Pillcam, Smartcough and other Scottish healthtech benefitting people globally

There are opportunities in healthcare for people with coding and app development skills as well as data analysts, IT managers and digital media experts, says Digital World in a campaign launched this week.

“Digital innovation is revolutionising the healthcare sector worldwide and creating new opportunities in Scotland,” said the organisation, developed by Scotland’s digital technologies sector and Skills Development Scotland to promote careers in the industry. “The digital health sector is opening up many new and exciting possibilities, and will ultimately change the way we practice healthcare. Around the globe, innovations such as wearable tech and mobile applications are being used to collect and analyse physical activity levels, blood pressure and other healthcare data quickly and efficiently.

“A tech skillset will help you to join this frontier in healthcare. There are opportunities for people with coding and app development skills as well as data analysts, IT managers and digital media experts in this industry. The Digital Health and Care Institute brings together experts from different sectors, including technology, to develop new ideas that will improve the delivery of health services to the people of Scotland and further afield.” The campaign details some of the Scottish projects that will benefit people all over the world:

SCOTCAP PillCam: This vitamin-sized capsule containing a tiny light source and camera offers an alternative to invasive colonoscopy procedures. The patient swallows the PillCam and information is relayed to clinicians via a recording device as it travels through the digestive tract. Conditions such as Crohn’s disease and bowel cancer can be detected safely, quickly and easily.

Snap40: This wearable device helps healthcare providers continuously monitor a patient’s vital signs. Worn on the upper arm, snap40 uses data such as skin temperature and heart rate to calculate an early warning score and determine if the patient is at risk. Healthcare staff then access the information via mobile applications. They can quickly identify those at the highest risk, and view live and historical data, enabling earlier clinical action.

ReSBOSK: Uses technology originally used in the video game industry to help monitor patients and even identify new high risk cases before a healthcare worker has seen the patient. Using the Microsoft Kinect sensor, coupled with a narrowband infrared camera, the system collects and interprets vital signs from a patient’s face when in front of the camera. ReSBOSK can monitor up to 10 people’s heart rates and oxygenation levels at a time and at a low cost.

Smartcough: This project aims to improve the capabilities of telemedicine to help identify and cure respiratory illnesses. A downloadable app, Smartcough is an intelligent cough monitoring system that records and measures cough sounds in real-time. It also stores the data and uses a computer programme to analyse it. This helps to assess the different types of coughing episodes and better understand the underlying causes.