Gerry Hodgson, February 2020
I'm pleased to announce that we are now fully certified under the National Cyber Security Centre's Cyber Essentials Scheme.
The scheme is world renowned for its rigorous accreditation standards so you can be confident that our systems are fully compliant with essential cyber security measures and protected against the most common attacks.
You can find out more here.
Use of assistive tech - still plenty of room for improvement
Clare Flanagan, February 2020
A new survey from Hft and Cebr has shown that 81% of social care providers believe that they are not using assistive technology to its full potential despite understanding the benefits.
76% of respondents said that assistive tech could improve outcomes, 68% said that it enabled users to be more independent and two thirds said that staff could offer much more meaningful support when they were backed up by technology.
Aside from funding issues, one of the main barriers is a lack of confidence in introducing and working with the new devices. Having collaborated with a number of local authorities to set up and implement assistive technology projects, we are able to guide our clients every step of the way. To find out more, please get in touch.
Good news for the new year
Gerry Hodgson, January 2020
I'm really pleased that people with disabilities and long term health conditions will no longer have to pay for parking at NHS hospitals from April 2020. This might seem a small change but it will really help those who need frequent outpatient appointments including many of the clients we support.
The new Government has also committed to creating a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020, with the aim of improving access to housing, education, transport and jobs. An article in a recent AT Today says this "could mean additional tendering for assistive technology to help reduce the disability gap", which is great news for us and the organisations we work with.
Other pre-election pledges include:
A doubling of funding for dementia research
£74 million for new supported housing for people with learning difficulties and autism
The leisure industry has also seized the opportunity to make physical activity a priority in 2020. Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive has said: "The new government must put physical activity at heart of the prevention agenda for our health service, recognising the full potential of the physical activity sector to deliver against this and other urgent societal challenges." ukactive has a list of policies it would like to see implemented; you can find out more here.
Gerry Hodgson, December 2019
Christmas has come early for Cascade3d. With Chas heading back to Oz to run the Australia office for the winter (lucky thing) we had our last team meeting of the year and then put on our gladrags for our Christmas do.
After another incredibly busy year it was great to unwind with good food and great company and raise a glass to the year ahead.
This year we are proud to support WWF and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust.
Our helpdesk is open 9-5 Mon-Fri throughout the festive season except the following days:
25th and 26th December - CLOSED
1st January - CLOSED
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
From Gerry and the Cascade3d team x
Ten reasons why social care matters so much
Gerry Hodgson, November 2019
Brexit continues to dominate the headlines and the General Election agenda but a recent BBC article demonstrates very clearly that "the problems are now so acute that politicians who ignore the issue at this election, do so at their peril."
The ten areas highlighted in the article should alarm politicians from all parties. The Alzheimer's Society has estimated that "without local authority help, someone with dementia will typically have to spend £100,000 on the care they need." While Age UK estimates "there are 1.5 million people in England who need some help with day-to-day life, but do not receive it."
At a time when local councils are trying to do more and more with less money and there is a recruitment crisis in the care industry, the need for cost effective, technologically advanced solutions to help support the most vulnerable members of our communities is clear. You can find the full article here.
Top quality teamwork!
Gerry Hodgson, October 2019
I'm delighted to announce that Cascade3d is now Quality Standards Framework (QSF) certificated. It was absolutely brilliant to be presented with the award in front of 350 people at the TSA gala dinner.
This award demonstrates that we put ‘quality and safety’ at the heart of our Connected Care system. I would like to thank the whole team in the UK, Australia and India who have worked so hard to make this happen - this is for you!
Gerry, Will and Sharon at the TSA gala dinner
Open for business
Gerry Hodgson, October 2019
We're exhibiting at the TSA International Technology Enabled Care conference and it's been very busy so far.
No time for a full update but here is a quick pic of Stand 16 looking good and ready for visitors. We hope to see you there.
See you there?
Will Jones, October 2019
Gerry and I will be at the TSA International Technology Enabled Care conference in Birmingham on 15th-16th October. The theme for this year's conference will be: Citizen Powered Communities and we're looking forward to demonstrating how Cascade's Connected Care system is driven by its users.
If you're planning to come along we'd love to say hello. Either pop by our stand (number 16) or contact us to let us know the best time to catch up.
Cascade3d launches integrated invoice and debtor management
Will Jones, September 2019
As part of our ongoing quest for automation, cost savings and efficiencies in the back office, we have developed an invoicing and debtor module to collate billing details for client accounts across multiple data sources. Invoices are automatically created and branded in .pdf format and emailed to clients.
Debtors are chased by monitoring unpaid accounts and similarly emailed to clients via the Cascade3d Communicate module.
No rest for the wicked!
Gerry Hodgson, August 2019
August is traditionally a quiet month for British businesses as staff and customers head off on annual leave. We seem to be busier than ever preparing tenders and business proposals, following up on some fantastic opportunities in India and developing new functionality for our Communicate system!
Whether you are relaxing on the beach or still working hard in the office right now, we hope you have a great summer and I look forward to sharing all our news with you next month.
Urgent call for more accessible homes
Clare Flanagan, July 2019
There have been warnings of an ‘accessible homes crisis’ as a new report from Habinteg Housing Association reveals that more than 75% of the new homes due to be built outside London by 2030 will be unsuitable for older and disabled people. Only 1% will be accessible by wheelchair.
