KT Equal presentation on NGA and Digital Inclusion


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Slides from a presentation given in Feb 2011 at a conference on "Achieving and sustaining digital engagement." The event was sponsored by KT-Equal and Age UK. Slides from all speakers are available at: http://kt-equal.org.uk/calendar/57/27-Achieving-and-sustaining-digital-engagement

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  • http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/7619.aspx
  • Increased participation: the project identified multiple services in research and development, and many already out there, that have the potential to enable older and disabled people to participate more easily in the spheres of work and education. These include services that support greater remote presence (e.g., feeling involved in a work or study situation through high quality audio-visual interaction devices) and enable access to shared information resources (e.g., using the cloud).Reduced social isolation: flexible and adaptable use of new communications services and tools has the potential to increase older and disabled people’s access to working and learning, helping to overcome the potential less desirable impacts of working and studying at a distance from colleagues. New tools and services include those which enable users to share information about their current situations (for example, how they feel or what they are doing) via communications devices, and to work collaboratively on documents.Improved access: for study and work, searching for and accessing information has become easier through the internet, and the trend is likely to continue with ongoing developments in easier and more intuitive online search and information access, and NGS and applications that will rely on it. Increased distribution of digital forms of communication can render material more accessible to those with disabilities because the form of the content can be more flexibly delivered according to users’ needs (e.g., text, speech, video).
  • One example of a service in development is from Vital Assistance for the Elderly project. VITAL is developing a tele-education platform To be delivered via the TV setIt will provide multimedia courses designed for the elderly, e.g. cooking, household activitiesIt will offer education for self-caring, self-learning and entertainment.
  • “It’s very much being able to do more of the same thing, but doing it more efficiently, more productively and at the same time as doing other things. The ability for people to have multiple devices connected in the home running on the same piece of broadband effectively - someone watching a set-top box in the lounge, someone else downloading upstairs, somebody else instant messaging, somebody else on Facebook.”
  • Remote interactione.g. user engagement with professionals via media;
  • Vital sign monitoring
  • In what is possibly the world’s largest telehealth and telecare trial, the Whole System Demonstrator (with around 6,000 users across Cornwall, Kent and Newham) uses two way communication to support effective feedback between health and social care monitoring centres and service users, providing reassurance that health care professionals are aware of their physical state and are available to communicate with them when necessary.“…we provide equipment to people in their own homes or sometimes on the move. That equipment usually has a set of peripheral devices associated with it that are specific to their health or care needs, through for example blood pressure kits, weighing scales, glucometers for somebody monitoring their diabetes, all the way through to smoke detectors, flood detectors, door alerts for monitoring a relative with an Alzheimer condition. Those peripheral devices would map to your individual need and usually would be communicated via a hub device. It’s the job of that hub device to get the data across a telecommunications network to the ‘far end’. The ‘far end’ could be a family member or a carer, or more often than not, it would be an intermediary service provider – someone who 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year, is providing remote support and reassurance. This can be for real time alerts, such as smoke detection for a fire, through to a clinical nursing environment providing triage of your vital signs that alerts to a declining condition, perhaps in your diabetes or congestive heart failure. What Tunstall provides is everything from the equipment and peripheral devices in the home to assistance with the delivery the supporting services at the ‘far end’.”
  • The first example is called COGKNOW.This project has developed a cognitive support device. It helps people with mild dementia navigate their day-to-day activities. The device monitors people’s home environment using detectors and sensors. Overall, it provides added security and reassurance for users in their home.This device has now been developed. Details: not part of scriptThe CogKnow project “aims to develop a user-validated, cognitive prosthetic device and associated services Within this project, a Mobile Cognitive Prosthetic (or Assistant) has been developed which communicates with a ‘Home-based Hub’ device via a Wi-Fi network within the home environment, whilst it utilises GPS technology to support users if they become lost and require support to ‘take them back home’” [71]. The CogKnow project ended in August 2009.
  • In this example, the Cogknow device informs the user that their front door is unlocked. The user then locks the door. The device detects that the door is now locked
  • In addressing the challenges, the following issues were highlighted:Infrastructure: need to ensure adequate and reliable network infrastructure and connectivity available to enable users to access NGS;Usability and accessibility: need for internationally coordinated work to support the development of NGS and products that are accessible and easy to use for people with a wide range of abilities. Key considerations here relate to:supporting the adoption of best practice in product and service research and development (e.g., following user centred design principles);the regulatory and legislative environment: ensuring it supports the development of usable and accessible products and services;standards for interoperability: so that personalised interfaces (meeting different user needs) can be easily integrated with NGS and products;Cost: ensuring that potential beneficiaries are not excluded from the benefits of NGS on the grounds of affordability. Considerations in relation to cost may include supporting competition amongst product and service providers, making available social tariffs, and price caps;Implementation: more coordinated mobilisation of and interaction between stakeholders (government, health service, social care services, regulators, service providers) is likely to be necessary to minimise the logistical risks to the realisation of the potential benefits of NGS for older and disabled people.
  • Thank you allFor more information including a copy of this presentation, as well as access to the full report please visit the Ofcom website on www dot ofcom dot org dot uk
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