Pioneering Scottish healthcare institute launched

Date: 29 October 2013
Source: Scottish Enterprise Press Centre

Now there’s even more opportunity for collaboration with healthcare innovators as Scotland’s Digital Health Institute launches.


Innovative efforts to use technology to improve healthcare have been given a big boost with the opening of the new Digital Health Institute in Edinburgh.

With £11 million of funding from the Scottish Funding Council, it’s going to be the focus for collaboration between leading health and care operators and technology businesses across Europe, the United States and Asia.

The Institute’s role is to speed up research and development to produce innovative new technologies that will transform the quality of people’s lives, all with an eye on helping Scotland become an exporter of world-leading healthcare products and services.

With Scotland’s market for digital heath and care estimated to grow to between £0.5 and 1 billion over the next 5 to 10 years, and the Europe-wide market to as much as £70 billion over the same timeline, the ambition for this project is to help businesses based in Scotland to access at least 10% of this Europe-wide market. Not an inconsiderable sum.

The Institute and its partners will offer facilities to develop and test new ideas, plenty of opportunities for collaboration, and support to bring products to market.

At the launch, attended by representatives from Samsung Electronics, IBM, Philips, Deutsch Telekom Celesio, Continua Health Alliance and Lockheed Martin, Professor George Crooks, Chairman of the Digital Health Institute and Medical Director, NHS 24 said: “We already have a number of exciting projects underway and we will see the number increase further now that we are officially open for business.”

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are supporting the development of the DHI, as well as Scotland’s other innovation centres.

Background information on DHI is available from


Scottish Telehealth and Telecare Week – October 28 to November 1 2013

A WEEK of events showcasing  the innovative and valuable work of telehealth and telecare will take place in Scotland next month (October) and will feature key presentations from the Scottish dallas project, Living it Up.

The Scottish Telehealth and Telecare Week, which runs from October 28 to November 1, is being organised by the Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT) and the Scottish Government’s Joint Improvement Team (JIT) with involvement from telehealth and telecare organisations from around the world.

The week commences with the formal launch of Scotland’s new innovation centre for   digital health, the Digital Health Institute (DHI) on October 28. The Digital Health Institute is a collaboration between Scotland’s leading academic institutions, the public sector and industry, to foster innovation, generate economic growth as well as delivering innovative services and products to benefit the people of Scotland.

The inaugural European Telemedicine Conference, on October 29 and 30, will focus on all aspects of telemedicine – telehealth, telecare, e-health and m-health.. The event is being organised by SCTT and Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Europe and will feature experts in telemedicine from the USA, Spain, Norway as well as the UK. The Scottish conference sessions will focus on technologies that support an individual throughout their life stages – childhood, midlife and older age and will feature a key presentation from the Scottish dallas project, Living it Up.

Day Two of the conference will feature a European Innovation Showcase with live demonstrations of emerging health, care and mobile technologies. It will also incorporate a series of panel debates on innovation as well as ‘Dragon’s Den’ style   sessions which offer SMEs and start-ups the opportunity to pitch their new ideas to a panel of industry leaders including IBM, Samsung, Deutche Telekom and Atos.

An event for members of the public, including carers, is being held on Thursday 31st October at Hampden Football Stadium in Glasgow. This event will help raise awareness of new developments and enable participants to try out available technologies.  The Living it Up project will also be making a key presentation at this event.

SCTT’s Medical Director Professor George Crooks said: “We are very proud of the progress we have made in Scotland in implementing at-scale telehealth and telecare services.  This has been achieved through a strong strategic commitment from the Scottish Government, NHS Boards, local authorities, third sector and industry partners to delivering on this important agenda.

“We are therefore delighted to be host country for this inaugural European Telemedicine Conference which will showcase best practice in telehealth and telecare from across Europe. We would encourage health, care and housing providers involved in telehealth and telecare in Scotland to get involved in the Scottish Telehealth and Telecare Week to help highlight the excellent work going on that is delivering real benefits to people in this country.”

