Code The City 9 – It’s on!

We kicked off the ‘Code The City 9 – Health Signposting’ weekend this morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. There are just under 20 attendees from mixed backgrounds.

We have volunteered to help solve issues around health care data. One problem is that health care data are currently maintained in (at least) three unconnected systems run by different organisations. These are ALISS, GCD (Grampian CareData) and MILO. The ultimate goal of this project is to create an open data source that provides accessible up-to-date information to the public and professionals.

After a quick icebreaker and introductions, we split into two main groups – the data scientists and … well … the rest of us. Once the initial brainstorming identified the main questions to tackle this weekend, we formed four teams. Below is the morning update on our progress at this early stage.

There are two teams of data scientist. One looks at the ALISS database, the other one focuses on GCD. The challenge is to extract and compare data from both databases, make sure information is up-to-date and maintained properly in the future.


This team works on understanding how the ALISS API works in detail to eventually pull data from it. They started using architecture developed in previous CTC sessions. They will also look into options for connecting the data to people’s devices (smart phone, PC, …) to make information available to users.


This team is starting off with a data dump from GCD in an Excel spreadsheet to build a usable data source that can feed into the project. Extracted data will then be compared to results from Team ALISS API. The hope is that data will match, which would mean that the two currently disconnected databases contain the same information. We keep our fingers crossed!

An important point raised during the morning discussion was that patient opinions will eventually need to feed into the new database.


The other two teams look into challenges revolving around the potential users of the new database.

Team: Stripy Tops user group analysis

Oftentimes the problem is that people don’t know what’s out there. Hence, this team aims to pinpoint Aberdeen service providers that tackle people’s health care issues.

Our ACVO team member Jane suggested to start off with the 9 main problem areas which have been identified by The Alliance in Glasgow as part of ‘In at the deep end’. The team then aims to match local organisations who provide relevant services within these categories. They also want to add some more categories to refine the list.

Team: Access All Areas user cases

The best tool is worthless if the target users don’t know anything about it or are unable to use it. For many people who would benefit from this new database, using IT poses a huge stumbling block. Thus, this team thinks about ways to reach and engage the non-digital population.

They started by collating reasons for people not to use IT, such as old age, learning disability or lack of interest. They create use cases to make up solutions for different user groups, e.g. posting info leaflets to reach people who barely leave the house. An interesting idea is the “human leaflet”, a community links worker who explains things to service users and takes them to appointments or events.

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