Health Informatics Scotland 2012 conference programme announced

Health Informatics Scotland 2012 conference programme announced

I am delighted to be able to share with you our programme for 2012.  We have a fantastic array of high level speakers including 15 directors / heads of IT or clinical leads, and 9 overseas presenters highlighting the international reputation our conference has developed in its short three year history.

Speakers from Government (with Derek Feeley CEO of NHS Scotland, and Paul Rhodes eHealth Director) to NHS leaders and esteemed academics (including the Chief Scientist).  With talks arranged across four themes relevant to healthcare in Scotland in 2012 you can be sure of a great event!

So watch out for delegate registration when its announced.  Get the dates in your diary 20 – 21 September 2012 in Glasgow.  Book it!


Download the Health Informatics Scotland 2012 programme here


Paul Woolman

Chair Health Informatics Scotland 2012 (a not for profit event run by BCS Health Scotland )

Edinburgh scientists pioneer smartphone app that detects strokes

Edinburgh scientists pioneer smartphone app that detects strokes

Researchers at Edinburgh University have designed a mobile application that allows people to detect the symptoms of a stroke more quickly.

Scientists at Edinburgh University have invented a smartphone app which could help stroke victims receive hospital treatment more quickly.

The technology, believed to be the first of its kind, shows the user the likely symptoms so they can call for the appropriate treatment as speedily as possible.

Bill Gentleman, 72, had a stroke four years ago but has made a startling recovery and is an international gold medal-winning athlete in hammer throwing.

Mr Gentleman told STV News the new app could help some of the annual 12,000 stroke-sufferers in Scotland.

He said: “If you’ve got a problem you press the button and it immediately goes through and says you’re having a problem – and I think that would be very good.”

Experts echoed the importance of identifying the signs early on.

David Clark, Chief Executive of Chest, Heart, and Stroke Scotland, said: “A severe stroke can cost you two million brain cells a minute; that’s a tremendous loss. It can leave people with quite severe disabilities. The quicker you get into hospital for specialist treatment, the better your chance of survival.”

Dr William Whiteley, the research scientist who designed the technology, hopes his invention will lead to improved recovery rates.

He said: “Some people arrive too late at hospital for clock-busting treatment and we know that if they’d been recognised more quickly by people around them they could have benefited from this treatment, which probably helps one-in-10 people recover more quickly.”

For more information on stroke awareness, visit the STV Health Centre, brought to you by NHS inform.

App: Stroke sufferers can get help. Pic: © STV

South Africa Mobile Health Information


[mc src=”” type=”youtube”]South Africa Mobile Health Information[/mc]

South Africa Mobile Health Information

A project that works to deliver relevant and current health education resources to nurses in Cape Elizabeth, South Africa using commercial mobile broadband enabled devices. Learn more about Wireless Reach


Edinburgh researchers develop DietPhone application to help people improve their eating habit

By Lyndsay Moss

Health Correspondent

WANT to lose weight? There’s an app for that. In all the things your mobile phone can help you with, healthy eating is now among them.

DietPhone application
Not just an apple a day: The app is also available on average mobiles

Scottish researchers have developed the DietPhone application to help make it easier to collect detailed information and monitor food intake.

They believe it will help people control their eating habits, improve their health and free up time for dieticians and doctors to see more patients.

The team behind the app, from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, believes it could also help people with eating disorders such as anorexia, and be useful for weight-conscious sportspeople.

Read the full article about the DietPhone application

Future of rural healthcare comes under the microscope at Highland conference

The innovative use of modern technology to promote health and prevent illness is the subject of a national conference being held in Inverness next month.

P4 Digital Healthcare Convention
P4 Digital Healthcare Convention

Anyone interested in attending or finding out more can visit the event website at

Doctors, researchers, technical experts and business people will share their expertise at the P4 Digital Healthcare Convention, organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), on Friday, October 1, at the city’s Eden Court Theatre.

HIE believes the Highlands and Islands has a unique potential to create a new cluster of healthcare businesses specialising in developing and using technology to deliver both prevention and treatment over large distances.

As a largely mountainous region with a widely-scattered mainland population and almost 100 inhabited islands, it is also a location which stands to benefit most from healthcare innovation.

Dr Steven Dodsworth, Head of Life Sciences with HIE, explained: “P4 is a term used by health professionals to describe an approach which combines prevention, prediction, personalisation and participation.