Dr Rachael Docking, Senior Programme Manager at the Centre for Ageing Better has called the lack of accessible homes 'shameful' and has called on developers to 'make every new-build home in the UK future-proofed and accessible'. She said, 'Inaction condemns disabled and older people to daily suffering and limited independence. With action and commitment, we can build better homes that everyone can live in, regardless of their age or ability.'
Sporting heroes - Elevate 2019
Will Jones, June 2019
I had a great time at the Elevate Conference last month. It's always a fantastic event - the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and contacts from across the leisure industry (and to take a closer look at the new equipment that will be appearing soon at a gym near you!).
As well as the networking, there was a really interesting education programme and I went to a talk by Gareth Thomas, ex Wales and British Lions Rugby Captain. He gave us a great insight into the huge dedication required to be an elite athlete and also talked passionately about his work on tackling homophobic abuse in sport. A brave man and a true sporting hero and I was honoured to chat to him about the upcoming World Cup after his talk. Come on Wales!
Trip to Shravanabelagola sparks dehydration discussion
Gerry Hodgson (CEO), May 2019
Leaving keyboards and mice behind, we visited the magnificent 57ft high monolithic statue of Bahubali, Shravanabelagola, built in Ganga dynasty approximately 3,000 years ago. He is reported to have excelled in studying medicine and in the scorching heat of the day our conversation soon turned to the topic of effects of dehydration and increasing shortage of water.
We are continuing to develop support for nutrition and hydration management using IoT sensors while the experience for Mohan’s family in the floods in Kerala and the drying up of borewells in Bangalore really highlight extremes that bring health concerns in both situations, especially to elderly and vulnerable people.
It was a fascinating and interesting day with our thirst quenched with baby coconut water but enduring the extreme heat climbing the 700 steps was serious food for thought.
Meet our talented Cascade3d team based in Bangalore.
Gerry, Mohan and Harish visiting the Bahubali statue in Shravanabelagola
New app can 'detect Alzheimer's risk'
Clare Flanagan, Apr 2019
A pioneering new mobile phone game is enabling researchers to identify people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's, before they show any signs of memory loss.
Sea Hero Quest, developed by Deutsche Telekom in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, the universities UCL and UEA and game developers Glitchers, includes navigation challenges to assess a player's spatial awareness. There is a correlation between this and the APOE4 gene. Carriers of the gene are three times more likely to develop the disease (and at an earlier than average age).
Lead Researcher Prof Michael Hornberger, from UEA’s Medical School, said: “Dementia will affect 135 million people worldwide by 2050. We need to identify people earlier to reduce their risk of developing dementia in the future. Current diagnosis of dementia is strongly based on memory symptoms, which we know now are occurring when the disease is quite advanced. Instead, emerging evidence shows that subtle spatial navigation and awareness deficits can precede memory symptoms by many years."
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK said, “Using big data to help improve the early and accurate detection of the diseases that cause dementia can help revolutionise how we research and treat the condition. Sea Hero Quest is an amazing example of how pioneering research can help scientists get one step closer to a life-changing breakthrough.”
To find out more, visit the Sea Hero Quest site.
Putting health and social care to the 5G test
Gerry Hodgson, Mar 2019
I've been in Liverpool this week demonstrating our Connected Care system to the Liverpool 5G Consortium. The Consortium is a group of technology developers, the council, service users, hospitals and universities which won £3.5 million from the Government to create a health and social care testbed in the city. This will assess how well 5G technology could improve healthcare delivery - especially when it comes to self-managed care at home.
So why 5G? 5G is much faster than other networks and almost 100% reliable. It has been designed to work with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which makes it perfect for our sensors, dashboards and alerts.
I had a great day setting up and demonstrating the system and meeting some of the other providers and I'm looking forward to seeing the results once the roll out is underway.
Image courtesy of Bryan Griffiths
Image from Belfast Zoo
Belfast Zoo in the News
Will Jones, Feb 2019
It’s not often that one of our clients hits the front pages. Belfast Zoo had a rather unwelcome brush with fame this month after some of the zoo’s chimpanzees used a broken branch as a makeshift ladder to scale the walls of their enclosure.
One cheeky chimp even made it as far as the path, surprising a family walking there, before taking himself back to his enclosure. Luckily, zookeepers were on the scene and were able to remove the branch, which had fallen from a tree damaged in a storm, and ensure all the chimps were safely inside.
This is the first time we’ve ever worked with a zoo and it has been a lot of fun. The team in Belfast are using our Reporting and Analytics tools to analyse visitor numbers and merchandise sales.
Let’s hope this helps to get the zoo back in the headlines for all the right reasons – strong growth and increased sales - rather than the antics of those mischievous apes.
NHS Digital Testbed
Gerry Hodgson, January 2019
2019 got off to a great start with the news that the Connected Care platform is to be installed as part of a groundbreaking NHS Digital project in the North East. Sunderland City Council is one of 12 councils selected to receive extra funding to enable them to explore how digital technology can be used to improve social care.
We will be looking at how technology can help with challenges such as medication management and ensuring optimum nutrition and hydration levels are maintained at home.
This is a hugely important project and we are thrilled to be part of it. The first installations start soon and I'm looking forward to sharing more information about the project and the results as they come through.