Adastral Park
Careers & Education   >   Norwich Science Festival   >   Digitising healthcare: The rise of virtual care
Day 4: Digitising healthcare: The rise of virtual care
1 - Introduction
Meet Tom and Claire, our hosts for the day, who will introduce you to healthcare with experts from BT and Orbital Global:
2 - Healthcare with Emma Tarling
Photo of Tom Bowman
Tom (host): Now that we know what we're going to be exploring, let me introduce you to our first industry expert, Emma Tarling. Emma will be talking you through how technology can be applied in the home to support us through assisted living solutions.
Over to you Emma...
Photo of Emma Tarling
Photo of Emma Tarling
Emma Tarling
Research Specialist, BT
Key qualifications: Project Management, BA Degree in IT Science with Honours (Information And Communication Technology)
What does your job involve? I work as a research specialist in BT's Applied Research. We look at the latest technology that we can bring into the business or launch as a new proposition. We marry the technical outputs from our own research teams and 3rd party products with cost saving and/or new revenue generating opportunities. This role includes running proof of concepts and trials of the identified technologies, I have mostly been focusing in the health space and looking at how technology can improve the lives of the elderly and vulnerable who live alone.
How did you get into your current role? After 4 years in the Royal Navy, working as a communications specialist (where I gained a deeper interest in working with various different technologies), I joined BT in 2012 as an apprentice. My first role was based in BT's Media and Broadcast team as a project manager where I delivered live TV services such as: Wimbledon Tennis, the London boat race as well as BT Sport services. BT fully funded my degree during my apprenticeship, and I was able to rotate into various job roles throughout which gave me a good insight on what I wanted to do next.
What did you want to be when you were younger? A vet, because I've always loved animals, but then I started to also get interested in tech and as it's so fast moving, you can never get bored as there is always something new and exciting to explore!
What do you do outside work? I love karaoke, hiking, climbing and dancing. I am also passionate about travel, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to a lot of places around the globe including; Australia, Thailand, India, Peru, Mexico, Dubai, America and Brazil. I speak intermediate Spanish as I used to live there for 3 years when I was younger.
Photo of Emma Tarling
Emma: thanks for watching my video, I hope it's given you an insight into how technology in your home could support your overall health or potentially even save lives! We have had some questions submitted relating to this topic in the lead up to Norwich Science Festival which are answered below. However, if you have any questions, we'd love to hear from you. Please email stemexpert@bt.com .
Questions and answers
Question:
What do you think is the most exciting piece of technology coming for assisted living?
student profile
Photo of Emma Tarling
Answer:
I think it has to be Wi-Fi sensing, it's a potential game changer! Our routers at home are constantly emitting a Wi-Fi signal which is then used by our phones, TVs and other connected devices to access the internet. However, not all of that signal is used all of the time. Some of our BT researchers at Adastral Park have been working with researchers at our global research centre (EBTIC) who are based in Abu Dhabi. They have been looking at how we, as humans, physically interfere with this signal as we move around our homes to see if we can use this data as part of an assisted living solution. Believe it or not, Wi-Fi sensing can tell us where in the home someone is and whether they are sitting or standing or even if they have fallen over which could have life-saving impacts for our loved ones.
Question:
Can you tell us more about the Connected Care trial?
student profile
Photo of Emma Tarling
Answer:
Connected Care is a technology-enabled care platform to track and improve wellbeing outcomes. The concept is to use passive, non-intrusive monitoring sensors, smart plugs and smart speakers to support independent living whilst keeping loved ones and carers informed of any unusual behaviour. The connected care kit has been trialled in over 100 homes around the UK and demonstrated statistically significantly positive wellbeing outcomes for our cared-for and carer trialists. The data feeds into an app which provides carers with insights such as what time the cared-for person got up, whether they have been to the kitchen for food and drink, the number of bathroom visits, how many hours they watched TV and whether they have left the house. BT is looking to launch this as a service to its customers in the future.
