Sheffield Investigator

Mark Hawley

Sheffield Researcher

Katherine Easton
Simon Brownsell
Steve Blackburn

Partners

Tunstall Healthcare
Looking Local
Housing 21
Fold Housing Association

Funder

Technology Strategy Board

The extra care housing model is highly successful in providing care and support for older people, those with long term health conditions and people with disabilities. The VIRTEx project (Virtual Extra Care Service) studied the potential for extending the extra care model to build a virtual community of connected carers and cared-for people.

The development of new and innovative health and IT services could help reduce social isolation, keep people in touch with each other, and with health and social care professionals, and encourage activities and social interaction. Sheffield worked with users to identify requirements and produce a specification for the system and then evaluated a prototype system with users. Five main user requirement themes were identified: Information access; Communication; Self-care; Accessibility and Personalisation of services.

The VIRTEx project was supported by the Technology Strategy Board under the Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP).