News

Discovering digital, connecting communities

Section: DigitalType: News Item Date Published: 6th August 2021

Discover Digital funds seven projects to engage seldom heard communities to support improved digital health and care.

Imagine a future where every citizen in Scotland is able to find and access care and support at the right time. Some of this care would be delivered through in-person services,  others built upon self management practices and some would be digital.  Modern technologies are now pervading all aspects of our lives and when used right, in the appropriate contexts, they can deliver great benefits such as time savings, reduced travel, less paperwork and more integrated working.

In order to build such a future where digital is intrinsic and complementary to wider health and social care support landscape, we need to ensure that every citizen can access these technologies. This will involve taking big steps to tackle digital exclusion and ensuring  people are informed,  skilled, confident and motivated to use the internet and digital technology, but also that they trust the systems and services that they interact with.

To realise this vision is to include people in new developments. Discover Digital started to engage with people to consider how technology could be used for health and wellbeing. The focus of this initiative has changed over the last year and the ALLIANCE are now more focused on providing a  resource that can enable anyone, including those belonging to seldom heard groups, to benefit from digital health and care technology.

The new aims of the project are linked to outreach, signposting, digital health literacy, skills and confidence. The ALLIANCE are working towards these aims in several ways, including funding several projects to help us understand people’s needs:

  • Community Infosource will carry out focus groups and one-to-one interviews with refugee and asylum seeker communities to understand how digital tools might assist them in their health and wellbeing.
  • Change Grow Live: Forth Valley Recovery Service will undertake peer-led engagement with people recovering from substance use to understand their needs with regards to using technology to promote the health and wellbeing of themselves and others.
  • Deaf Equality and Accessibility Forum will explore health and wellbeing information sources available online and whether they are accessible to people who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind.
  • Happy to Translate, Trust Housing Association will facilitate conversations with older Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and African communities to understand the level of awareness they have around digital tools for health and wellbeing, their barriers to access and potential enablers.
  • LGOWIT have engaged with people with long term conditions to better understand their attitudes and needs related to technology for self management.
  • Moray Wellbeing Hub will focus on people living with long term conditions in rural areas to understand their specific needs from digital tools.
  • PBC Foundation will produce a survey to explore the uptake of their Self Management App for people with long term liver conditions.

The projects are in various stages of development. In fact, you can already watch a short animation summarising some of the key insights uncovered by LGOWIT through their engagement. Watch the LGOWIT animation (this link will take you away from our website) or read the full report to find out more.

The other projects will all be completed in Autumn 2021 and we are planning to share the emerging learning during Self Management Week, 27 September – 1 October 2021. The ALLIANCE Digital Health and Care team are excited about this development and feel very privileged to have such a varied and rich array of projects to draw learning from.

If you would also like to be involved in this work, sign up to the ALLIANCE bulletin or keep an eye on our Twitter @DHCscot (this link will take you away from our website) for updates.

Find out more about the funded organisations:

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