Got a question? email stemexpert@bt.com
3 - Have a go activities
Claire Doyle
Claire (host): Now it's your turn to have a go. You’re going to be practising your precision and accuracy whilst wearing a blindfold and then measuring your performance with balloons... Download the activity pack to get step by step instructions.
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Download activity pack
4 - Career profiles
Photo of Tom Bowman
Tom (host): As you may imagine there are many different roles in the world of healthcare. Take a look at the profiles below to read about the exciting jobs in this sector.
Photo of Steve Benns
Photo of Steve Benns
Steve Benns
Senior Specialist New Innovations, BT
Key qualifications: BSC (Hons) Applied Science
What does your job involve? Working with organisations to understand their current issues, identifying potential solutions (including new innovative technology organisations), developing a Proof of Concept/trial to test the solution and delivery of the proven solution.
How did you get into your current role? I joined BT as a Graduate specialising in Software Development before moving into requirements capture and consultancy. I then broadened out from Radio solutions as new opportunities arose and most recently have focussed on the Health & Social Care sector as a critical national need.
What did you want to be when you were younger? I had always wanted to be a Meteorologist but got into software development during my University degree.
What do you do outside work? I have played league badminton since I was 11 years of age and now partner my eldest daughter in the mixed team.
Photo of Paul Putland
Photo of Paul Putland
Paul Putland
Research Professional, BT
Key qualifications: Physics Degree and MSc in Laser Communications
What does your job involve? My current role involves investigating how IoT (Internet of Things) technologies can be applied to Health and Social Care, which is particularly relevant and important in the current situation.
How did you get into your current role? I joined BT from University, originally working on optical fibre systems, then carried out a range of roles including hardware, software, and commercial product management until ending up in Research.
What did you want to be when you were younger? Professional sportsman, but luckily realised quite early it was never going to happen, so didn't pin all my hopes on it.
What do you do outside work? I still play a variety of sports such as football, badminton and skiing, despite a non-working knee, and I also enjoy travelling.
Photo of Abigail Johnston
Photo of Abigail Johnston
Abigail Johnston
Applied Research Degree Apprentice, BT
Key qualifications: I am currently working towards a BSc in Digital and Technology Solutions
What does your job involve? I currently rotate around research teams as part of my apprenticeship which is one of the things I really like as it gives me an opportunity to experience some of the different areas within research.
How did you get into your current role? I completed a week’s work experience with BT after my GCSE’s and thoroughly enjoyed it. Additionally, I had another day’s work experience during my A-Levels to confirm that I wanted to work at BT. I applied for the BT apprenticeship scheme and now here I am!
What did you want to be when you were younger? Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant then an Actuary. This later changed to anything tech related as I advanced through my Computer Science lessons.
What do you do outside work? I enjoy kickboxing regularly, badminton and tennis.
Photo of Ruth Brown
Photo of Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown
Core Network, Research Manager, BT
Key qualifications: BEng (Hons) Computer Systems Engineering, MSc Telecommunications, Cisco Certified Network Associate
What does your job involve? In my job I look at future mobile networks to understand what we need to know to make sure the mobile network provides the best experience for users, how it will support new services and also how we make it reliable.
How did you get into your current role? When I was 16 I did work experience at BT for two weeks, which was incredible and really focused my interests in the area of computing.  Subsequently this helped me choose my A-levels and degree and also return for further summer placements before I joined BT as a graduate.  After joining BT I had the opportunity to study for an MSc part-time/in my own time and met someone working on mobile technology. It sounded so interesting that I ended up joining the same team and have stayed working with networks and mobile ever since.
What did you want to be when you were younger? A doctor
What do you do outside work? I love sports: cycling, running, climbing and snowboarding with my husband and children. I also really enjoy watching films and have recently re-watched all the Marvel films again.
Photo of Anvar Tukmanov
Photo of Anvar Tukmanov
Anvar Tukmanov
Wireless Research Manager, BT / UKRI Future Leaders Fellow
Key qualifications: PhD Electrical Engineering
What does your job involve? I examine how the radios in mobile networks work, and design ones that work better. I was part of the team that launched 5G in the UK, and have played a part in defining the global 5G standard.