For further information and to register for the conference and showcase programme, please visit

For more information on the Scottish Telehealth and Telecare Week, visit the SCTT Facebook page or the JIT website

Health Informatics Scotland sold out

Health Informatics Scotland sold out – our conference in Glasgow next week is now sold out with over 330 attendees expected.  Never fear you can watch and participate live online via our virtual conference environment (firewalls and security permitting).

You can visit it at

where after registration you can setup your avatar and try out walking around the virtual world.  On the days of the conference it will be fully live where you can meet and talk to people and watch live online presentations.

Paul Woolman

Chair Health Informatics Scotland


2012 Scottish eHealth Awards – Shortlist Announced

  • Best NHS Scotland use of innovative IT for patient care

This award goes to the NHS Scotland team demonstrating the most innovative product in use within a clinical setting for direct patient care.  The product maybe entirely new or a radical redesign of something existing.  The Judges were looking for something proven to work in a health board clinical setting, though it may be a pilot stage, and demonstrably bringing benefits to patients.


  • Pilot PatientTrack Electronic early warning scores; with Track and Trigger (NHS Fife, Ronnie Monaghan)
  • The Learning Arcade (NHS Fife, Norma Clark)
  • Access for All – Delivery of the Healthy Outlook health forecasting service in Moray (Moray Community Health & Social Care Partnership, Lorna Bernard)


  • Best NHS Scotland IT service delivery team

This award went  to the NHS Scotland team with an excellent record of delivering services that improve clinicians working lives, enhance patient care and increase efficiency in their own NHS Scotland board.  Entrants were judged on evidence of their record, effectiveness of communications to and within their own board clinicians, success in engaging other colleagues across the wider NHS, evidence of fulfilment of service agreements, and lastly examples of service ‘above and beyond the norm’.


  • Migration of all NHSFV Acute & Mental Health Services to new-build acute site (NHS Forth Valley, Ann Crowe)
  • Implementation of ISO27001 (NHS Fife, Donald Wilson)
  • SCI-Diabetes Collaboration (NHS Tayside, Scott Cunningham)


  •  Best NHS Scotland use of Mobile technology in NHS Scotland

This award went to the NHS Scotland team demonstrating best use of mobile technology that helps improve the ways in which clinicians work and the benefits and improvements to patient care. Judges were looking for evidence of benefits they are achieving (eg reduction in errors, savings to the board, improvements to working practices).


  • Patient Safety – Hospital@ Night Safe Hand (NHS Dumfries & Galloway, Graham Gault)
  • EMRS iOS Apps – (Emergency Medical Retrieval Service, Dr Dave McKean)
  • NHS Scotland Digital Television and Mobile Service (NHS 24, Lynne Huckerby)


The awards will be presented at the Health Informatics Scotland Conference 2012 in Glasgow on the 21st of September 2012. You can find out more information at



Edinburgh researchers develop technique which could give early warning of heart attack.

New scans will predict heart attacks before they happen, hope doctors

The left coronary artery is shown at the top of the image
The left coronary artery is shown at the top of the image
Published on Tuesday 24 April 2012 02:51

A NEW technique which could help predict heart attacks before they happen has been pioneered by Scottish doctors.

The method developed by medics at Edinburgh University combines the use of CT scans and special X-ray images to pick up dangerous levels of the calcium that blocks arteries.

Tests on more than 100 patients found the state-of-the-art pictures successfully identified those most at risk of cardiovascular disease.

It is the first time the processes that cause heart attacks have been captured directly in the coronary arteries.

Dr Marc Dweck, of Edinburgh University’s Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, said: “If we can identify patients at high risk of a heart attack earlier, we can then use intensive drug treatments and perhaps procedures such as stents to reduce the chances of them having a heart attack.”

There are nearly 2.7 million people living with coronary heart disease in the UK, and it kills 88,000 people each year.

