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About CleverCogs™

The purpose of CleverCogs™ is to keep people independent, in control and in their home. Throughout its development, Blackwood has involved commissioners, customers, families and staff teams, as well as enlisting support from government and the software team at Soft Orange.

CleverCogs™ enables Blackwood to build a bespoke care and response service around the individual, taking into account both their formal and informal care needs. The system works across all aspects of an individual’s care, housing and support needs.

At the heart of CleverCogs™ is the touchscreen home hub. Blackwood has installed nearly 100 of these devices in customers’ homes and care homes across Scotland. These enable people to stay in touch with friends and family; even video chatting with them. Customers can catch up on their interests, access the information they want and receive convenient reminders of any appointments, care visits or medication they need to take.

Currently, the system features care, safety, housing, home automation, information, digital inclusion, and health and wellbeing.

CleverCogs™ is currently being rolled out across every area where Blackwood works. As well as ensuring constant connectivity with relatives and carers, it’s also building and bringing together neighbourhoods by enabling customers to live as independently as possible.


Taking a person-centred approach

Blackwood personalises each and every CleverCogs™ device, so that regardless of whether a customer is into gardening, history, music, football or anything else, they can have easy access to the interests they enjoy. The boost in confidence that comes from using CleverCogs™ can be huge, opening up people’s horizons to a whole new world. This includes activites like browsing the web, doing online shopping and using email, as well as connecting with family and friends. Customers then have a choice when shopping, getting news, learning and everything else the internet has to offer.

CleverCogs™ allows customers to:

  • have help at hand if they need it
  • receive automatic reminders to take medication
  • shop online and use other internet resources
  • automate heating and lighting.

An added advantage is that the network used by customers is safe and secure. This means that only the people they want to connect with are on their personalised CleverCogs™ system.


Training and support

An essential part of the success of CleverCogs™ is recognising that everyone learns in different ways and at different speeds. Blackwood has always been conscious of the fact that for many of its customers, this will be their first time using any kind of computer. For this reason, they tailor training sessions to a level that each customer is comfortable with.

The system is designed to be extremely easy to use and, very importantly, it’s the customer who decides which features go on their device. The Digital Skills team works with CleverCogs™ users to ensure they get the training and support they need.


Workforce development

The digital skills support doesn’t end with customers. All employees receive group-based learning on how to both use the CleverCogs™ system and deliver services in new ways. As with customers, the training is tailored to each employee, with a choice between open surgeries and 1:1 appointments with the digital skills trainer for those who prefer.


About Blackwood

Blackwwood homes logo

With over 1,500 properties throughout Scotland, Blackwood offers a range of accessible, modern, attractive and bespoke housing aimed at providing great value to people with a range of disabilities and housing needs.

Blackwood has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited, by being at the forefront of investing in digital solutions to help people manage their own lives at home.

Blackwood’s bespoke digitally enhanced care system, CleverCogs™, plays a key role in keeping customers connected by enabling them to contact members of staff, their friends and family with just the touch of a button via a video link system.



For further information, please contact:

Colin Foskett, Head of Innovation, Blackwood

Tel: 0131 317 0148


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