Andy Murray turns focus to global health as he becomes an ambassador for Scotland’s Digital Health & Care Institute
- Two-time Wimbledon champion and World No2 seeks to expand business portfolio
- Murray to become the International Digital Health and Wellness Ambassador for Scotland’s Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI)
- Philanthropic role will promote societal and economic benefits of digital health and care
- Digital health recognised by WHO as having major potential to improve global healthcare
- Global digital health market expected to be worth £43billion in 2018
- Partnership involves creation of new competition for student innovators
International tennis superstar Andy Murray has teamed up with one of Scotland’s leading innovation centres to highlight the potential of technology to provide more efficient and effective health and care services in the UK and across the world.
The Digital Health & Care Institute’s project portfolio is worth over £4million and includes over 100 projects engaging more than 50 companies, 15 of Scotland’s Universities, 25 third sector organisations and more than 1,000 members from over 20 countries.
Building on his personal interest in digital technologies to improve and monitor health and wellbeing, and with his recent experiences of working with start-up companies in the health, sport and wearable technology markets, Murray’s philanthropic involvement will raise awareness of DHI’s work with international digital health entrepreneurs and investors. He will also promote skills, educational and career opportunities in this emerging market for young people. Murray plans to also work with the NHS across the UK on campaigns addressing childhood obesity.
Murray is well known for his use of technology and data to improve his performance on court and has stated that maintaining his own health throughout the long tennis season is key to his success. As such, he is well positioned to champion the digital health message and his global popularity will help take the DHI brand and the work they do to a wider audience.
The Digital Health & Care Institute brings together people and organisations in the public, charity, technology, design and academic sectors to develop new ideas for digital technology that will improve health and care services. Its ambition is to address needs in Scotland and support companies to export proven technologies internationally, creating jobs and investment locally and helping other countries to solve similar health challenges.
Speaking of his new role, Murray said: “My partnership with the Digital Health & Care Institute has come about because I am really interested in how digital technologies can improve health. I obviously have a personal interest in that area because anything that can improve my own health will only improve my performance on court. The work that DHI are doing is changing lives and solving some really important health and care challenges, at home and abroad, and I am proud to be supporting their work.”
One of DHI’s current projects uses the camera and technology from Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller for games consoles to detect patient vital signs remotely. The ability to assess heart rate and blood oxygen levels at a distance using facial recognition could reduce the need for clipped-on devices and allow for measuring multiple people at once in real-time. This would help clinicians and carers to identify priority cases quicker and carry out routine monitoring more efficiently. The system is being evaluated at Victoria Hospital in Fife, Scotland.
Justene Ewing, Chief Executive Officer at DHI, said: “Our nation has a clear agenda to boost productivity through innovation and enterprise, so Scotland is the place to be supported and engaged in digital health and care. As a Scot with an international perspective and global recognition, we’re delighted that Andy sees the opportunity in supporting DHI’s aims of enabling dynamic and fast-paced transformation programmes for entrepreneurs to collaborate with the NHS in Scotland, third sector organisations, universities and citizens.”
A keystone of the five-year partnership will be an annual competition that challenges colleges and schools to solve a major health problem. The winner, to be picked by Murray and his chosen panel of experts after a two stage shortlisting process, will be developed into prototype and evaluated through DHI’s own innovation processes. Support will also be sought from Scottish SMEs and investors with a view to commercialising the successful solution.
Justene added: “We’re extremely excited to have Andy on our team and really look forward to building a strong relationship with him. His ongoing and increasingly active support for entrepreneurialism and innovation is a great asset. It’s inspiring to have someone of Andy’s profile and calibre committing to a partnership with us to promote digital health in Scotland, with all the potential benefits it can provide to the health and wellbeing of people at home and abroad.”
The Scottish Government’s National Clinical Strategy published earlier this year reported that current projections suggest that the population of Scotland will rise to 5.78 million by 2037, and that the population will age significantly, with the number of people aged 65 and over increasing by 59%, from 0.93 million to 1.47 million. The strategy sets out the demands that demographic changes will create, highlighting dementia and cancer as two key areas to be addressed through changes in the capacity and type of health and care services provided.
A Deloitte report for the UK Government found that the global market for digital health will be worth approximately £43 billion in 2018, with the UK accounting for around 7% of that. It also expects annual cumulative growth of 11%, driven mainly by markets such as mobile health and health analytics. Scotland is aiming to be a world leader in digital health and care with an estimated market value of up to £400 million by 2020.
Scotland’s vision as a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation is supported by numerous strategies including the Scottish Government’s innovation centre programme funded by the Scottish Funding Council, of which DHI is one, hosted by the University of Strathclyde. Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “Innovations in digital health and the way they are used can make a real difference to the lives and wellbeing of people across Scotland as well as offer tremendous opportunities to create jobs and support our economic growth.
“The research, innovation and technology supported and developed through DHI will have far-reaching societal benefits across the world and opens up a global market for Scottish entrepreneurs. I am extremely pleased that Andy will help raise the profile of Scotland’s excellence in this area given his own international profile.”
Another innovation in progress is a smartphone app to improve detection of atrial fibrillation, one of the most common heart conditions in the UK, affecting around 1 million people, and a major risk factor for stroke. The AliveCor® heart monitor Kardia® allows cheaper and more convenient assessments compared with traditional electrocardiogram devices. The app is being evaluated in 24 general practice surgeries across Scotland.
Justene Ewing is available for interview by arrangement.
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Notes to editors
- Formed in 2013 as a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Centre, the Digital Health & Care Institute brings together health and care organisations and technology firms to produce innovative new technologies that will improve people’s lives and contribute to Scotland’s economic growth.
- DHI’s administrative host is the University of Strathclyde https://www.strath.ac.uk/
- DHI was a finalist in the Market Gravity Innovation category at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards in 2015.
- Justene Ewing was identified by Holyrood Magazine as one of Scotland’s top 100 most influential people in technology 2015.
About Andy Murray
- Andy Murray, currently ranked the No.2 men’s professional tennis player in the world, is the British No.1, 2016 and 2013 Wimbledon Champion, 2012 US Open Champion, Davis Cup holder and reigning Olympic Singles Champion.
- From winning his first tournament as an under-10 junior at the Dunblane Sports Club to his first junior major at the US Open it became apparent Andy was destined for the top.
- After turning pro in 2005, Andy won his first ATP title, the SAP Open in San Jose, a year later. Fast forward two years and seven more tour titles, Andy reached his first Grand Slam final, the 2008 US Open. However in 2012, having lost in three subsequent grand slam final appearances, Andy became the US Open Champion.
- This was hot on the heels of an illustrious Gold Medal victory at Wimbledon during the London 2012 Olympics. Andy then ended years of British heartbreak on the same turf just a year later by becoming the first British male in 77 years to win the highly coveted Wimbledon Championships in London in July 2013. Andy added to his Grand Slam wins recently, with a second victory on the grass winning the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.
- Currently on 37 career titles, Andy is Great Britain’s most successful tennis player of the Open era, the first Briton to reach 500 ATP match wins and his maiden grand slam title ended Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion.
About Scottish Funding Council
- SFC launched the Innovation Centre programme in 2012, working in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, to support transformational collaboration between universities and businesses. The Centres aim to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship across Scotland’s key economic sectors, create jobs and grow the economy.
- Innovation Centres have backing from industry and draw on all of Scotland’s research expertise in the relevant sector to work on problems and opportunities identified by industry. They will add value through secondments, industrial studentships, spaces for collaborative work and shared access to equipment.
- Find out more at http://www.innovationcentres.scot/