Eleven years ago, Intelligent Health was created with the mission of transforming the health of communities in the UK and across the world. In 2017, we have never come closer to achieving that goal with our work helping towns, cities, boroughs and counties worldwide become more active.
We have been on incredible journey with Beat the Street in 2017 — starting in Milton Keynes on 1 February and finishing nine months later in Simmering, Vienna — we have seen Beat the Street engage more people and deliver better outcomes than ever before. In June we launched Beat the Street in East Sussex — our largest game yet — covering a distance of more than 700 square miles and reaching more than 42,000 players. While this Autumn, we successfully ran our biggest set of programmes thus far with nine simultaneous games running in five different countries.
This year 301,030 people took part in Beat the Street. Most importantly for our funders almost a third of all participants (98,000) registered to take part, providing information on their activity levels and active travel habits.
Not only have we engaged more people than ever before, but we have continued to improve our outcomes and encourage more people to become physically active. In 2017, we saw a 7% decrease in the proportion of players doing zero to one day of activity, as well as a 10% increase the proportion of players meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise per week. This is equal to tens of thousands of people across the UK making lasting, positive changes to their health.
The past year has also seen Intelligent Health expand our products and services into new areas. Social prescription — where doctors prescribe patients volunteering, gardening, sports and arts activities instead of medication — is emerging as an effective answer to many of the current challenges facing healthcare in the UK. Taking our knowledge and experience of engaging communities, Intelligent Health are set to be a market leader in social prescription within the next two years with two schemes launching this December.
We have also seen the launch of our new Health Forecasting service which will help hospitals across England manage the increased demands over winter. Last year, 21% of patients in England spent more than 4 hours in A&E during the winter months — with 3% of patients having to wait longer than 12 hours.
As the former Clinical Director of the Health Forecast Unit at the Met Office, I understand how sudden changes in weather can cause incredible problems for hospitals and GP surgeries. Our new health forecasting tool combines data from the Met Office, circulating viruses and historic health information to create an early-warning system for health care providers. Already in use with the Royal Berkshire Hospital, we are now looking to expand the service across England.
Looking ahead to 2018, Intelligent Health is set to continue to grow and help even more towns, villages and cities across the world become more active. Following a successful initiative in Vienna, we will be developing our license model of Beat the Street to take the walking and cycling programme across Europe.
More recently, we launched our crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to raise £200,000 to become a leader in tackling inactivity. We have already managed to raise more than 60% of our target. To see more, visit the Seedrs website.
With each programme, we continue to find new and better ways to improve engagement, increase activity and reach more people. Building upon the success of the last year, 2018 is set to be even bigger for Intelligent Health with more towns and cities set to become happier, healthier and active.