Running app for tourists among Edinburgh challenge winners
A running app for tourists and a tool to organise sporting activities in the city are among the winners of this year's "Edinburgh Apps" competition to find innovative digital services to improve life in Edinburgh. The annual event encourages participants to develop digital services like mobile apps, websites or product concepts to enhance life in the city for residents and visitors. It is run by the City of Edinburgh Council and this year - the second - focused on health, culture and sport. Winners included the Find a Player app, which works to join sports venues, sporting activities and players together; SpeechCity, a smartphone app providing a conversational tour guide, ACE, which supports people recovering from addiction to stay sober; and Bubbal, which won the challenge to promote the city's viewpoints with an app which automatically updates users with historical information on nearby monuments, giving the opportunity to donate to their upkeep. The Wildcard app award was won by Run2See, a free app providing running routes and tourist information for runners new to the city. Winners will receive funding to develop their ideas further in partnership with the council, along with additional business support.
Pictured: (l-r) Judge councillor Frank Ross presents an award to Jenny Tough and Hilde Frydnes of Run2See.
Edinburgh Apps: www.edinburghapps.net
Ordnance Survey celebrates five-years of funding geographic open data
Ordnance Survey is celebrating five years of running its GeoVation Challenge this autumn by hosting an all-day alumni event for previous winners in Westminster next month. Over the years the challenge has awarded £640,000 to help launch 28 new ventures that had found innovative ways of using geography and open data to solve real-world problems. The first GeoVation Challenge was run in October 2009, Out of 166 submissions, three were selected to share £22,000 in start-up funding and receive Ordnance Survey's ongoing support. Since then the agency has run six more challenges, with one currently up and running with the Land Registry to improve the way we do housing. Examples of recent GeoVation winners include Liftshare.com, which was awarded £36,500 in 2012 for the idea of a web-based platform that makes travel more cost-effective and less damaging to the environment by reducing emissions through bringing people together to share car journeys. Liftshare.com has since increased its number of employees from 18 to 29. Last year Carbon Prophet (AR Carbon) was awarded £30,000 for the idea of a carbon trading scheme that mitigates the damaging effects of UK greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging farmers to exploit the natural ability of soil to absorb CO2 by changing their soil management practices. Launching later this year it is anticipated this project will initially create at least 20 new jobs.
GeoVation Challenge: www.geovation.org.uk
Met Office partners with the Open Data Institute
The Met Office has become the first UK trading fund to join the Open Data Institute's (ODI) membership programme as a partner. It joins fellow ODI partners Arup, Telefonica, Thomson Reuters and the University of Southampton, each of which is helping to set standards for open data use and delivery in their field. The Met Office already publishes significant amounts of open data via its DataPoint API service, including five-day forecasts, real time observations and regularly updated forecasts for mountain weather, national parks and UK regions. As part of the process it will be working with the ODI to both improve this data and expand its range of open data. While the Met Office needs to charge for some of its data in order to cover its running costs as a trading fund, it is also keen to share as much information as it can as open data in order to boost the creation of new services that use weather data. The Met Office has a responsibility under the Public Records Act to record the history of the UK's weather and it has paper records archived that date back to 1854. By working with the ODI it will be making more of this information available electronically as open data. The Open Data Institute is an independent, non-profit company catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. Its members are an international, collaborative network of businesses, start-ups and other organisations.
Northern Ireland health and care staff rewarded for eHealth
Health and social care staff have been honoured for their innovative care improvements at the inaugural Northern Ireland eHealth and Social Care Awards 2014. The awards were presented at this year's first eHealth and Care NI Conference, organised by Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Services (NICON) in October. More than 27 entries were received from health and social care teams in two categories. "Best use of eHealth to support integrated health and care services" was won by the Electronic Discharge Summary Project in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. This project means up to date information on hospital treatment is available to GPs and others to support better post hospital care. Runner-up in this category was an implementation of the Paris community based information system within the respiratory service at Southern Health and Social Care Trust. The service is multi-disciplinary working across both acute and community. Staff in all areas of the service are able to use and update information recorded by any member of the team ensuring an effective use of professional staff time and saving the patient repeating information. The winning project for the second category on 'Best use of technology to support improved health and care services' was a Diabetes Insulin Guidance System (d-NavTM) by South Eastern Health and Social Care. D-Nav allows people with diabetes to regulate their insulin dosage through a small device the size of a mobile phone. The pilot, overseen by diabetes expert, Dr Roy Harper, has been so successful that he believes patients will be able to control their condition, and that hospital visits will be radically reduced. Runners up in this category included a "telerehabilitation" project by Southern Health and Social Care Trust using videoconferencing to provide community speech and language therapy post stroke.
Northern Ireland eHealth and Social Care Awards 2014: www.hscboard.hscni.net/ehealthandcare