Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Monday, 7 March 2016

A couple of weeks ago I attended a seminar on The Internet of Things presented by Abdul Razzaq, Public Health Director for Trafford Council ( Manchester, UK). His presentation on digital health for the future offered some really interesting facts including :

- half the world population owns a mobile phone (as at January 2015)
- 64% of the UK population have an active social media account
- an average of 4 hours a day in the UK is spent by an individual on the internet, with 2 hours 13 minutes of that time  on social media.
-by 2050 two thirds of the world population will live in cities.

The impact on digital living will be tremendous in the not too distant future, where it is proposed that one person's life and home will generate more data than the industrial plant of today. Data is being captured whether we like it or not. Social media already enables us to keep people safe and well-informed with an ability to cascade to a mass audience.
The upshot is that behaviour change is important to enable the most healthy lifestyle possible with lifestyle choice , working on social isolation of the elderly, being paid for bit walking and remote monitoring of health and chronic conditions being some of the things on the agenda.
Change and transition is occurring around how we work, shop, live and the impact in our livelihood and our wellbeing is already being shaped. We have wearable technology that allows us to control our health and fitness, it will not be too long before this moves into more areas of life. Suggestions were put forward that areas of public health such as waste management, heathcare, retail, tourism, e-government, food and traffic management are all following suit.

It was certainly thought provoking and got me thinking how, as occupational therapists, we  can move with the "smart" revolution. We already harness much of the technology for remote area working, networking, professional development and education. Would love to hear your thoughts on where else we may go with this........

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