A digital TV initiative for public services run by Kirklees Council has won European Commission funding to develop interactive health and social care services.

The European Commission will provide funding to DigiTV as part of a European consortium that is being supported to build and enhance telecare and telehealth provision across Europe.

The funding will back solutions to help the growing population of chronically ill and elderly people remain independent and living at home as long as possible.

Funding is being provided as part of the pa-European ‘T-Seniority Project’, part of the European Commission’s ‘ICT for Ageing Project’, financed through the Commission’s ICT Policy Support Programme.

Steve Langrick, senior responsible officer for DigiTV at Kirklees Council said: “We are delighted to be part of this project, bringing the convenience and comfort of television as a tool to help those people who have long-term health conditions to remain more independent within their own homes".

In September DigiTV also won funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board to develop digital TV solutions for telecare and telehealth.

Digital TV platforms can enable delivery of telehealth and telecare services within the home to monitor the activity and safety of elderly or chronically ill people. This can include active reminder systems or helping people access health information easily.

As well as supporting monitoring, reminder and information services Digital TV can also provide a digital channel for the development of a virtual communities, helping to prevent those living alone feeling isolated and vulnerable.

DigiTV is a not for profit organisation wholly owned by Kirklees Council working on behalf of the local government community in the UK. It provides what it describes as a cost effective technology to publish local government services and is a key contributor to raising awareness and developing capability within the digital TV and mobile space.

Over 70 bodies across the UK already subscribe to DigiTV’s Looking Local portal which they use to provide services and information via digital television and mobile to their customers and residents in areas such as transport, education, health, emergency services and job opportunities.