“We’re particularly interested in the role technology can play in helping people take charge of their own healthcare in a rural region like the Highlands and Islands.

“Health professionals, technologists and business people all see telehealthcare, as it’s called, as a growth area for the coming years and we believe the Highlands and Islands is ideally placed to reap both the health benefits and economic growth.

“Life sciences is a growing sector across the world which is already worth over £130m and supports around 1,800 jobs in the Highlands and Islands alone.

“We see telehealthcare as an important niche in that sector which can develop significantly over the coming years.”

October’s convention is a follow-up to a highly successful Telehealthcare summit which the development organisation held in the summer.

That event helped define a vision for developing a new telehealthcare industry in Scotland, with HIE playing a central role in helping forge collaborative links between the worlds of healthcare, science and business.

It also highlighted new equipment to monitor road accident casualties, life saving diagnostic devices for mountain rescue teams, and software to enable more care at home for people with long-term conditions.

The upcoming convention is aimed at healthcare professionals, industry and patient groups and has been planned to be highly participative.

In addition to hearing expert speakers, those attending will be able to raise questions and share their own knowledge in small workshops throughout the day.

Speakers: “Why here, why now?”

  • Ruaraidh MacNeil (HIE): The Inverness Campus Development
  • Professor Alasdair Munro (Centre for Health Science): A Centre for P4 Healthcare?
  • Professor Dave Godden (University of Aberdeen): The Dot Rural Project
  • Andrew Fowlie (chair of the Moray Community Health and Social Care Partnership): Why change is needed
  • Dr Doug McKendrick & Professor Grant Cumming (NHS Grampian): P4 digital healthcare in practice
  • Andrew Milner (H-I Network): Open Innovation

Workshops: “When worlds collide”

  • Healthcare meets the creative industries: hosted by Glasgow School of Art. A vision of Scottish telehealthcare in 2020 suggests a major role for the creative industries in healthcare.
  • Web science meets P4hosted by Professor Grant Cumming (NHS Grampian & UHI). The World Wide Web has become a central feature in our lives and will become of increasing importance in P4 healthcare.
  • P4 and PRhosted by Webber Shandwick. Effective communication will be necessary to realise the benefits of P4 teleheathcare. This workshop will explore the issues involved in such communication.

Anyone interested in attending or finding out more can visit the event website at

Mobile phone microscope poised to begin trials in Africa

Lensless mobilephone microscope receives 3 major awards

Mobile phones are accumulating a Swiss Army Knife-esqe assortment of capabilities; substituting as cameras, providing internet access, and soon operating as medical labs if Aydogan Ozcan’s plans come to fruition. This month’s cover article of the journal Lab on a Chip features the latest creation by the Ozcan group, a functioning prototype of a mobile phone microscope. The lensless imaging platform behind the mobile phone microscope is nearing readiness for real world trials, after receiving prestigious awards in the past month from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Geographic, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Mobile phones present a tremendous opportunity in Global healthcare,” remarked Ozcan, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and a researcher at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute. “We can leverage the fact that eighty percent of the world’s population lives in areas covered by mobile phone networks to bridge the gaps left by a lack of health care infrastructure in developing countries.”

That lack of health care infrastructure includes not only buildings, but also trained personnel. For telemedicine tools to effectively fill in for hospitals, the devices have to meet several criteria. They must be cheap enough for widespread use in poor areas, be simple enough for a minimally trained person to correctly operate, and be able to easily transmit information over existing cellular networks. Optical microscopes, a key diagnostic tool in hospitals, are too bulky for telemedicine applications.

In optical microscopes, one of the elements which limits the miniaturization possibilities and drives up the cost is the lens. Ozcan’s telemedicine microscope avoids both these constraints by capturing an image with a lensless system. This innovative engineering means that the microscope can be miniaturized (it only weighs ~1.5 ounces) to the point where it fits on most mobile phones, while remaining inexpensive enough for widespread use in developing countries, costing only about ten dollars each.

Images are captured through a process called diffraction, or shadow-based, imaging. An ordinary light-emitting diode (LED) from the top illuminates the sample, and the detector array already installed in mobile phone cameras captures the image, recording the patterns created by the shadows resulting from the LED light scattering off of the cells in the sample. Because cells are semi-transparent, enough information is obtained from this type of imaging to detect sub-cellular elements, and to produce holographic images. By using an inexpensive LED light instead of a laser as typically required for holographic imaging, the size and cost are further reduced.

