.P1020556

COBALT at Edinburgh 20th June

COBALT’s second event was at Edinburgh. We arranged for delegates to try out a range of assistive living devices.
Some, like the blood pressure cuff were very similar to clinical devices.P1020329

Other devices like the GPS tracking shoes were very innovative.
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This event had a focus on Dementia and Brian, who has been blogging for us, gave a moving account of living with dementia:
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Sadly we again found several devices that didn’t seem to work:
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We also discussed the part assistive living technology can play in social care in Scotland. This does not have to be high tech as innovations in the design of devices to that help people walk and stand are just as vital:
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Finally delegates were encouraged to write an action plan that they could take back to their home or work.
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Click Age Scotland for Doug Anthoney’s report on the conference.