Scotland on the brink of unveiling a system that will ‘revolutionise healthcare’

Abstract health image Scotland is ‘on the brink of unveiling a system that will revolutionise healthcare’, according to a report in The National.

Professor George Crooks, chief executive of the Digital Health Institute Scotland (DHI), said: “We’re building a simulation environment here in Glasgow that will have an architecture that allows data to flow from any device you may have, through an exchange layer into back-end government systems and databases in a trusted and seamless way.

“The data is presented to your doctor, social carer, yourself, or family in a way that makes it easy to understand and allows you to make informed decisions.

“That’s not 10 years off – we’re building that now and we’ll have the prototype model available within the next six to eight weeks, that is using products that exist today in Scotland.

“When we build that we can bring people in and show them how it works. We can show them how the data flows, how algorithms can work on that data to interpret it, because it’s all about building trust.

“People trust their NHS, but don’t trust digital services – not because they don’t want to because most of us do banking online, it’s because they don’t understand it – and we don’t trust things we don’t understand.

FutureScot is pleased to welcome world-leading digital health experts from Scotland, Germany, Finland and The Netherlands to our Health & Social Care Leaders Conference 2018. This one-day conference focuses on how advances in digital technology can help deliver better outcomes as we chart our own course towards health and social care integration in Scotland. Coverage  of the event will feed into a report celebrating 70 years of the NHS in Scotland, published in June.

“Up until about five to seven years ago the vast majority of spend in healthcare was spent in what was known then as e-health – technology solutions that were designed to service the needs of individual health boards or organisations for the staff that worked in them. The patients were the passive recipients.

“Over the last five years we’re now focussing on digital tools and solutions that are primarily focussed on our citizens – providing them with health advice and information, care advice and information, and support to allow you as a citizen of Scotland to make informed decisions about your health and wellbeing, as well as allowing you to do more for yourself – including monitoring your own long-term condition like diabetes, cardiac failure or COPD.

“These are examples of digital tools and services that are becoming increasingly frequently deployed within the health and care system and they’re only going to become more common as we move forward.”

DHI-Scotland’s remit is to allow people to enjoy healthier lives at the same time as creating economic growth opportunities for the country, while engaging with the academic community and our industrial base, especially small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said The National.

Crooks said the centre made good use of the whole spectrum of companies: “We have global technology at one end to small academic spin-outs at the other and everything in between.

“What started off as a niche market you now have large consumer electronics companies, so the Apples, the Sonys, the Googles of this world now moving into the world of health care. These large companies are slowed down and held back because they are large corporate structures with lots of systems and processes internally that slow down decision-making.

“Getting one of those paired up with a very small, agile, lean enterprise in Scotland can create huge synergies between the two, allowing them to work together to create solutions to benefit Scotland by addressing some of our key problems.”