Telehealth Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) report – implications for the future of healthcare

Telehealth Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) report – implications for the future of healthcare

Ivan McConnell gives his view on the implications of the Telehealth Whole Systems Demonstrator report for the future of healthcare.





Telehealth Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) report – implications for the future of healthcare

Telehealth Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) report – implications for the future of healthcare

George MacGinnis gives his view on the implications of the Telehealth Whole Systems Demonstrator report for the future of healthcare


Health Informatics Scotland Conference 2012

The Health Informatics Scotland Conference 2012 will be at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, right above Central Station.

Dates are 20th – 21st September 2012

A bigger exhibition

A larger conference dinner

More informative, world class presentations

If you wanted to see the 2011 conference pages then go here

To get a copy of the 2012 conference brochure click the link below


[mc id=”854″ type=”file”]Health Informatics Scotland conference brochure[/mc]


Telehealth could help the NHS treat patients in new ways and manage rising demands and costs

Posted: 13 October 2011

The NHS in Scotland should do more to consider telehealth when introducing or redesigning services. It provides an opportunity to treat patients in new ways, and to help manage rising costs and demand.web cam

An Audit Scotland report published today, A review of telehealth in Scotland, looks at how the health service is providing care to patients at a distance, using a range of technologies such as mobile phones, the internet, digital televisions, video-conferencing and self-monitoring equipment. This could include a consultation between a patient and a doctor being carried out at different locations using video-conferencing.

The report says NHS boards must look at new ways of delivering care, particularly as the NHS is facing growing demand. Telehealth has the potential to help deliver a range of clinical services more efficiently and effectively, and boards should be considering it when introducing or redesigning services.

Telehealth is popular with patients, doctors and nurses who have used it. Its benefits include less travel, faster diagnoses and fewer hospital admissions. However there have been limited opportunities for clinical staff to gain experience of using it, and more education and training is needed.

Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Black, said:

“The NHS in Scotland is facing serious pressures, from the ageing population and increasing numbers of people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes and respiratory illnesses. Telehealth could help to provide a range of services efficiently and effectively. Where it has been used, patients, doctors and nurses generally like it.”

Audit Scotland looked at the use of telehealth to monitor patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) at home. The report concluded that telehealth management of COPD patients at home might help NHS boards avoid costs of around £1,000 per patient per year, mostly through reducing admissions to hospital.

There are about 70 small initiatives across Scotland which have identified the benefits of telehealth. Three large-scale UK projects, involving at least 37,000 people should improve the evidence. The first of these is due to report later in the year.

The Scottish Centre for Telehealth has recently been merged into NHS 24 and the Scottish Government has put in place a new e-Health strategy. These changes should help the development of telehealth services across the country.

Read the full report and get the downloads on the Audit Scotland Website



Health chiefs ‘ignore’ £5m telehealth system

Published on Thursday 13 October 2011 00:01

A £5 MILLION telehealth system with the potential to save around £1,000 per patient per year has been largely ignored by NHS boards, the public spending watchdog has warned.

Telehealth is designed to provide remote electronic healthcare, particularly for hard-to-reach areas. But Audit Scotland’s review found that the system is generally not considered an option when NHS boards are planning or redesigning services.

An estimated £4.7m has been allocated to telehealth initiatives since 2006. Economic modelling work suggests the home monitoring of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could save NHS boards around £1,000 a year for each patient.

However, Audit Scotland found limited coverage in local delivery plans and only half refer to telehealth specifically.

Over a third of the medical directors interviewed did not know if the Scottish Centre for Telehealth (SCT), established in 2006 to support NHS boards to develop telehealth, was performing its core functions well.

Half of medical directors felt that the integration of SCT and NHS24 had no impact on the delivery of telehealth within the board.

Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Black said: “The NHS in Scotland is facing serious pressures from the ageing population and increasing numbers of people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes and respiratory illnesses.

“Telehealth could help to provide a range of services efficiently and effectively.”

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Telehealth has a pivotal role to play in delivering efficient and effective care to people of all ages across our country.”

The Royal College of Nursing Scotland backed the auditor’s call. Director Theresa Fyffe said: “Investment has been inconsistent and a survey of our members last year, found that less than 20 per cent use telehealth.”

Read the article on



Health Informatics Scotland conference

BCS Health Scotland


This is to let you know all the presentations from our September Health Informatics Scotland conference in Edinburgh are now available to download.

Both slides (pdf) and audio files (mp3) are available so you can both watch and listen to presentations in the different streams perhaps from those you missed.

All details are available on our website Click Here

follow the links to the programme, the abstracts from speakers, the two pages of programme streams with links to the slides and audio files available to download

Please circulate to those that missed the event.  BCS Health Scotland provide this as a service to our professional community.

Paul Woolman

Chair Health Informatics Scotland (a not-for-profit conference)

Note: Health Informatics Scotland 2012 is on 20-21 September 2012 in Glasgow


Healthcare Informatics Spend in the UK to hit £3 Billion by 2016

Written by IHT Staff writer.

