Care in a homely setting

We are living longer and require treatment for multiple long-term conditions. This, combined with lifestyle choices and rising costs of care delivery is creating a huge challenge for the NHS. More needs to be done to alleviate these pressures.


Increase in population aged 75 and over by 2039.

The challenge

Nobody enjoys going to hospital or regular visits to their doctor so we want to maximise opportunities to deliver care in a homely setting where appropriate.

Lengthy hospital stays don’t benefit the patient, their families or the state. They can be stressful experiences and often inconvenient, especially for people in remote locations such as the Highlands and Islands. Promising innovations in digital health offer us new opportunities to expand our options for care outside of a hospital setting.

There is therefore a need to ensure that our communities and homes have the infrastructure and tools to allow people to be cared for safely outside of the formal care pathways. At DHI, we are developing specific innovations that allow for the best care to be delivered in the home - efficiently and cost-effectively.

Innovating conventional methods of care

The majority of patients would rather stay at home than go into hospital, and there are many situations in Scotland where care does not need to be delivered in a formal healthcare setting. We must ensure that our homes are equipped with the technologies necessary to allow people to stay in their home for as long as possible as this will alleviate the pressure on health services and ensure that the care provided is much more comfortable for the patients themselves.

Home monitoring capabilities

These types of innovations allow for people to stay at home safely for longer, by monitoring their health in their home. They allow for pressures to be reduced on primary care services since people are being monitored from home.

Built environment

These types of innovations ensure that homes are dynamic and can adapt to the needs of the citizen over time. As people age they require more support. If homes can be adapted so that they provide this fluid approach, that would greatly reduce the pressure on social care services.

Palliative care

These types of innovations ensure that end of life care is as comfortable as possible, ensuring people can stay in their own homes during this difficult time. This technology provides varied levels of support for both the citizen and their families including pain management, communication tools, patient-reported requirement and many other aspects which will make the patient as comfortable as possible.

Virtual care/communication tools

These types of innovations allow for citizens to be able to reach out to health care professionals from the comfort of their own home but still receive the same standard of care. They will ensure that primary care services are only used when vitally required and virtual tools can take the place of other less pressing issues.


is the number of houses the SNP has pledged to build by 2020.

Potential solutions

The possibilities to create effective care in a homely setting innovations through our innovation model are great. Our solutions would look to address:

  • The development of exemplar self-management platforms
  • The creation of tools that allow for digital rather than face to face communication with healthcare professionals
  • Testing of these tools with users

Examples of the solutions that might address these challenges are:

  • A digital tool that allows for the remote-monitoring of home ventilation devices
  • A digital system that provides health services with an alert to indicate that a person with frailty may be experiencing difficulty at home


Engaging with the development of innovations in care in a homely setting provides many possible benefits including:

  • Providing care in a homely setting infrastructure will benefit people in the community
  • Improving the built environment for those with (for example) limited mobility
  • Allowing homes to be adapted as the needs of the citizens change

Supporting care in a homely setting innnovations

We offer support throughout the innovation process from concept development to adoption and finally through to integration into appropriate health and care setti

How we help?

  • 1Tell us your idea
  • 2Collaborate with our partners
  • 3Start innovating
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Our care in a homely setting projects

We bring together people and organisations in the health and social care, charity, technology, design and academic sectors to develop new ideas for care in a homely setting innovations. From a digital tool that allows for the remote monitoring of ventilation devices to a digital system that provides an alert to indicate that a person with frailty may be in difficulty. Take a look at our innovative projects.

View all case studies


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