Quick access jump navigation

CityX: ideas into action

Creating Better Cities for Older Citizens

Find out how cities are using UK developed technology to improve welfare and mobility services for senior citizens and how this could be applied globally for an ageing population.

Life expectancy around the world is increasing thanks to improved living conditions and better healthcare. This presents new challenges for city and healthcare authorities responsible for providing services, especially for senior citizens.

New innovation holds the key to reshaping how city services work so that lives of the older generations are improved.  Developing new technologies for this emerging ‘advanced urban services’ market offers significant opportunities for global cities as well as UK SMEs.

Cities can play a major role in opening up these opportunities to innovators by using advanced technology such as AI and data analysis to find ways to improve a whole range of city services. Two cities in Brazil are testing and proving what’s possible thanks to a project called CityZen, with the aim of creating insight, tools and systems that can be replicated globally to future proof urban health and social care services and management.

To find out more about the insights and technology being developed for CityZen, or how the Catapult can bring other cities and UK SMEs together to improve city services, contact us.

CITYZEN – a case study from Brazil

CityZen is an Innovate UK and Newton Fund-sponsored project looking at the challenge of caring for older people in two cities in Brazil and how technology can provide solutions to improve their welfare and quality of life.

It is being delivered by the Catapult and two innovative UK SMEs, working in close collaboration with city authorities in Sao Paulo and Campinas.

Using the innovation expertise of these two UK companies; Inavya, the UK lead on this project, and Space Syntax, CityZen is creating a new data analytics toolkit to help the city and healthcare authorities address the way they resource and manage services for the over 60s.

The Catapult supported by some of the Brazilian partners conducted in-depth research with older citizens in Sao Paulo and Campinas and with those responsible for managing and providing all of their welfare and care needs.

Once the challenges were identified, the differing circumstances and needs of various groups of older people, as well as their healthcare workers and caregivers, were mapped out by the Catapult into 16 ‘personas’.  For example, the senior citizen’s lifestyle, income, mobility and dependence levels were assessed to identify gaps in healthcare provision and access to city services.

Taking this ‘citizen-centred’ approach offers a blueprint for other cities and on completion in 2020, the technology created and any other added-value services will be offered to other cities to test and use to improve their own provision for older citizens.

UK SME technology for CityZen

Space Syntax – CityZen Explorer

CityZen Explorer has a user-friendly interface enabling everyone from city policymakers to healthcare workers to understand how the physical infrastructure of a city affects the daily lives of older people.

It does this by using Space Syntax’s Integrated Urban Model (IUM) which combines data on the street network, land use and public transport. It is analysed to see how easily key land uses can be reached on foot, by bike, car or public transport. Access is measured in terms of which of these uses is available within a defined journey time.

The model provides a quality of life index, made up of four contributing factors: the potential for physical activity, the potential for social interaction, access to health facilities and access to public transport. Measures are customised to respond to four different levels of physical dependence and three levels of income. The specific elements of these indices were identified through the qualitative research work carried out by the Catapult.

These measures allow people to see how the city systems combine to affect daily life for the individual, across the whole city, allowing assessments to be made about how best to provide the healthcare services the city needs.

AVATR – improving healthcare outcomes through IoT and AI

AVATR, healthcare technology created by UK company Inavya, uses IoT connectivity and AI algorithms to improve healthcare outcomes for patients with heart disease and related chronic conditions.

It offers a smartphone app for patients, which provides advice and guidance to help them with a personalised care plan set out by their doctor.  This could be anything from reminders to take medications to follow a certain diet. While a separate doctor’s dashboard allows doctors and hospital staff to monitor patients remotely and to make automated or personal inventions when necessary.

Working in close collaboration with the Catapult and partners in Brazil including the Albert Einstein Hospital and other organisations in the healthcare system in Sao Paulo, new features and enhancements were added to the AVATR technology for the CityZen project. These include creating Portuguese language user interfaces and working with Brazilian partners to incorporate a voice recognition technology for the Portuguese language.  A ‘citizen-centred’ digital platform was created to meet the specific needs of older citizens based on their ‘personas’ and also incorporated data about city systems and services such as transport, social care, access to places to exercise and how they impact on older citizens.

Sign up for the latest news and updates