Improvements for wearable tech, environment, investment, medical diagnostics and hobbies
Building Society brings in the quiet hour for customers
Yorkshire Building Society has introduced a new quiet hour, from 4-5pm on Wednesdays to support people with learning difficulties, autism, mental health problems or sensory impairment. The move aims to help customers who would benefit from a less busy/noisy environment. To make the branch a more comfortable experience, more private space will be available, lighting reduced and digital screens removed. Eight branches are piloting the quiet hour in Peterborough, Preston, Pickering, Scarborough, Watford, Chesterfield, Ripon and Lincoln, Coney (2019).
The National Trust improves its investment strategy
The National Trust is to switch its investment portfolio’s emphasis to focus on sustainable energy rather than on fossil fuels. The income from investment performance helps to fund the Trust’s conservation efforts in the UK. Use of alternative energy generation has already been started, for example with hydroelectricity to provide light at Garside House, Northumberland. The Trust has ambitious targets to reduce costs for power and heating at its historic properties.
Arts and crafts leads to 50 new stores planned for The Works
On the back of rising revenue (1Q2019), The Works announced that 50 new stores had opened in the 12 months to April 2019. A further 50 stores are planned to open from 2019 to year ending 2020. The Works focusses on selling arts and crafts materials via on and offline retail channels.
Wearable tech innovations at London Festival
Smart clothes are in development that can indicate mood, health conditions and generate power according to Imperial College London. Responsive materials could soon (within ten years) alert if the wearer is ill or has a particular condition. Graphene is being used in thread within textiles so that it can charge on demand, Blunden (2019). Innovations in hi-tech fashion were debated at the Great Exhibition Road Festival held in London in June 2019. One key challenge though is how these developments cope with multiple washes, though smart garments may become the antidote to fast fashion.
Thriva grow to 100,000 testing kits
Preventative sickness blood diagnostic inventor Thriva has now reached 100.000 test kits having been used since 2016. The UK start-up is seeking to ease pressure on the NHS and global healthcare systems. Thriva’s home blood test kit measures hormones and mineral levels to help patients maintain health, Boland, (2019).
Quanta help home kidney dialysis for UK patients
The SC+ dialysis machine from Quanta Dialysis Technologies Ltd is the size of a microwave and could save kidney failure patients’ journeys to hospital, Meddings (2019). Working with the NHS, Quanta are hoping to assist patients by enabling them to take more control of their lives, according to Milad, (2019) of Quanta.