How did you get into your current role? I joined BT as a graduate, while still completing my studies at Newcastle University.
What did you want to be when you were younger? I considered medicine, but can't stand blood very well.
What do you do outside work? I came 463rd in a one-mile open-water swimming race.
5 - Orbital Global
Claire Doyle
Claire (host): Meet Peter Brady from Orbital Global who has developed a ground-breaking augmented reality and gamification tool called MySpira. This technology provides support and training to childhood asthma patients.
Over to you to tell us more about MySpira, Peter...
Photo of Peter Brady
Photo of Peter Brady
Peter Brady
CEO of Orbital Global, a digital services and technology company.
Key qualifications: BSc (Hons) and MRICS.
What does your job involve? I'm conceptualising, creating, developing and deploying digital innovations, that will have an impact in solving pressing global societal issues. To have that impact is both exciting and enormously rewarding.
How did you get into your current role? I qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1999 and pursued a career in property investment. However my passion has always been in conceptualising, innovating and deploying new technologies. I therefore left the property profession and set up my own business specialising in digital services and technology. I relentlessly self taught myself coding, project management, design, user experience and many other aspects of the early emerging digital technologies. Much to my surprise, this re-positioning and rapid skill acquisition within very early and new digital technology phases, very quickly marked out my knowledge and experience within global markets, opening up an array of new opportunities.
What did you want to be when you were younger? I did not have a fully formed idea of where I wanted to be. I personally believe it's very important for students to recognise that rapid advances in technology will almost certainly require a high degree of agility in how we all pursue future career options. In a generic sense, I did have a strong desire to become an entrepreneur and a passion for technology. Ultimately, I was able to put myself on a path that converged those two components of my early thinking.
What do you do outside work? I find it really important to have interests outside of work that can easily enable my mind to switch off and focus on something completely different. Physical activity and connecting with wild environments are important to me, which links with pursuits such as fishing, hiking, fossil hunting, astronomy and painting. But, I also enjoying  playing tennis and reading as much as time allows.
Photo of Peter Brady
Peter: I hope my video has given you an insight into how an innovative idea can go from concept through to an actual technology product that helps to solve a real-life issue! If you'd like to learn more about MySpira, check out the MySpira website. We have had some questions submitted relating to this topic in the lead up to Norwich Science Festival which are answered below. However, if you have any questions, we'd love to hear from you. Please email stemexpert@bt.com or join us live between 13:45 - 14:30 on 14th October for the Q&A session.
Questions and answers
Question:
What's the user feedback been like for your MySpira application?
student profile
Photo of Peter Brady
Answer:
The user feedback has been tremendous. We have significantly above average dwell times and repeat usage for MySpira. Peer-reviewed research undertaken by the University of Suffolk demonstrated that MySpira users reported an overall 70% improvement in overall effectiveness over traditional healthcare education pathways. The research won an award at the International COPD and Asthma conference in Dubai and individual user feedback has suggested improved healthcare outcomes and reduced costs.
Question:
What other cool things are you working on now?
student profile
Photo of Peter Brady
Answer:
We are working on loads of great new things so keep an eye out for some of the following:
  • VirtTuri AI clinical informatics avatar. Intervention for NHS, licensed medicine and medical device pathways.
  • Virtual Reality chronic pain therapeutics.
  • Virtual Reality pharmacy simulation.
  • AI falls screening and prediction.
  • AI brain injury assessment tool.
  • Gates Foundation AI national healthcare delivery tool.
Got a question? email stemexpert@bt.com
6 - Final thoughts from our hosts
7 - Related STEM learning content
These videos from our STEM learning programme are related to health:
Connected devices
Suggested age range: 13+
An introduction to Connected Devices or the Internet of Things (IoT)...
Using connectivity in the smart home
Suggested age range: 13+
An introduction to smart home devices and the benefits of connecting your home to the network.
Health was also a subject covered during British Science Week 2021.
Day 5: Climate >