Thursday, 17 December 2015

CATCH project wins Sheffield Smart Lab support

A CATCH project team was amongst the nine Sheffield Smart Lab winners that were announced at an awards ceremony in Sheffield. The CATCH project team that was successful was Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing or NANA for short. NANA, led by CATCH academics Prof Arlene Astell and Dr Liz Williams, is a system that monitors the nutritional intake and cognitive function, mood and activity of older adults.

The winning ideas are set to change the way in which Sheffield tackles some of its everyday challenges and build an intelligent city.
Earlier this year, the Sheffield Smart Lab initiative – a partnership between Sheffield City Council, Amey and Centre of Excellence for Cities by Ferrovial Services – invited entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to submit innovative ideas that would help to address two different challenges: how to energise the city centre and how to support people to live independently.
Dr Liz Williams and Prof Arlene Astell accept their award
Organisers of the initiative received over 50 pioneering ideas from entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in Sheffield and around the world, and had the challenge of narrowing it down to just nine winning solutions.
NANA is an easy to use touch screen assessment system for older adults. It was developed in partnership with older adults as a way for them to keep track of what they are eating and drinking. NANA also collects information on a person’s cognitive function, mood and physical activity to provide a holistic picture of their well-being. NANA has been developed for daily use by older people living in the community and validated against current gold standard measures.
The information collected by NANA is as good as any current pen and paper measures and has the advantage that collecting information every day can provide early detection of changes in a person’s eating behaviour, cognitive function, mood or physical activity. In addition to early detection, NANA’s daily assessment can provide a means of monitoring the impact of an intervention by providing information to the older person, their family and health and social care professionals.
Prof Arlene Astell was thrilled that NANA is included amongst the nine successful teams. She commented that “This award will give us access to Sheffield Council social care services and their users to gain real-world feedback on NANA and how it would be used by these services. This will help us to convert NANA from a research tool to a commercially attractive product.”
Cllr Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development said “As a council, it is important to us that we drive innovation to Sheffield. There’s an energy and appetite for it in the city and we recognise that in order to do this we need to partner with start-ups and innovators. That’s what Sheffield Smart Lab is all about and by attracting entrepreneurs we can support and help them to build on their ideas, making them a reality, benefiting both them and the city.
The challenges that the solutions solve are hugely important to Sheffield and this gives us a great opportunity to offer a better quality of life for the people of Sheffield and attract visitors to the city centre.”
Nick Gregg, Amey’s Local Government Managing Director, said: “Well done to the nine teams that have been shortlisted. Over 50 innovative ideas were received after the launch in June and I’m confident that the solutions that have been selected could make a big difference to the city of Sheffield. By bringing the use of technology to the city in an innovative way, we can enhance the services that we already offer and improve the quality of life for both residents and visitors.

“I’m looking forward to watching the selected solutions progress during the next phase of the initiative and seeing how they can contribute to the development of Sheffield.”

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