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Sunderland City Council wins award for use of tech in social care

Sunderland City Council wins award for use of tech in social care

Sunderland City Council is the winner of a European award for its innovative use of assistive technology in social care.

The council use the software Social Health Enabling Independent Living App, or SHEILA, which supports people living in their own homes. It’s connected to sensors in people’s homes to monitor their wellbeing and keep them safe.

The app monitors whether someone is taking their medication and eating properly, as well as a platform for offering support, alerts and prompts.

The team is now the winner of the 2020 Civic Innovation in Technology Award (Europe) from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre at Harvard. The award is in recognition of the Council’s work to enable people to live independent lives and have choice in how they do this.

The app uses a range of technologies, connectivity and data to support the wellbeing of residents. Sensors, push alerts and data analytics are all included in the app, which was praised by the award panel for its innovation during the pandemic.

The SHEILA app was the collective work of several organisations collaborating on a national pilot. Partners included: Sunderland City Council, Sunderland Software Centre, the Digital Catapult North East and Tees Valley, health commissioners, the Local Government Association and NHS Digital.

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “In our smart city of Sunderland, technology is embraced as an enabler and essential driver for positive change, but there is very much a belief across the city that a ‘citizen first, tech second’ approach will continue to ensure the needs of individuals is at the forefront of our ongoing dynamic developments.”

Assistive technologies are now in place in over 650 homes across Sunderland, ensuring people can remain in their homes and providing reassurance for their loved ones. The Council has an ambition to reach 1,500 homes over the next 2 years.

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