Living It Up (LiU)'s ambition was to develop technology innovations and services to improve the health, wellbeing, and lifestyle for the citizens of Scotland.
With an ageing population, a forecast significant increase in the incidence of long term conditions, increasing hospital admissions and significant demand/capacity challenges across primary care, it was recognised that there a need to empower citizens to not only take more responsibility for their own health but to become active participants in the delivery of their own health and care services and to support others.
The project’s ambition was to develop technologies innovations and services to provide improvements in health, wellbeing, and lifestyle for over 55,000 citizens in Scotland. This sample of the population included 10,000 citizens with long term health and care issues and was run in 5 regions of Scotland providing a mix of urban and rural areas.
LiU was a pioneering wellbeing project which from the start combined a host of health and care offerings in an environment that could allow a personalised service for the user to emerge. Up until then most health and care projects were fragmented, with the emphasis much more about responding to health needs and crisis, where LiU was much more about giving the target population positive options, choices and connections that would help them self-manage and get involved in the community to have a better life, which would then result in better health and care. In addition it was at that time the largest co-design project in the UK, engaging with at least 3500 citizens and practioners to understand fully the opportunities.
Evidence of success
This innovation project developed many assets that were at the end sustained by a mixture of public and private organisations, resulting in many of the industry partners involved growing their business due to the innovation and learning from this project (Sitekit and Storm). The public sector has used the learning from the technical architecture to help create new infrastructure that will move this sector on eg. Person held records and authentication solutions.
The project ran over 3 years, but with a large consortium and population target, it took longer to build understanding, trust and innovation for fast deployment than anticipated. It is advised that any similar project/journey should have a minimum of 5 to 10 years dedicated to it.
Potential for learning or transfer
In the last two years as the problems highlighted above have become more acute we now see health ministers round the world mandating social prescribing, digital self-management tools and the need for a citizen to hold their own record, taking the LiU blueprint and lesson learned along with key service concepts the inspiration came from co-designing with real people who are keen to engage with the public sector to help design new services, but also a common place that they can find information on wellness and the positive self-management tools that will help them, or those they care for.