Dr Dweck said: “The first presentation of cardiovascular disease is often a heart attack or sudden death.

“If we can get to these people before this happens, it is easy to see how we could save a great number of lives.”


Read the rest of this article here: Early warning of Heart attack

Read the clinical paper here: CLINICAL RESEARCH: CARDIAC IMAGING



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]


Australia tests Scottish ideas on remote health care

Ideas on delivering health care in remote and rural communities in Scotland have been tested in Australia.

NHS Highland
The team behind the project are in the running for a UK-wide award

The two-year Remote Service Futures Project has been completed by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and NHS Highland.

It looked at how communities could be involved in planning their health services.

The project’s suggestions on best practice have already been run as a trial in Australia, UHI said.

UHI and NHS Highland staff investigated the challenges facing rural heath care including staff recruitment and travelling times and costs for patients, families, carers and health professionals.

Their work has attracted international interest from academics and governments.

It has also been short-listed for a UK-wide award.

Article on BBC

Unprecedented call for shake-up of health service in Scotland


18 Feb 2011

SENIOR health service staff are calling for a radical shake-up of hospital services and a rethink of waiting time targets as budget cuts bite.

Calls for a shake-up of Scotland's hospitals as departments face axe under proposals

In a hard-hitting report being sent to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, senior managers with NHS Scotland say some hospital departments, including A&E, should be axed and other services centralised.

The unprecedented document lists a range of specialist treatments – including head injury care and organ transplants – which they say many managers and clinicians believe should be offered on fewer sites.

It demands an urgent review of the strategy to cut waiting times, revealing some senior officials believe the drive to slash the delay between GP referral and hospital treatment to 18 weeks this year will cost a lot without achieving much.

Screening men for a deadly weakness in the artery wall – which was due to be introduced this year – should also be reconsidered, according to the managers.

They stress changes are needed in order to avoid compulsory redundancies, pointing out recruitment freezes and reducing staff numbers through natural wastage will not deliver the shake-up required on their own.

It is rare for top NHS staff to say anything in public that might be seen as criticising ministers. However, the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) Scotland, which represents 90% of chief executives in the Scottish health service, has produced the report amid concern that people do not realise how tight NHS finances will become because politicians talk about “protecting” the health budget.

Rising expenses, including an annual hike of around 10% in the cost of prescription drugs and growing demand from an ageing population, mean health boards are facing real-terms budget cuts.

The report, which has already been sent to Derek Feeley, acting chief executive of NHS Scotland, says: “All of this will mean changes to the way the NHS operates on an unprecedented scale.”

Reconfiguring hospital services is repeatedly mentioned in the report, which notes consultants are concerned some specialist services do not treat enough patients or attract enough staff to meet quality and safety standards.

Martin Hill, secretary of IHM Scotland, said the way medicine was delivered had changed. He said some patients, such as the elderly, were being cared for at home more regularly, and that medical advances were making some forms of treatment highly specialised.

Click this link to find out more about the IHM in Scotland

Read the rest of this article HERE

The full text of the key paper Getting into Shape click the link below  [mc id=”775″ type=”file”]Getting into Shape [/mc]

Southampton cardiologist develops a 3D heart-scanning technique.

A screen image of multiplane review (MPR) 3D echocardiography
Dr Joseph Vettukattil pioneered its development at Southampton General Hospital

A leading cardiologist from Southampton is the first to develop a technique to “slice” 3D images of the heart into sections using computer software.

The method is known as multiplane review (MPR) 3D echocardiography.

It allows the user to identify heart defects more accurately than on traditional 2D or standard 3D scans.

Dr Joseph Vettukattil pioneered its development at Southampton General Hospital to identify heart abnormalities present from birth.

He said: “It helps us to cut the virtual heart (the image that the MPR 3D echocardiography produces) and slice it in any place we want, and expose the defects which helps us to understand what is wrong, and what we can do to fix it.”

Read the full article HERE