North East Connected

Digital debate to highlight future of health and social care

A North East organisation is set to share the stage with Google at a leading digital exhibition this week (May 17th).

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated health and social care, will present the opening keynote speech at Northumbria University’s Digital Disruption event.

The talk is set to outline how Home Group and the University are collaborating to understand the role digital technology can play in supporting people with care needs, including those with learning disabilities, mental health problems and the elderly.

Lindsay Courtney, Clinical Lead Intermediate Care and Reablement at Home Group, said: “Our new models of care strategy is enabling customers to enjoy further independence and wellbeing in their lives.

“Our work with Northumbria University centres on our new models of care house in Gateshead Innovation Village. Here we will explore both the viability of modular homes as well as defining digital solutions that will support customers, all in a live environment.

“If we look at assistive technology and the elderly, for example, we now have monitors that detect falls, as well as activity-monitoring systems to allow people to remotely check on relatives living elsewhere.

“We also have technology which checks and records vitals, and supports medication management. As well as helping keep people safe, technology could also free up staff to deliver more value added care.”

Gateshead Innovation Village is a ground breaking project involving five different modular housing manufacturers and is seeking to understand how each can help tackle housing shortages, enhance living and improve energy efficiency and sustainability.

Also delivering the speech is Gareth Crinnion, Business Relationship Manager in Home Group’s IT Team. He said: “While digital innovations are always exciting, we want to make sure our work is about real outcomes for people, not simply technology.

“There are challenges we face when it comes to incorporating digital products into supporting our customers but by looking to the future we can begin to improve the lives of people with care needs today.”

The event is part of the Digital Disruption Network, a series of talks, panel discussions, research exhibitions and demonstrations, held between the 17th and 31st of May at Northumbria University Business School.

Closing the event on the 17th is Dr Elizabeth Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google, who will be stressing the need to retain a human focus when companies create products and services for the future.

Lars Erik Holmquist, Professor of Innovation at Northumbria University, organised the event. He added: “At this event, we want to show how universities and companies can work together to take advantage of new digital technologies.

“The Home Group collaboration is very exciting as it lets us test new and advanced prototypes in a real-world context, with real benefits for the users. I hope that it will lead to many more collaborations like this.”

To find out more about new models of care at Home Group, visit

For further detail about the Digital Disruption Network, visit

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