Life Sciences

Digital healthcare, diagnostics and devices

Digital healthcare, ehealth and remote health are all terms which describe the use of information technology to help address challenges faced by global health and care systems. Challenges include an ageing population, a rise in unhealthy lifestyles, an associated rise in long term conditions and constraints placed on health and care budgets.

The Highlands and Island's new digital infrastructure is a key enabler to embedding technology in a way that enhances the delivery of health and wellbeing at a distance. HIE's significant financial investment represents an unprecedented opportunity to exploit this broadband network to design and develop initiatives that will support digital technology and promote geographical equality and inclusion.

View HIE's Delivering Digital Health in the Highlands and Islands brochure.

The Scottish Government's vision for healthcare sets out an ambition for achieving the sustainable delivery of healthcare services across Scotland with the aim of creating an integrated, preventative, personalised and community based model.  

The delivery of efficient, high quality services through digital media has been driven on a national basis by NHS24 (the only national healthboard in Europe with a remit to deliver services using digital technology), complemented by high levels of innovation in regional health boards.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise is working closely with partners in health and care to ensure Scotland is at the cutting edge of this global market.

LifeScan Scotland in Inverness is the largest Life Sciences employer in Scotland with around 950 employees. It is a global leader in the design and manufacture of glucose test strips and meters for monitoring diabetes.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise has worked closely with LifeScan and its predecessor, Inverness Medical Ltd, since 1995. The start-up of Inverness Medical was made possible with an investment in shares and around £5m in grants for building development by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

In our region:

  • Centre for Health Science: In a highly collaborative environment, the Centre offers a wide range of research and expertise, with access to clinical trials and contract research. The Highland Clinical Research Facility, Highland Diabetes Institute, Centre for Rural Health, NHS Highland Research Development & Innovation, the Highland Surgical Research Facility and Lipodomics Research Facility are all located under one roof. Alongside, five universities are active across medical, nursing and dentistry education. There are always opportunities for collaborative research projects in the Centre for Health Science, in particular in the areas of diabetes, genetics, telehealthcare and digital medicine, rural health, lipidomics and clinical trials.

  • University of the Highlands and Islands: The Rural Health and Wellbeing group aims to advance knowledge of health and health services in rural and remote communities. Using applied social science, the unit’s work in digital health focuses on how technology can be used in new ways to deliver health services in rural areas. This involves the design, testing and evaluation of technology to advance understanding of the digital infrastructure, organisational, professional and cultural barriers to the use of technology in rural services. The department of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Science is conducting extensive research, primarily into the causes and consequences of diabetes, but also into a wide range of clinical conditions; most notably cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. The department is also home to the Free Radical Research Facility, and has research expertise in genetics and immunology, and lipidomics. 

  • The Scottish Rural Health Partnership is a membership organisation which fosters collaboration, innovation and idea sharing between academia, education, industry, community and NHS, connecting individuals and organisations interested in remote and rural healthcare.

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