Scotland to benefit from digital health technologies as new fund is announced

Cash grants given to six teams to develop innovative people-powered digital solutions

The University of Edinburgh is one of the recipients of grant funding to develop its interactive mobile app to support parents and carers of children going through the autism diagnosis pathway

Health services in Scotland could benefit from AI-powered technology after six digital innovations were awarded funding.

The Healthier Lives Data Fund, a partnership between Nesta and the Scottish Government, aims to support innovative digital technologies that make data available and useful to citizens so they can lead more-independent lives.

And it has awarded six projects £30,000 each in an effort to help people in Scotland lead healthier lives and to encourage them to take more control over their health and care.

Each day rich health and care data is collected about us. However, much of the value of this data is not accessible to citizens themselves

The projects cover everything from dementia and COPD to autism and prostate cancer.

The fund comes in response to the rising availability of data related to health and wellbeing, as well as the Scottish Government’s ambition that everyone living in Scotland will have access to the digital information, tools and services they need to help maintain and improve their lives.

In addition to the financial support, Nesta will be working closely with the six teams over the year to develop and test their innovations, hoping to unlock the potential of a new generation of data-driven, people-facing digital technologies for health in Scotland.

The six grantees are:

  • Pharmatics, CareAI: This project will look to improve the lives of those living with COPD by using artificial intelligence to determine when people are likely to deteriorate, giving patients more control over their condition
  • Px Healthcare, Prostate Cancer app: After the success of its app for breast cancer patients, OWise, the company is hoping to develop a similar application for those living with prostate cancer, which will use patient-reported data to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of patients’ lives
  • University of Salford, Fan Fit: By targeting football supporters through their app, Fan Fit, the university hopes to improve people’s physical activity and therefore their overall health and wellbeing
  • Cognihealth, Cognicare: The aim is to use personalised AI-powered digital technology to provide solutions to dementia care, enabling early intervention and prevention and improving the quality of care for individuals and their families
  • NquiringMinds, Careteam PA: This project will give the cared-for person control of their data and empower them to selectively and securely share their health information with formal and informal carers
  • University of Edinburgh: The university hopes to develop an interactive mobile app to support parents and carers of children going through the autism diagnosis pathway

This new fund will put health and care data in the hands of people through a range of digital technologies, enabling them to manage their long-term conditions more effectively, navigate the complex autism diagnosis pathway better, or share their care data with the right people at the right time

Sinead Mac Manus, senior programme manager at Nesta, said: “Each day rich health and care data is collected about us. However, much of the value of this data is not accessible to citizens themselves.

“This new fund will put health and care data in the hands of people through a range of digital technologies, enabling them to manage their long-term conditions more effectively, navigate the complex autism diagnosis pathway better, or share their care data with the right people at the right time.

“We are pleased to be working in the partnership with the Scottish Government on this fund, which has the potential to inspire a new generation of people-powered digital health.”

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