Thankfully half-term week has brought a lull in the cascade of announcements that it seemed important to share with members last week. However there’s still lots going on.

Webinar Wednesday – How to encourage carers to embrace technology – June 3rd 10am

Driven by our successful webinar on technology to support vulnerable people during the lockdown, this webinar will revisit the issue of how best to promote that technology to help people care for such people in the light of the pandemic. DHACA and Carers UK worked on this topic for the DHSC a couple of years back; our subsite giving details of our findings is still regularly visited. We concluded then that this market is at least £1 billion in size – and that was then. What we never cracked though was how to break through so that technology used by the UK’s 8.5 million carers becomes as ubiquitous for them as, for example, mobile phones.

The intention this time is actively to engage members in a round table debate on how we can raise awareness of this critical issue. To get the creative juices going we have three great speakers, and me:

  • Madeleine Starr MBE – Director of Business Development and Innovation at Carers UK
  • Janet Seward FCIM – Programme Manager, DLF (Shaw Trust)
  • Stuart Butterfield – CEO Canary Care
  • Charles Lowe – CEO, DHACA

We need your ideas and support though! To reserve a place, please go here.

RSM double bill?

The Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Section (of which I once was President) has now begun running webinars, also on Wednesdays, starting at noon. Next week’s is entitled: Trends in Wearable Technologies: towards the Star Trek tricorder. Whereas DHACA webinars are free, there is a small charge for these. However we are in active discussion with the RSM to make a special offer to DHACA members in exchange for jointly badging these webinars. In the meantime, there’s just enough time between when the DHACA on ends (never after 11.30 am), and when the RSM one starts, to get your lunch sorted to listen whilst you eat.

Dept of International Trade webinars

The DIT has a whole programme of really helpful free Covid.19-themed webinars aimed at SMEs and provided on behalf of the DIT  by Newable. Though some are export-focused, most would be worth watching even if exports are currently only a dream. For example Leverage Social Media to Stay Visible during Coronavirus on June 4th will be valuable to almost everyone (including DHACA!).

Digital health: an opportunity to reduce health inequality

And while we are looking internationally, the Information Technology and Innovation foundation (ITIF) has a superb paper arguing that “Health data and digital technologies will be essential for improving global health outcomes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Low- and middle-income nations, with fledgling digital health strategies and many barriers to overcome, stand to benefit the most.”

Funding Call: Eureka Healthy Ageing

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million to develop digital health technologies in partnership with organisations from EUREKA countries. More details here. Call closes August 5th at noon.

Horizon 2020: UK organisations can still benefit after 31 January 2021

I get very saddened at the thought of no longer assessing for, reviewing for, or participating in EC Horizon projects as I learned so much from engagement with health & IT experts in other countries. Apparently all is not lost though: visit this Gov.UK site to see how UK businesses and researchers can continue to access Horizon 2020 funding even after 31 January 2020.

And finally…

  • Richard Windsor has an insightful article on Apple’s rumoured augmented reality offering – as always it looks like Apple might just have got it right.
  • Just when you thought that the silver lining of Covid-19 was the promotion of digital health as the principal means of delivering health and care, along comes an article in the most recent Lancet Digital Health entitled “Digital health at the age of the Anthropocene” which points out that (1) digital = electricity consumption = more greenhouse gases <I’m not sure about that one> (2) recovery of metals used in digital hardware is hazardous, eg recovery from old hardware requires burning off plastics, creating health hazards, and (3) precious metals can be extracted unethically or illegally, such as via child labour and slavery; moreover, most rare metals are produced in conflict zones or controlled by monopolistic entities.. And there was I thinking digital health offered environmental benefits! Worth a read as it is of course more complicated, and more positive, that my brief summary might suggest.
  • Just as well therefore that researchers from the University of Surrey have revealed their new biodegradable motion sensor, which doesn’t need batteries – paving the way for implanted nanotechnology that could help future sports professionals better monitor their movements to aid rapid improvements, or help caregivers remotely monitor people living with dementia.
  • And whilst we are on geological eras, for those with a very long time horizon, listen to the BBC on how the universe might end.

Many thanks as always to Prof Mike Short for pointing me to items I might otherwise have missed.

Hoping you can join us next Wednesday, ideally with some creative ideas of how we can encourage greater use of technology by carers.