According to market research firm Ovum, healthcare ICT spend will hit the £3 Billion mark by 2016, a growth of over 12% from figures in 2010. Aging population, increased healthcare requirements and the ongoing drive to slash costs in NHS operating costs are the key driving factors in this forecast. “The UK will experience the strongest growth over the forecast period of any market we looked at,” Cornelia Wels-Maug, Ovum’s healthcare technology analyst, said. “A key driver for the investment is the urgent need to do more with less, owing to the ever-increasing number of patients with chronic illnesses as the population lives longer.

The cost of delivering a healthcare service that doesn’t compromise on quality is spiraling out of control. Investments in IT are part of the solution,” she added. Ovum forecasts telehealth and healthcare information exchanges will be areas in the UK healthcare technology and IT industry that will see growth although electronic healthcare records and digital imaging technologies will continue as the main area for healthcare ICT investment in the UK.

Healthcare Informatics Spend in the UK to hit £3 Billion by 2016

Electronic tattoo ‘could revolutionise patient monitoring’

By James Gallagher

Health reporter, BBC News

Sensor in a tattoo

An “electronic tattoo” could herald a revolution in the way patients are monitored and provide a breakthrough in computer gaming, say US scientists.

They used the device, which is thinner than a human hair, to monitor the heart and brain, according to a study in the journal Science.

The sensor attaches to human skin just like a temporary tattoo and can move, wrinkle and stretch without breaking.

Researchers hope it could replace bulky equipment currently used in hospitals.

A mass of cables, wires, gel-coated sticky pads and monitors are currently needed to keep track of a patient’s vital signs.

Scientists say this can be “distressing”, such as when a patient with heart problems has to wear a bulky monitor for a month “in order to capture abnormal but rare cardiac events”.

Solar cells

With the tattoo, all the electronic parts are built out of wavy, snake-like components, which mean they can cope with being stretched and squeezed.

There are also tiny solar cells which can generate power or get energy from electromagnetic radiation.

The device is small, less than 50 micrometres thick – less than the diameter of a human hair.

The sensor is mounted on to a water-soluble sheet of plastic, so is attached to the body by brushing with water, just like a temporary tattoo.

It sticks on due to weak forces of attraction between the skin and a polyester layer at the base of the sensor, which is the same force which sticks geckos to walls.

In the study, the tattoo was used to measure electrical activity in the leg, heart and brain. It found that the “measurements agree remarkably well” with those taken by traditional methods.

Skin electronics The sensor moves with the skin

Researchers believe the technology could be used to replace traditional wires and cables.

Smaller, less invasive, sensors could be especially useful for monitoring premature babies or for studying patients with sleep apnoea without them wearing wires through the night, researchers say.

Prof Todd Coleman, from the University of Illinois, said: “If we want to understand brain function in a natural environment, that’s completely incompatible with studies in a laboratory.

“The best way to do this is to record neural signals in natural settings, with devices that are invisible to the user.”

The device was worn for up to 24 hours without loss of function or skin irritation.

However, there are problems with longer-term use, as the skin constantly produces new cells, while those at the surface die and are brushed off, meaning a new sensor would need to be attached at least every fortnight.

Read more about this on the BBC site



EHealth Competency Framework – Defining the Role of the Expert Clinician produced

The Academy of Royal Colleges launches its EHealth Competency Framework – Defining the Role of the Expert Clinician produced in partnership with the Scottish Government.

The framework was produced by the eHealth Competences Framework Steering Group  (established in 2010) under the Chairmanship of Dr Catherine Kelly.

This framework has been developed to define the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required by practising clinicians who have a role in eHealth at a local, regional or national level. The framework covers abroad range of domains from generic competences required by all, such as the safe and secure management of health information, to areas of in depth informatics knowledge which may only be required by a limited number of individuals. It is hoped medical and dental practitioners can use the framework to demonstrate achievement of competences relevant for their roles within their own organisations at different stages of their professional careers.

It is on the news reel link on the Academy homepage, which will be available for a month or so..  Click here

Otherwise you will always be able to find it at the reports and guidance pages


Bill Gates backs Glasgow University malaria project

Scientists at Glasgow University are being funded by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates’ charity to develop a hand-held device to diagnose malaria.

blood cells
Glasgow scientists hope to be able to quickly diagnose infected red blood cells

The $100,000 (£62,200) will fund a study into the use of Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWS) to detect red blood cells infected by malaria parasites.

Detection is thought to be possible as cells respond to SAWS in different ways depending on the cell properties.

SAWS electronic components are commonly found in TVs and mobile phones.

The Glasgow team proposes to use SAWS to exert selective forces on malaria-infected red blood cells to separate them from uninfected red cells.

Different cells respond to SAWs in different ways depending on physical properties such as elasticity and shape.

To read more on how this technology could improve patient care