The mobile phone microscope is also easy to use, and versatile. Samples (blood smears or saliva) are loaded into single-use chips that easily slide into the side of the microscope. Because the microscope uses the entire detector array to capture an image and has a relatively large aperture, it has a wide imaging field-of-view. Samples do not need to be precisely aligned for images to be captured, and the chance of debris clogging the light source is lessened. Alternate uses of the technology include testing water quality in the field following a disaster like a hurricane or earthquake.

The lensless imaging platform is an ideal telemedicine tool because it is so easily integrated with mobile phones, which are becoming cheaper to produce while gaining sophistication. Even base models in developing countries often have cameras. Ozcan’s group developed an algorithm that instantly identifies and counts red and white blood cells and microparticles in samples, a time consuming process typically done by trained technicians. The image results are then sent by the mobile phone to centralized hospitals for analysis by doctors. As an alternative for people whose mobile phones don’t have built-in cameras, Ozcan’s group also created a standalone lensless microscope that only requires a USB connection for power and to upload the captured shadow images to either a laptop or mobile phone for transmission.

Field tests of the mobile phone microscope will begin in Africa this summer using funds received from the three major awards. In early May a proposal of Ozcan’s was selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a $100,000 Grand Challenges Exploration Grant; in mid May he was selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, for which he will receive $10,000; and in late May he received $400,000 for a CAREER award from the NSF.

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 NHS Scotland logo

Open for Registrations 22nd and 23rd September 2010

Register now for the most exciting eHealth conference in Scotland this year! Held at the prestigious Glasgow Science Centre you not only have a great programme, wide range of exhibitors, great views over the Clyde and City but complementary entrance to the fun science exhibits as well!

The futuristic building mirrors BCS Health Scotland’s Innovative and Modern outlook See Here

We have an extensive International speaker Programme over both days with three themes held in twin parallel tracks.

Keynote speakers include:

Matthew Swindells, former CIO Connecting for Health, and chair BCS Health

Rikard Lovstrom from Sweden to talk about their National Patient Overview project and eHealth strategy

Dorothy Whittick from Canada talking about the Canadian Health Infoway national developments and a Wellness project in Alberta

Brian Robson from Scotland on the Quality theme and his experiences with IHI in America.

Kathy Dallest from Australia speaking on Clinical Safety Management in eHealth.

New! NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!

An exciting new event will be presentation of the ‘NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!’. These awards are given to winning NHS teams for three categories sponsored by BCS and Scottish Government.

Twin Exhibitions: We are very grateful to our sponsors with 18 commercial exhibitions in a superb bright atrium area and ANOTHER FIRST: 15 public information stands in a separate gallery open to the public. There is plenty to see!

The three main themes to be addressed at the BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 are Quality, Innovation, and Efficiency. International speakers from Australia, Canada, Sweden, America, Ireland, Wales and numerous UK speakers will position themselves on current relevant issues such as patient safety, the quality strategy, efficiency gains from IT and more.

For the first time, the NHS Scotland eHealth Awards will be presented to eHealth teams in Scotland. These awards will be presented by Scottish Government and by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, to help boost the status of the IT profession in NHS Scotland at a time of significant change.

Moreover the new Vidiowiki delegate social networking tool will be used for linking up delegates before and after the event. Users can navigate a mind-map of delegates, speakers and exhibitors to create linkups and watch short clips about presentations and demos. This will help planning and networking before coming to the event.

A selection of posters will be available to view during the conference:

  • A novel security risk assessment model – Napier University
  • Clinical content modeling – NHS National Services Scotland
  • Trans-national exchange of eHealth innovations in northern Europe- Aberdeen University
  • A Study to evaluate the effectiveness of an electronic dashboard – Ulster hospital
  • A Study to evaluate the response times for alerts – Ulster hospital

Around 250 participants are expected to take part in this open event. Online registration is possible here. Details about fees and early bird registration can be found online.

A draft programme for the event can be found online at the event website.

Exhibitors are also leading a fun social evening at 5pm on the first day.

Yet again BCS Health Scotland has been able to produce all this for the incredibly low delegate registration prices starting as low as £30.

