PULSE at the Digital Health and Wellness Summit @4YFN Mobile World Congress

Raj Mack, Head of Digital Birmingham and Hugo Vasquez, Researcher at the Public Health Agency of Barcelona have both participated to the 5th edition of the Digital Health and Wellness Summit during 4YFN Mobile World Congress on Tuesday 27th February 2018 in Barcelona.

Both cities are partners of PULSE, project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The session has been the opportunity to present the innovative public policies launched by Birmingham and Barcelona.

The majority of the world population is living in urban areas and it is forecasted to increase within the next years. Cities are now playing a central role in bringing wellbeing to their citizens. They act on all aspects of local public policies: not only health and social care but also urbanism, traffic control, environment & pollution, noise reduction, community services development… More and more, the Cities’ decision making process is data-driven, bringing together information and insights collected by the administration itself but also through participative approaches directly with individual citizens. Through open data, they also influence and leverage on resilient initiatives from citizens, generating new local social exchanges, but also partnering with start-ups and companies to design and implement innovative solutions and services.

Raj Mack from Birmingham explained how Big Data could bring added-value to cities with predictive analytics or high personalisation of interventions. Mack put the emphasis on the crucial needs fro cities to set up strong leadership and governance models in order to develop their strategic vision and roadmap. 
Hugo Vasquez presented the Barcelona’s “SuperBlocks” strategy, a new model of mobility that restructures the typical urban road network. With its implementation, Superblocks provide solutions to the main problems of urban mobility and improves both the availability and quality of the public space for pedestrian traffic. The public health agency of Barcelona is currently assessing the environmental and health potential effects and health inequalities related to mobility or urban interventions, such as the Superblocks.

They both presented PULSE project developing tools to capture data, to run models and to provide personalised interventions fro diabetes and asthma patients in 5 cities (Birmingham, Barcelona, Singapore, Paris and New York). The first aim is to work on behaviour change and trigger healthy habits. PULSE will also develop tools and dashboards for policy-makers and other cities’ partners in order to better define and adjust future urban policies and planning.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No GA727816.

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