Nottinghamshire Healthcare launches interactive walks app at Dispatch district hospital

Nottinghamshire Healthcare has partnered with Nottingham Trent University (NTU) to develop their own Tag 4 Active Lives interactive app for patients and staff at Highbury Hospital – a trust site providing adult mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities services.

This exciting app will offer a unique treasure hunt and immersive experience to keep patients engaged while exploring the ‘Highbury Mile’, a route already familiar with patients and staff at the hospital.

Previously, patients who walked the ‘Highbury Mile’ as part of their exercise regime, felt the route had become repetitive.

The new app will feature a unique interactive and personalised treasure hunt through the use of physical wireless sensors and tags located around the hospital’s grounds.

The new app will help patients at Highbury Hospital boost their physical and mental health. Photo: Google

The app will task users with tapping tags, identifying tagged objects using the object recognition challenge and answer educational and supportive information, creating both a physical and virtual game world in a real and open environment.

This includes co-designed and co-created papier máché objects with our inpatient service users.

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Louise Randle, head of transformation for local mental health services, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to promote the benefits of physical activity for mental health.

"We know that connecting people to nature based ‘green’ activities can have a very positive effect on someone’s recovery and longer-term strategies for staying well.

"Another benefit is the social connections that people experience as a result of taking part which again is very supportive of the persons recovery journey.

"This is an exciting development and forms part of a wider ambition to increase our offer of green social prescribing to patients within our services.”

The app has been funded by NTU and is part of its Tag with Me platform.

Central to the platform are custom apps, automated guides and personalised experiences which work indoors and outdoors.

Prof Eiman Kanjo, professor of pervasive computing at NTU’s school of science and technology, and the smart sensing lab lead who created Tag 4 Active Lives, said: “We are very pleased that we have been able to work with Nottinghamshire Healthcare and offer our social prescribing platform for the hospital patients and staff.

"Tag 4 Active Lives encourages people to be physically active while engaging with personalized activities and challenges.

"The app also promotes well-being through positive messages and engagement with their local green open spaces.“In the future, we plan to extend our collaboration with Nottinghamshire Healthcare and utilise the platform to further support other locations and patients who will benefit from our technologies.”

Dr Julie Attfield, executive director of local mental health services, added: “I am thrilled that we have been able to work collaboratively with NTU to offer this exciting app, not only for our patients but for our staff at Highbury Hospital.

"We know that regular exercise can have a positive impact on our mental health.

"This interactive app will further enhance the physical activity amongst our patients, improve mental wellbeing and bring education and supportive information at their fingertips.”

To celebrate the launch of the Tag 4 Active Lives app and showcase the collaboration with the Trust and NTU, a celebration and health event will take place on July 20 at Highbury Hospital with colleagues, Active Lives partners and local community networks.