Published On: Sat, Nov 2nd, 2013 at 3:04pm

Digital Health Institute unveiled

Scotland’s new Digital Health Institute unveiled

Scotland’s pioneering Digital Health Institute, a consortium in which the GSA’s Institute of Design Innovation is a key partner, was officially launched in Edinburgh earlier this week to an audience of leading figures in the global healthcare sector and multi-national technology companies.

The DHI, a collaborative partnership between public and private organisations, brings together the country’s leading health and care operators and engages technology businesses across Europe, the United States and Asia to speed up research and development in order to produce innovative new technologies that will transform the quality of people’s lives and help Scotland become an exporter of world-leading products and services.
The event was attended by John Connaghan, Acting Chief Executive of NHS Scotland and Director General for Health and Social Care for the Scottish Government and Graeme Dixon, Director-General Enterprise, Environment & Digital, as well as representatives of international companies such as Samsung Electronics, IBM, Philips, Deutch Telekom Celesio, Continua Health Alliance and Lockheed Martin in addition to Scottish based organisations and businesses.
The delegates were given an insight into the DHI’s rapid prototyping model and shown examples of products and services already in the development pipeline, including award-winning video software company Seetok Limited and the ‘BabySam’ pilot which is soon to roll out a secure way for mothers to connect with their babies in neonatal intensive care units being produced in collaboration with Samsung.
The DHI, which is a consortium partnership between the University of Edinburgh, The Institute of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art and NHS 24, is supported by a £10 million five-year investment from the Scottish Funding Council.
Its long-term goal is to use digital technology to tackle the increasing demands on the health and care system in Scotland caused by an ageing population, while at the same time producing a direct economic benefit by securing a share of the global digital health marketplace.
By 2018 the DHI aims to establish Scotland as a world-leading centre of excellence in the field and help produce up to 140 new commercial products and services that will benefit society.
Professor George Crooks, Chairman of the Digital Health Institute and Medical Director, NHS 24 said: “A great deal of effort has been put in by all of the partners in DHI to establish a truly innovative organisation that will have a major impact on health in Scotland. By bringing together best practice from Scotland’s academic and business sectors then collaborating with the world’s leading technology companies and Scottish SMEs we can transform efficiency, improve patient care and solve long-standing issues in the healthcare sector. 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.”
BC Cho, Head of Global Enterprise Business Team, Samsung Electronics said: “We have established a unique partnership in Scotland and are already taking the first concrete steps towards exciting new innovations in mobile healthcare. The Samsung team has worked closely with the Digital Health Institute and its partners to understand the particular requirements of health and care, and then help turn them into solutions with value to the organisations and – most importantly – the people who will use them. We look forward to a productive relationship in the years ahead.”
Professor Stuart Anderson, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this initiative, which is an opportunity for Scottish expertise in health and care delivery, medicine, informatics, business models and design to work together with industry to help achieve fit-for-purpose integrated health and care in the coming decades.”
Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam of The Glasgow School of Art said: “The DHI is a transformational platform for creating business, academic, and public service benefits. The Glasgow School of Art is proud to be a partner in this enterprise, bringing our expertise in Design to direct innovation in the DHI Experience Labs.”
Alan Stewart, CEO of Seetok said, “We saw the potential of the DHI from outset and have been engaged from its inception. The team have been extremely active in making vital connections and introductions.  The DHI looks to be about generating real business opportunities – a very welcomed direct approach. This helps introduce small, innovative companies like us to large scale opportunities, partnerships or collaboration projects where we would otherwise not appear on the radar.”
Background information on DHI is available at http://www.dhi-scotland.com

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