Researchers are co-ordinating a bid to secure up to €600 million for six centres across Europe – led by University of Edinburgh – to promote healthy living and active ageing.
The Knowledge Innovation Community (KIC), if funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, would involve experts from healthcare, business and research brought together to develop ways of delivering sustainable healthcare over peoples’ lifetimes.
The bid’s co-ordinators hope that the project could tap into Scotland’s expertise in digital healthcare, research and entrepreneurship to meet the challenges of healthcare, which are made more difficult when people live in remote areas.
Their bid will be submitted in September this year and, if successful, the ten year project could begin soon after. This would further cement Scotland’s position as a leader in the development of the global digital health market following the recent launch of the Digital Health Institute is making significant progress.
Speakers at the evening reception, hosted by Aileen McLeod MSP, included Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Professor George Crooks OBE, Medical Director of NHS24 and Chairman of the Digital Health Institute and Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh.
Guests included MSPs, parliamentarians, business representatives, and members of the LifeKIC consortium. These include partners from Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The event, Digital Health: Scotland’s opportunity in Europe, takes place at Holyrood’s Garden Lobby from 6-8pm on Tuesday 3 June.
Professor Mark Parsons, Associate Dean for e-research at the University of Edinburgh and co-ordinator of the LifeKIC bid, said: “People are living for longer, but this often means they experience illness late in life. We must plan effectively to manage the demand this places on healthcare resources, to ensure adequate care for all. Scotland is well placed to tackle this challenge, and winning support for our bid could help us deliver effective results for citizens across Europe.”
Professor George Crooks OBE, Chair of the Digital Health & Care Institute, commented “Digital health applications have been with us for many years and are having considerable positive impact in the service areas where they are already used. The challenge for us across Europe is to move from pockets of innovative practice to a position where digital health-supported services are regarded as’ business as usual’. We hope Scotland’s leadership position is increasing awareness, will aid the cause and create significant economic impact for our nation in the process.”