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.”

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