Scotland's digital health innovation centre drives collaboration between public sector, citizens and private sector to make healthcare better in Scotland
The Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI) was set up in 2013 with funding from the Scottish Funding Council and is part of the Network of Innovation Centres in Scotland. DHI brings
together people and organisations in the health and social care, charity and technology, design and academic sectors to develop new ideas for digital technology and information
services that will improve the health and care services for Scotland's communities. In the summer of 2017, and following our funding from Scottish Government, we changed our innovation model and work processes to focus on identifying health and care-led problems where digital innovation can provide the greatest impact. We will help problem owners to visualise and explore creative solutions, translating the problems into more meaningful briefs for industry and academia. We will then match these briefs with those with the right capabilities, placing emphasis on quality, depth and real-world application. With these changes we are now working to achieve a needs-led approach instead a supplier-led technology and solutions approach. Our work with partners aims to reduce the pressures on health and care services while also improving the quality of life of the Scottish population in both urban and rural communities. We're working with Scotland’s senior health and care leaders, public sector, academia, charities and industry to co-design and co-develop service models and digital solutions.

Resources needed

£6.6m (8m Euros) from the above has been allocated to the delivery of the projects through the delivery of the initial innovation model.

Evidence of success

From the previous phase 1 Project portfolio there are:
• 44 new products/services (e.g. fitbit data integrated within MyDiabetesMyWay).
• 76 Interventions (eg. Troponin – ambulance based assessment of suspected heart failure).
• 50 Reports delivered (research areas such as health records, clinical decision support, next generation services, personal data).
• 6 MSc students have been funded by the DHI.

Difficulties encountered

The major challenge DHI encountered in their first phase of business was a lack of executive sponsorship either from NHS boards or Scottish government. This meant that the ~100 projects we funded found it very difficult to move into implementation without this senior buy in. This is now secured.

Potential for learning or transfer

Our new innovation model allows us to work directly with policy leaders, citizens and the National Health Service (NHS) to understand the problems being tackled. Our unique design-led activities allows us to tackle problems in the most efficient way so that the service produced is beneficial to all involved. Our Simulation and Demonstration environment allows all parties involved to be able visualize the new service models and how they will work.

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Main institution
University of Strathclyde
Eastern Scotland, United Kingdom
Start Date
April 2012
End Date


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