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What is digital health?

Worldwide, models of health and care are struggling to meet the challenge of our ageing population. Digital health and care interventions are recognised as key to the solution in tackling this crisis.

Empowering us toward better health

By combining technology and the genomic revolution, digital health is empowering us to track, manage and improve our own and our family’s health and care environments leading to greater independence and improved health outcomes.

The use of modern technologies and digital services is not only changing the way we communicate, they also offer us more innovative ways for monitoring our health & well-being, giving us greater access to personal data for self-management.

Together these advancements lead us to a convergence of information, technology, people and connectivity which can improve health and care outcomes.

By innovating in digital health and care we can support our ambition towards:

  • Reducing inefficiencies in healthcare delivery
  • Improving access
  • Reducing costs
  • Increasing quality of care 
  • Making our health services more person-centred
  • Personalising medicine for each patient’s unique needs

Why care services?

Care services are just as important as health services. We are not only looking to transform how people receive health services but also care services.

Digital health can give people the opportunity to be provided with ‘smart care’ in a homely environment, meaning that they can live an independent lifestyle. Caregivers can be provided with adequate resources and tools to be able to manage care services effectively and efficiently, whilst people can be monitored in the comfort of their own home.

Disciplines in digital health

Digital health encompasses many sub-sectors including ehealth, mhealth, telehealth, health information technology and telemedicine, all of of which have one main goal, to make the digital health revolution a reality.

Mobile health

Mobile health (mHealth) is a general term for the practice of medicine and care delivery which is supported by the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology. With increased access to mobile technology mHealth offers the potential to promote better health and help people to achieve a healthier lifestyle. This in turn can help reduce costs by improving efficiencies in the health and care systems. With mHealth there are so many possible applications, including but not limited to, education, diagnostic support, helplines as well as remote monitoring and data collection.

Health information technology

Health information technology (HIT) is information technology, which is applied to health and health care settings. It supports health information management across computerised systems and the secure exchange of health information between patients and medical experts.


Wearables are clothing and accessories that integrate computer and advanced electronic technologies. Wearable devices are varied in the form they take, but can include activity trackers, treatments for hearing impairments, specific health issue monitoring etc. With rapid advances in technology, functionality and size, wearables offer great potential for personalised treatment and care.


Telehealth leverages a broad spectrum of technologies and systems around the remote exchange of data between a patient and their clinician. These approaches can assist in diagnosis and monitoring and are typically used to support patients with long term conditions.


Telemedicine/telecare is a term for offering remote care using telecommunication and information technologies. It can help eliminate distance obstacles and improve access to medical services that may not be routinely available to remote communities. As well as regular care it can also be used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.

Personalised medicine

Personalised medicine is an emerging practice of medicine that moves us away from the one-size-fits-all approach. Because everyone’s genetic makeup is slightly different this can affect our responses to treatment. Personalised medicine brings us closer to a more precise and powerful approach to healthcare which is customised to the individual needs.

Bring your digital health idea to life

Do you have a great digital health idea or technology you would like to develop?  We bring together people and organisations in the health and social care, charity, technology, design and academic sectors to develop new ideas for digital technology and information services, with the aim of improving the delivery of health and care services for the people of Scotland.

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