SMaRT Messenger scooped the Technology Award at the 3rd Sector Care Awards 2016, in a ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square on 7 December.
The award, sponsored by everyLIFE Technologies, was presented by host Dame Esther Rantzen to members the SMaRT Messenger team from Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), who have been developing the system.
SMaRT Messenger offers a simple way to connect with care providers, family and friends to improve independent living at home using familiar TV technology. The system delivers wellbeing checks, personalised reminders, information and news directly to the user’s TV from NCHA’s SMaRT call centre. Unique among assistive technology, it also allows family and friends to be involved - they can send messages and pictures to their loved one via a free app and website. Users can also request a support call at any time by pressing a button on a simple remote control.
Andrew Ginns, Head of ICT and Corporate Services for NCHA said: “It’s fantastic that the work we’ve been doing with SMaRT Messenger has been recognised by the sector. It’s widely accepted that in the coming years assistive technology will play a key role in supporting organisations like ours to deliver services, and we’re proud to be at the forefront.”
Richard Lee, COO, everyLIFE Technologies, said: “Technology has an important role to play in the care sector, so it was an honour to sponsor this award and to see so many excellent uses of technology within care settings. We felt SMaRT Messenger demonstrated a scalable and effective use of ‘vintage’ technology to address loneliness, isolation and wellbeing for older people. The team demonstrated how the technology provides prevention to crisis, and the research conducted showed that a significant number of the participants using the service felt reassured, connected and that somebody cared.”
The awards were launched in 2014 to celebrate innovation and care excellence in the not-for-profit care and support sector.