We are currently focused on the development of a Living Lab within Leach Court, a sheltered accommodation block of 108 flats. With the residents we hope to pilot and prototype various health technologies. Our experience will shape health and care strategy across the city.


Finally, after weeks of to-ing and fro-ing we managed to get our foot in the door, so to speak at Leach Court. The team had a really positive experience speaking to the scheme managers who were as enthusiastic as us! We met Tony, Julie and Alan and from the sounds of it they have already got a few residents in mind who might be interested, more to follow...

First Meeting with Citizens.JPG

We somehow managed to sneak ourselves in to the Residents Meeting agenda- thanks Tony! This was a great opportunity to introduce the idea to the residents and fortunately we managed to pique enough interest to gather a few volunteers together to explain the project in more detail. After a productive session with our 'early adopters' we identified a few ways in which we could move forwards. In the spirit of collaboration one of the best suggestions came from George, a resident. Before we simply launch into appreciative inquiry, by disseminating more information, example questions and giving people time to form their ideas we'd allow for a richer, deeper and more meaningful conversation. Point taken and acted on! The next step will be to hold more in-depth interviews with our 'early adopters' and see what comes to the surface.


So, we kick started our scoping exercises with our early adopters this month and we certainly delved in deep. It was both a privilege and an eye-opening experience to hear about each of their stories of health, care and life in general. So, what lies behind the title for this news update...part of our scoping exercise explored some of the interests and hobbies the residents enjoy. As it turns out Leach Court has amongst its residents distinguished gardeners, knitters and techies. Why is this of importance? So often, organizations that serve the public pay little heed to what citizens can offer and instead focus entirely on the needs. This draws from a whole body of work known as Co-Production (see blog for more information). We ignore asset based approaches at our peril! Fortunately, the health and social care sector are waking up to this now and we’re no different. We want to know what skills and abilities the residents bring with them, of no doubt they will be of importance when it comes to tackling issues like long term conditions and preventative medicine. 


What a fantastic week for us! On an auspicious day, the 12th of the 12th at 1200, we officially launched #LivingLabBrighton 


With plenty of enthusiasm in the room we generated a huge amount of energy to move forwards with the project. We heard from some of our key stakeholders including the University of Brighton, B+H City Council, the Academic Health Science Network and a resident from Leach Court herself- Jean Murray. The Launch provided the opportunity for many of our collaborators to finally meet and understand each other's perspectives and realise how much common ground we have between us!


We reviewed some of our achievements to date, including building up a trusted user group of residents with whom we have been working with to capture some of their stories of health, care and wellbeing and we outlined what our next phase will begin to look like- It's full steam ahead in conducting some small-scale prototyping of technologies. The event certainly captured everyone's imagination and we've had many more residents expressing their interest in participating. To that we say, come one come all #LivingLabBrighton is open for business!

Jean Murray, one of our first volunteers recalls her motivation for joining HI Brighton Living Lab and her experiences so far

Our team of supporters arrive colour coordinated with their #pinksocks

Here we have Theo Fotis our project lead alongside Christina Wanscher from Public Intelligence all the way from Denmark and Joao Bocas from Digital Salutem

Theo Fotis and Rachele Frost exploring some tech!

Close of ceremonies with our team of collaborators (Left to Right) featuring Caroline Macleod from Rocket Consulting, Joao Bocas, Theo Fotis, Alice Sheta, Melissa Ream from KSS AHSN, Christina Wanscher and Anand Sundaralingam


This seems to be the theme for our month. Throughout our scoping exercises and interviews we are starting to appreciate just how much digital literacy affects the way one is able to lead their life. In introducing some of the heath technologies, this has been a key limiting factor and therefore we propose that one can’t begin to explore Digital Health solutions without acknowledging the Digital Literacy Gap and identifying ways in which we can broach this. Our journey brought us to the Digital Brighton and Hove Network meeting where we had the chance to meet other groups like us and exchange ideas about how we might upskill our citizens. Plenty of food for thought and ideas bubbling away so watch this space!


Another exciting month was had. We’ve had the good fortune of connecting with a number of start-ups who are looking to bring disruptive innovation to the health and care sector. Without giving too much of the game away just yet, we’ll say that they are looking to transform the way we view independent living for our frailer and older population through novel tele-health ideas and other ‘smart home’ features for this population. As we race towards another technological age with the advent of home assistants and smart homes it’s reassuring that we are dedicating efforts to include those at risk of being left behind. As we look ahead to see how we might work with some of these SMEs the first port of call will be a workshop with our residents, bringing the users around the table from the very beginning. 

MARCH 2018

So as promised we took our first steps in getting everyone around the table. Our Living Lab was pleased to host Kraydel this month. They’re an exciting start-up looking at innovative ways to support independent living for older people. Their device hopes to shake up some of the old methods of delivering domiciliary care with the use of advanced technology however, it’s packaged in a way that’s very familiar and user friendly for many older people. You can see why we were interested!


Bringing the technologists, the service users and the professionals together and engaging in a quite often frank and challenging discussion was enormously insightful. We learnt much about attitudes towards technology, issues surrounding privacy and security and the value of living as independently as possible. Sessions like this certainly helps each group understand the other better and can only be an advantage when producing innovative solutions for the future. We’re eager to see what comes out of this workshop.


