On Thursday 30th May 2019, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, visited the offices of central-Scotland based technology firm, Vidatec, to understand how the organisation is using the power of technology to improve people’s experiences of life.
Launched in 2009, Vidatec is an award-winning global mobile app and web development organisation. The company has extensive experience delivering technology projects in the health and social care sector. It has worked with major organisations, helping them to create instantly recognisable apps, which use ‘habit-forming principles’ to drive greater user engagement and change how people behave for the better.
This desire from Vidatec to bring positive changes to the wellbeing of individuals and communities, emulates the Secretary of State’s vision to revolutionise health and social care services in Britain, through the power of technology.
During the visit the Secretary of State, was keen to understand the solutions Vidatec is delivering to tackle some of the major health and social issues facing people today. This included apps developed for Public Health England (PHE) as part of its Change4Life and One You campaigns. Couch to 5k, the innovative app designed to help absolute beginners become comfortable running in just 9 weeks, has been downloaded over 1 million times. As well as this, the Sugar Smart and Food Scanner apps, focused on encouraging children to make smarter food choices has, to date, received approximately three million downloads.
Most recently, Vidatec acquired a majority stake in CareZapp, a cloud-based, Technology Enabled Care (TEC) platform and companion app, that uses technology to aid people in need of additional care and support at home – whether as a result of ageing, disability or other needs – to help them live a fuller, more independent life.
When interviewed on the visit of the Health and Social Care Secretary, Greig Johnston, CEO of Vidatec said: “We are delighted to welcome Rt Honourable Matt Hancock to our offices here in Stirling, Scotland, and share his passion for the role technology can play in improving the health and wellbeing of communities within Britain.
“Healthcare is in the midst of unprecedented change. Technology is uniting the way we treat patients and develop new cures – from connected devices and virtual reality to robotics and artificial intelligence. Arguably, one of the biggest drivers for change has come from the evolution of mobile technologies supporting people in leading healthier lives.”
Johnston continues, “Activity trackers have spawned massive communities. Additionally, mobile apps can be readily downloaded, which leverage habit-forming principles, designed to help people make and sustain healthier life choices – whether to help a person stop smoking or even improve their diet. The ‘Sugar Smart’ app, now known as ‘Food Smart’, created by Public Health England, is designed to help parents understand the sugar content within products. Since its launch it has received over 2.4 million downloads, with numerous pledges of support from supermarkets, brands and celebrity endorsements. This demonstrates how mobile technology is allowing people to feel empowered and take a proactive role in monitoring their health.
Johnston concluded: “If we are serious about improving the health and wellbeing of communities, we need to think more about the role technology can play. The visit from Matt Hancock is an endorsement of this. We are delighted to showcase our suite of products and services, which are bettering people’s lives.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “My visit to Vidatec showed exactly the sort of world leading research, innovation and excellence that the UK is rightly proud of - the brilliant team developing apps like Couch to 5k and Sugar Smart is improving the health of people across the country. We put prevention at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan, and it is work like this which will help achieve our ambition to keep people leading healthier lives for longer.”