Smart tech: what are your experiences and expectations? 

Conversation starter: Ian Smithies (City of York Council)

Ian wanted to know our thoughts on smart technology – what do we define it as and how do we see it fitting into our lives? 

What is smart technology? Is it the data we use, is it our transition into a digital world, is it AI?


We spoke about those users who aren’t ready to embrace smart technology. How do we reach the generation who aren’t confident going online? How do we support them from a digital perspective? 

We looked at the example of LiveWellYork, who used a human support system to help users engage with their website. They also used partners who had regular face-to-face contact with this section of their audience to help integrate their offering and encourage access. 

We talked about data and making the most of it. We looked at the data gathered by LiveWellYork and how it can be used in multiple ways. It’s a waste of effort to gather research for one purpose and then discard it – data needs to work hard. We could use it to find out where the city is rich and where it is poor. Who needs more arts and crafts groups? Which areas need better access to care?  

The gathering of data like this relies on trusted relationships, like those with the partners mentioned above. These sources need to be nurtured and built upon. 

Later, the discussion turned to the application of new technology in health and care settings. New tech can be appealing (the allure of the shiny new gadget!) sometimes we want it but only use it once. We need to understand its application better. What can it do for us? How can we get the best out of it? How should we use it to improve our work and lives – and those of our patients and service users?

The group also discussed the growing awareness of aesthetically pleasing wearable tech for patients. We are leaving behind the days of clunky clinical aids. We want tech that looks as sleek as the rest of our lives. 

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