Category : News

Birmingham City’s Smart City Action Plan and Digital Log Book

Birmingham City Council has produced their Smart City Roadmap, which is their practical plan with a list of actions and desired outcomes. Their actions follow 3 key themes – Technology and Places, People & Economy. The Digital Log Book comes under People and is about empowering people to interact with online local authority/government services, in-line with the UK Governments Digital Service – digital by default – where all Government services are to be delivered on-line. The Digital Log Book provides citizens with an easy to use interface enabling them to access services from any browser. For more information visit Birmingham City Council’s Smart City Action Plan at

Cala Homes in North Berwick Gilsland Grange

Out visiting Cala Homes new development in North Berwick, the development is primarily made up of 5 bedroom detached homes and there is one block of 4 apartments coming in phase 2.  This development really is in a great location along a quiet lane looking out across the sea on one said and the volcanic hill North Berwick Law on the other.  This development is also a part of the Scottish Water – water and energy efficiency project, so we are quite excited to get this size of new home into the project and also the extra geographic coverage of going out so far east. It’ll be interesting to see what the results are like when they come in. For more info go to

Tenant Focus Group workshop with ASHRAM on the Digital Log Book

We ran our 2nd customer workshop with ASHRAM HA this week looking at the usability and functionality of the Digital Log Book for users. This was the 2nd of 3 and the group were really vibrant and vocal with lots of great ideas.  The next stage will be to slowly implement these great ideas and changes. This was really helpful for us. As we get more user feedback in a group enviornment with everyone sitting around PCs we got great input. Margaret, the facilitator, did a great job getting input from everyone. We got the groups to indicate how easy it is to use the Digital Log Book and we were delighted with their responses.  It was also great to see people so interested in technology and what could be achieved.  Some talked about it as a tenants information portal, which would be a bit of a basic description, as the functionality that goes into their Digital Log Book is also about upskilling people and providing them with tools to help people manage certain aspects of their lives and tenancy.  Ashram provides 1,100 homes and culturally appropriate community-based services to thousands of people around Birmingham and Coventry.

Mobile Technology at Mobile World Congress Barcelona

We were in Barcelona last week visiting the Mobile World Congress to look at what new mobile technologies are coming out but to also meet a variety of people who are providing a variety of health and well being services using mobile technologies.

One that caught my eye, and indeed who were up for a prize, was mHealth Tanzania Partnership who are using mobile phones on a nationwide project ‘Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby‘ to reach pregnant mothers offering free text messaging in Swahili to help reduce mortality rates.

There were many companies and organisations offering a wide variety of mhealth solutions from aggregating information for people with different illnesses to providing health and advice and loads who could monitor the number of steps you take in a day.  One really good one was to use your mobile phone to take a photograph of a persons eye, who might be suffering from some eye condition. This image could then be sent to a GP enabling them to make an assessment on the condition.  Great benefit of this was that it saves the patient and GP a great deal of time and provides an instant record of the consultation.

MWC was huge and after 4 days and visiting 8 halls we still missed some of what was going on. What was clear though was that the tidal wave of movement towards delivering public and private services using mobile technology is the way forward.  Consumers are being offered incredible mobile tools, such as phones and tablets, that can do many different things and after being at MWC we got a glimpse of the future.

For an insight as to what it was about visit


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