Have your say on the Discover Digital Guide

Written by: Carmen Paputa-Dutu, Digital Health and Care National Lead, the ALLIANCE

Published: 27/05/2021

Guide title page: Discover Digital guide to understanding and navigating digital health and care tools and services

The Discover Digital team have created a guide to help people understand and navigate digital health, care and wellbeing tools and services.

Here at the ALLIANCE, we truly believe that digital technology has its place in enabling people to live better. Whether it is by being more connected or more informed, digital tools can sometimes act as little aids to help us reach our goals. Therefore, we think that everyone should be able to access and use digital health and care tools in a way that works for them, to achieve their health and wellbeing goals or to be able to better look after someone they care for.

To help achieve this vision, we have been managing the Discover Digital project since 2018. Discover Digital is a project to raise awareness of digital tools that promote health and wellbeing. Between 2018 – 2019 we held events across Scotland to exhibit such tools. This was done under the umbrella of Scotland’s Digi Health and Care Fest and with support from the Scottish Government Digital Health and Care and the Technology Enabled Care divisions.

However, since 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a growing number of digital tools available for people to use. This increase has made it difficult to keep up to date with what tools are available and how best to use them. For this reason, we have decided to create a guide to help people understand how such tools work and where they might find the right ones for them.

The idea for this guide came from many conversations and insights observed during the Discover Digital events in 2018-2019. We know that simply signposting people to digital tools, however helpful they might be, is not enough. People also need support to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence that they need to be able to use these tools. This is a well-known issue and it is also why the Connecting Scotland programme (this link will take you away from our website) does not just provide people with devices and connectivity, but also with support from a digital champion.

However, using digital tools and technologies for health, caring and wellbeing purposes is even more complex than just using them for everyday purposes. When things work well, they can be highly beneficial; however, when they don’t, they can often cause a lot of stress. We therefore want to build a resource that can support people to understand a bit more about how digital tools might play into their lives, focusing on health and wellbeing in particular. This might be used by those who want to use technology in their self management, by carers or by support workers who can help others build up their skills and confidence.

This document is our first attempt at building such a resource. It is very much a first draft and we would sincerely invite as much feedback as possible on it. We know it is by no means perfect; the information provided in it is lengthy and at times complex. Not all of it might be relevant to someone just starting out with digital health, care and wellbeing tools. Furthermore, for the time being it is only accessible to English-speakers who have the ability to read the information contained in it. These are all issues we want to address.

During the summer of 2021, we will work with a range of organisations to better understand what knowledge, skills and motivations people need in order to use digital tools successfully for their health and wellbeing. We will then also look at whether the information contained in this document helps address some of these needs.

Our aim is to collectively curate a valuable source of information. Once this has been achieved, we will also look at the best ways in which this information can be taught and presented, including how it can be made more accessible.

To summarise, there are three questions that we would like you to help us answer:

  • How can people be best supported to use digital tools for their health, care and wellbeing?
  • Does our guide provide valuable information that can support people gain skills, knowledge and confidence in using digital tools for health and wellbeing?
  • How can people be best supported to take in this information?

We hope that you will find the guide of value, but if there is any feedback or any insights that you can provide us with, please get in touch. The project team can be reached at DHCscot@alliance-scotland.org.uk.

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