uptake and the ability to establish a collaborative network whereby different specialisms and sectors can share the benefits.” “If we can collaborate with

“In theory there is no end to the possibilities for what data you can capture. I have this saying which is, ‘If it shakes, rattles or rolls, you can fit a sensor to it’.” Jack Anderson, Head of Digital & Innovation at Capita

attitudes survey conducted by the polling company Opinium on behalf of SWAN, from May to June this year. Te survey found an overwhelming majority of respondents (84%) wanted the public sector to embrace more digital technologies, with 88% believing that IoT will enhance healthcare services.

to investing in emerging tech- nologies, such as IoT, which will enhance SWAN services provi- sion nationwide. At the core of IoT, though, is sensors on the one hand, and data on the other. If you have the infrastructure, which we do, then in theory there is no end to the possibilities for what data you can capture. I have this saying which is, ‘If it shakes, rattles or rolls, you can fit a sen- sor to it’.” Anderson tells me of an incipi-

ent IoT project the company is working on with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and farmers in Arbroath, in a collaborative effort to in-

vestigate how sensors might be used to collect vital rainfall and weather data from a dry ‘basin’ area; such data will facilitate a greater degree of accuracy for forecasts to be made, allowing for better management of local water resources. Te company is also keen to see how sensors can be fitted within hospitals to provide ‘asset-tracking’ for vital medical equipment; a recent innovation workshop held with the NHS al- lowed Capita to demonstrate IoT technology developed by WMW Hub, one of its application part- ners based in Belgium. Anderson’s clear enthusiasm for IoT is backed by a public

Alan Whiteside, an Innovation Consultant with NHS Highland, is among the many public sector professionals who have been working with Capita to explore potential use cases. Although early in development terms, he says the potential for IoT to serve a region that is larger than Belgium but with a tiny fraction of its population (330,000 versus 11.35 million), the scope to deliver IoT-enabled services is enormous. “If IoT can help some of our

remotest communities more re- silient – for example by reducing outpatient appointments among island populations, or being able to deliver physio services remotely, the cost savings can be- come significant,” says Whiteside. “Working with Capita, we are exploring a number of potential use cases for IoT which can help deliver more informed decision- making. But what we need is

other public sector organisations in the region we can develop solu- tions for Smart Homes, Smart En- ergy and Smart Water.” Whiteside is also working with the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme, an EU-funded collaboration between nine partner countries includ- ing Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Faroe Islands, to develop an IoT accelerator, which will allow partners to quickly adopt and give successful projects a “soft landing”. Such pan-region- al partnerships could help reduce cost and duplication and barriers to innovation – which is notori- ously difficult to finance – coming to market.

James Pocock, Chair of the SWAN Management Board, adds: “We have more than 6,000 sites con- nected to SWAN currently and this number is growing all the time. With Scottish Procure- ment’s dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for the provision of Internet of Tings (IoT) technolo- gies and services now live, we hope this will encourage further service developments on the ground as more organisations become aware of the potential that IoT can offer. “As the network continues to

develop, we welcome the addition of further healthcare locations so that even more clinicians and patients in Scotland can benefit from improved connectivity. Te research clearly shows that the majority of Scottish citizens will embrace digital innovation, and whether it is care of the elderly and vulnerable, or having a video appointment with a GP, there are many areas of healthcare across Scotland that stand to gain.” Te full list of 21 suppliers for

the new framework was published in a listing early in September and it remains open to suppliers who wish to join over the course of the next two years. l

For Capita’s IoT survey report visit connectedhealth

AUTUMN 2019 | 23

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