School of Business and Economics


2 Nov 2016

SBE project shortlisted as a finalist for a 3rd Sector Care Award

Dr Marianne Bamkin

Loughborough University, in collaboration with Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), has been chosen as a finalist in the technology category of the 3rd Sector Care Awards for ‘SMaRT Messenger’, a system which allows individual messengers to appear on a television screen.

SMaRT Messenger grew out of a previous joint project between Professor Mark Hepworth and Wendy Olphert of Loughborough University and NCHA. This was part of an EU project for assistive technologies, HOST. Loughborough University, including Dr Marianne Bamkin, researched the information needs of older people in one NCHA supported living residence and a “set top box” to attach to participant’s televisions was commissioned by NCHA from a software company. The technology for the original project was found to have limitations and was therefore radically altered to form SMaRT Messenger.

SMaRT Messenger allows NCHA staff or the family and friends of clients to send multiple choice questions straight to the televisions of frail and vulnerable people. The message is received when the television is turned on and the recipient then uses their remote control to select one of the possible answers. The message could be to simply check the person is feeling well, or to remind them to take medication and can also be used to send photographs and good will messages from family members. 

The awards are for innovation and care excellence given by not-for-profit care and support providers and this is the third year that they have been running. This year’s ceremony will be held on Wednesday 7th December at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square.

We wish all those involved the best of luck! 

You can read more about the project here.