Schoolchildren also visited Tim Peake Space Bus
Technology-loving pupils from schools in Lancashire and South Cumbria have visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for a fun-packed day to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
The students, who were invited by Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, got the chance to experience the Tim Peake Space Bus, courtesy of Samsung. They also took part in workshops, quizzes and competitions throughout the day. They were some of the first young people in the country to test out a new health and care app for the NHS called the Orb, which is being piloted in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Patryk Witkowski, a Year 8 pupil from Ashton Community Science College in Preston, said: “The Tim Peake Space Bus was great because the design inside makes it look just like the International Space Station. When we put the virtual reality goggles it was amazing because you could see and experience all the different parts which made up the journey back to Earth.”
Additionally, they had a go on an interactive virtual reality game being developed by the team at UCLan and took part in a session with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to inspire them about where new technology and innovation can take us.
The AWS session included the use of Alexa voice technology and the pupils were asked to come up with ideas about what health and care will look like in the future, which will later be turned into an animation by the team at the University.
"This event was a great opportunity to work with one of our partner universities to involve a group of young people in developing the technology which will support health and care in the future and to capture their creativity and ideas."
Dr Amanda Thornton, Digital Health Clinical Lead for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “This event was a great opportunity to work with one of our partner universities to involve a group of young people in developing the technology which will support health and care in the future and to capture their creativity and ideas. We want everyone to feel part of the future of the NHS – from school children to their grandparents. We want to empower every person to feel confident and capable of making informed decisions about their health and wellbeing and technology is already playing an important part in supporting this.”
The event was the culmination of a Digital Healthy Schools project, which is an education programme rolled out to more than 1,000 pupils in 20 secondary schools across the region over the past six months. Through assemblies and hands-on workshops, pupils have been encouraged to learn more about health whilst exploring apps, which can be used to support people in PHSE and science lessons. Pupils have been given advice on what to look for in an app including safety and data security. They also had access to an app comparison site, featuring apps evaluated against 150 criteria and suitable for children.
The programme was devised and run by ORCHA, which is a leading health app evaluation and advisor organisation, home to the world’s biggest health app comparison site, and part of NHS England’s National Innovation Accelerator Programme.
Since the start of the programme in February 2018, pupils have discovered and downloaded more than 88 different apps on their phones and 50% of pupils who participated now use a health app. Pupils have reported changing a range of behaviours, from swapping car journeys to walking, drinking more water and going to bed earlier.
To find out about the work of Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, visit: www.healthierlsc.co.uk