Demonstration & Simulation Environment

By Professor George Crooks OBE, Chief Executive at Digital Health & Care Institute.

The Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), is one of eight innovation centres and a national resource tasked with developing digital tools and services to address the key challenges in the provision of health and care across Scotland, while creating opportunities for Scottish companies to develop and market innovative solutions around the world. 

As digital technologies play an increasingly important part in our day to day lives, heath care is becoming no different. One of the key components that will deliver sustainable and affordable health and care services into the future is the ability to empower individuals to make better informed health and wellbeing decisions while at the same time supporting them to deliver more of their own health and care themselves.

Digital technologies are increasingly being recognised as being the key enabler that can unlock the knowledge, skills add experiences that each of us possesses and to make that available to benefit the individual but also their family and possibly the wider community in which they live. 

The DHI has built a unique technology environment based on an ICT architecture for the future. Our experts looked for best practice around the world, discussed with leading technology architects what their ideal future would look like and then using specialist Scottish businesses, built a specialist environment hosted in Glasgow.

Our demonstration and simulation environment enables policy makers, clinicians, patients and service users as well as academics and industry representatives to see what is currently possible and where future opportunities may lie.

DHI believes that the blending of citizen generated data made possible by the increasing use of smart devices in the home, smart phones and other wearable technologies, with formal health and care data will provide a much richer picture of us as individuals. This in turn will allow better decisions to be made by doctors, nurses and others directly involved in providing health and care services.

By presenting easily understandable information to a person, and their family, you can empower them to identify problems before they become significant, for example recognising that an elderly family member or neighbour is becoming at risk of falling or becoming increasingly isolated and vulnerable.

All these things are possible today using data and having the ability to interpret that data appropriately.

For this new world to add real value it is important to ensure that data is only generated from reliable sources, that it only flows from an individual to others with their specific consent and that the date flow is secure.  In other words, building trust is fundamentally important, and DHI is investing resources in developing models of technology enabled services that can be trusted. By anticipating future problems today, DHI can look to develop solutions that will enable Scotland in the development and delivery of digital services.


About Professor George Crooks OBE, CEO at Digital Health & Care Institute

Professor George Crooks is the Chief Executive of the Digital Health & Care Institute, Scotland’s national innovation centre for digital health and care. He leads an organisation that is tasked with delivering innovation in digital health and care that will help Scotland’s people to live longer, healthier lives and create new jobs for the economy. He was previously the Medical Director for NHS 24 and Director of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare. George was a General Medical Practitioner for 23 years in Aberdeen latterly combining that role as Director of Primary Care for Grampian. George is on the Board of the European Connected Health Alliance. He is currently a Board member and past president of the European Health Telematics Association. He is also an adjunct Professor of Telehealth at the University of Southern Denmark. George was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List 2011 for services to healthcare.


With thanks to Professor George Crooks OBE and everyone at Digital Health & Care Institute

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