Scotland has one of the world’s most highly-developed health informatics systems, creating a wealth of linked and anonymised data to support research. Scotland’s robust e-health records system with a unique identifier for all patients, provides an invaluable data resource for clinical studies and product approval. Furthermore, the diverse geography across urban, rural and remote locations creates relevant test beds for product development.
This is further enhanced by an infrastructure and network of purpose built innovation centres and centres of excellence that connect industry with academics and health professionals, creating a world class landscape that enables innovation, testing, evaluation and scaling of health technology.
Innovating in Health Technology
Bespoke Innovation Centres including the Digital Health and Care Institute, the Data Lab and CENSIS work with companies active in digital health and care, big data and sensors and imaging respectively. The innovation centres connect industry to academic expertise in order to develop solutions to healthcare challenges. This includes preventative & proactive care, reforming urgent care, chronic pain management, the management of patients with long wait times for treatment and demand & capacity modelling to support scenario planning and resource utilisation across the whole system.
iCAIRD (Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics) is a world-class centre of excellence focusing on the application of artificial intelligence to digital diagnostics. The centre unites innovative SMEs with experts from academia and NHSScotland, enabling them to solve healthcare challenges more quickly and efficiently.
Test Beds for HealthTech Innovation
Scotland can replicate almost every environment in the world, from city-related problems with low life expectancy to rural and remote island healthcare challenges. There is an opportunity for companies seeking to work in a system with a proven track record of innovation management to reduce risk, cost and the time for agile development, testing and validation. There is also a current opportunity for companies to work with DHI’s unique Demonstration and Simulation Environment (DSE) – a unique physical space to experience, explore and test innovative digital capabilities and infrastructures in support of sustainable health and care transformation, with the focus on placing the person at the centre of care.
The national health service, NHSScotland, can act as a single access point for industry, providing dedicated innovation support for product development. What’s more, Scotland has a robust e-health records system with a unique identifier for all patients, providing an invaluable data resource for clinical studies and product approval.
Evaluating HealthTech Innovation
The Health Innovation Assessment Portal (HIAP-Scotland) enables prospective providers of innovative products and solutions to engage with NHSScotland at the earliest opportunity. This allows NHSScotland to assess how the solution might support Scotland’s strategic aims, and what the associated costs and benefits would be. You can register your solution via the HIAP website where it will be sent to experienced health care professionals with knowledge and expertise in the relevant area for a preliminary review
The Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG) provides evidence support and advice to NHSScotland on the use of new and existing health technologies which are likely to have significant implications for people’s care. The SHTG advisory council is made up of representatives from NHS boards, clinical and professional networks, academia, National Procurement and Scottish Government. The SHTG conducts independent reviews with the aim of enhancing health and social care provision across Scotland.
Scaling Health Technology
The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) at Heriot-Watt University is a world-leading centre for the advancement of medical devices. Experts can provide SMEs with advice on manufacturing, business development, regulatory issues and funding sources. Onsite facilities provide access to state-of-the art equipment to demonstrate manufacturing approaches suitable for your product concepts.
MediCity Glasgow is Scotland’s medtech incubator, designed to provide a nurturing environment for companies to commercialise opportunities across medtech, digital health, healthcare and wellness.
Inverness Campus hosts a growing cluster of companies focused on human and animal health, deploying innovative data and AI solutions. Business innovation and academic collaboration is supported through the Life Sciences Innovation Centre and complemented by an orthopaedic and ophthalmology elective care centre.
Edinburgh BioQuarter is adjacent to major acute teaching hospitals and offers fully serviced flexible offices. Co-location of academic and clinical research facilities provides an opportunity for companies to engage with world-leading medical researchers and clinicians for translational research.
Dundee Medipark is adjacent to a major hospital and offers businesses the opportunity to develop production and office space in a greenfield site close to the local biosciences research community.