APRIL 2018

Hot on the heels of the first wave of the Testbed programme, NHS England and the Office for Life Sciences announced its support for a second wave in September 2017. The program challenges NHS organisations and technologists to work together to test innovative combinations of technology and pathway development to improve patient outcomes and experience (sound familiar?). A total of £4.5 million is available and the program is expected to last 18 months.


We’re pleased to say that with the preliminary work the Brighton Living Lab have been doing, Brighton and Hove City council, the CCG and the University of Brighton were well positioned to come together for a successful expression of interest. Competition is fierce this time round and the program demands are challenging. Here’s the ‘meet and greet’ event in Bristol, scoping for potential industry partnerships for the Testbed. The bid is still some time away but irrespective of its success, it’s a valuable exercise in getting us all thinking in the right way! 


This month our Living Lab team headed to the Stanford Medicine X Ed conference in sunny Palo Alto, California. We connected with individuals who are also looking to innovate in the field of health care and healthcare education. We had the chance to present our own work on the Living Lab- how it can be an innovation engine and also transform the way we deliver healthcare education. The key themes we took away from the conference were around stepping away from the ‘Industrialisation’ of healthcare, Co-creation with citizens and Design Thinking and we hope to cover these in more detail in subsequent posts. Above all it was encouraging to discover that we are not alone in our ambition to do better things!

Dr Theo Fotis presenting the Living Lab as as an innovation engine and a new way to engage healthcare students in community orientated care delivery

Dr Victor Montori on why Industrial healthcare is failing us and rehumanising care is an imperative

The Design Thinking Lab at Stanford taking us through their process

Elizabeth Jameson on patient/citizen partnerships with healthcare professionals and how we can rebuild empathy in our relationships

MAY 2018

We were honoured to be invited to speak at a regional frailty event this month. The Academic Health Science Networks of KSS, Oxford and Wessex came together to share best practice and hear from national leaders about strategies moving forwards. We were surrounded by an inspirational bunch of individuals all doing their best to improve the care we deliver to our frail population. 


Our talk, an approach to Technology and Frailty was well received and we hope we’ve furthered the cause for Living Labs as a model for co-creating innovation with citizens. It sparked interesting conversations and provided ample opportunities for us to learn from others and vice versa. 

Q+A Panel with other change agents in the region

JUNE 2018

Following their warmly received workshop in March, the Kraydel team were back. This time with a more advanced prototype taking on board feedback from the previous session; no need to imagine what the screen looks like on paper anymore!


The session was jointly attended by academics from the Sussex University from a myriad of disciplines, including social sciences, cyber security, computer science and telecommunications. We hope, that by seeing the Lab in action this will inspire other innovators to realise uses for the Living Lab. 


Even more inspiring, was the intergenerational work between the residents and students from the School of Design, Innovation and Creative Engineering at Queen Mary’s University, London. For the students, a chance to put theory into action and work on real world problems for real people. For the residents, a chance to share their experiences whilst learning a little more about the current state of play. 

Next stop...Beta Testing!

Health and Care Show 2018

Plenty of food for thought at this year’s event, with sessions on spreading innovation in the NHS, learning from best practice and understanding the challenges Digital Healthcare faces. Furthermore we scoured the exhibitor stands for potential Living Lab Technologists, a great opportunity to meet such enterprising innovators!

JULY 2018
Brighton University Healthy Futures Showcase

We were pleased to present our work on the HI Brighton Living Lab at the University’s Healthy Futures Showcase, an opportunity for the many different arms of the University to learn what the others are doing and highlight potential areas for collaboration. 


We formed a splinter group with interested parties around the use of technologies within specific groups such as dementia sufferers and their carers. We were pleased to see so many technologists working in this space and hopefully see a collaboration in the near future. There's certainly plenty of opportunities for willing parties given the governments latest Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge funds

Ebbsfleet, Healthy Ageing Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge

This month saw a group of enthusiastic, passionate individuals get together for the first Healthy Ageing Bid workshop. This follows the announcement by the government last year of its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The aim is to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. A total of £4.7 billion will be invested in R&D over the next 4 years. 


Four missions have been set for the grand challenges: Artificial intelligence and data, Healthy ageing, Clean growth and the Future of mobility. Healthy Ageing was the focus for our collaboration though overlaps with the other missions is still a distinct possibility (especially artificial intelligence and data). The collaborative has centred around Ebbsfleet Garden City, an ambitious Healthy New Town planned for completion by 2035. The opportunity to work from a blank slate was too great to pass up and the overwhelming feeling of the group was one of needing to ‘get it right from the start.’ Though it’s the first of many meetings we hope that this collaboration of academics, health and care professionals, third sector organisations and policy makers will be able to identify a winning bid for the Grand Challenge. HI Brighton will be sharing its expertise around citizen participatory design and evaluation of technologies but with this breadth of stakeholder participation, the possibilities for this bid are truly limitless!


Business Title

Want to find out what we've been up to- why not subscribe to our updates?

Subscribe to Updates