So register soon for the early bird rates, find us here BCS Health Scotland Conference

Marty Cooper, the "Father of the Mobile Phone"

Marty Cooper, the “Father of the Mobile Phone”, did a fantastic job on his 60 Minute Interview tonight (Sunday, May 23, 2010).

During that interview, Marty pointed out that one of the obvious future direction of Mobile Phone technology was in Healthcare.

[mc src=”” type=”youtube”]Marty Cooper, the “Father of the Mobile Phone”[/mc]

If you want to see the full interview Follow this link

UK better placed than the US to manage chronic disease: lessons from the US

A major new report published today by Healthcare at Home Ltd explores which technologies and models used in the US for chronic disease management could successfully be adopted here in the UK.

The report – Lessons from the US: using technology and homecare to improve chronic disease management – is based on the observations of a US study tour of NHS and Healthcare at Home representatives who visited colleagues in Kaiser Permanente and HealthTech to look at how they use remote technology to manage chronic disease. Whilst they found there to be some exciting hi- and lo-tech innovations and lessons to glean, the group found that the US was not as far ahead in this field as expected.

Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director, Healthcare at Home Ltd, says: “We were pleasantly surprised to find that the UK is in many ways better resourced and structured than the US to overcome the challenges related to increasing demand for services and chronic disease management. Specialist out-of-hospital care providers like Healthcare at Home Ltd are well established in the UK, and the NHS is already embracing innovation and major transformation in service design in certain areas, but we need to see this progress on a much wider scale if the NHS is to achieve the significant benefits that can be gained.

”The report found that in the “[US] healthcare follows the money, not the population’s health needs. The UK has an opportunity to look beyond this and concentrate on longer term benefits”.

One of the key recommendations is that the move to deliver more care closer to the home has to be underpinned by new models, technologies and systems: “If we simply transplant the same model of care used in hospitals to another setting we will not achieve the changes needed”.

Other reflections and recommendations from the report include:

  • The UK must concentrate on longer-term benefits and consider the population’s health needs as much as the return on investment
  • The NHS set-up allows it to look beyond immediate costs and benefits to start developing more innovative solutions that will lessen the cost of future services.
  • Technologies delivered through everyday devices such as TVs and mobile phones will encourage greater compliance
  • SHAs have access to innovation funds and should therefore take the lead in system development
  • Transplanting the same model of care to another setting closer to home will not achieve the necessary changes
  • Enabling an efficient flow of information between different health organisations is essential to effective disease management
  • Capital investment should not just be about buildings
  • Commissioners need to look beyond their usual providers and pathways and embrace more imaginative commissioning
  • GPs and other primary care staff will play a key role in providing care closer to home
  • The NHS must place more emphasis on managerial analytical competency

The overall purpose of the study tour was:

  • to explore how diagnostics and care are delivered in the home
  • to see how clinical interventions are managed using technology and support workers for increased value, and
  • to glean any lessons for the UK from how the US is addressing these issues.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise hold conference on the potential of telehealthcare

Agency claims area is well placed to lead in delivering healthcare from a distance

HIE forum aims to put north at tele-healthcare forefront

By Iain Ramage

Published: 12/04/2010

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to host a summit on the future of “telehealthcare” in a bid to put the region at the forefront of the potentially lucrative emerging sector.

It claims the challenges of an ageing population and a low-carbon economy are key to “delivering healthcare from a distance” through technological advances.

The gathering, at Aldourie Castle by Loch Ness on May 5, will consider how the region could take a lead.

About 50 delegates have been invited to contribute ideas on the delivery of tele-healthcare in Scotland over the next decade.

Steven Dodsworth, HIE’s head of life sciences, said: “This region offers great potential to be a centre of excellence in this sector.

“We already have an encouraging number of companies developing expertise in this field who are working alongside healthcare professionals and communities to overcome the challenges of healthcare at a distance.”

Telehealthcare covers a range of services such as supporting elderly patients who wish to remain in their own homes, helping people to take control of long-term health conditions and enabling people in remote locations to consult health professionals with minimum inconvenience.

Harriet Dempster, Highland Council social work director, said: “This event will enable representatives from government, health and social care providers and patient groups to discuss ideas with Scottish companies and multinationals and to develop a shared vision.”