By using a “Digital First” proposition and introducing more self-management platforms, it will be possible to take certain patient groups out of traditional care delivery.


of people with long-term conditions can be supported to manage their own condition.

The challenge

The ageing population and demographic shift that is occurring in Scotland and the rest of the world necessitates the evolution of health and care services more than ever before.

Long term conditions are becoming increasingly more prevalent and self-management is vital to the patient’s health and wellbeing, as well as being instrumental in alleviating the pressure on the health services.

It has been said that the health service must improve in efficiency by 35% or £3.5Bn a year. The current health and care infrastructure cannot deliver these efficiencies, and an integration of health and social care services is required. The potential of digital health solutions to help deliver on these outcomes is therefore fundamental.

There is a plethora of new policies within Scotland driving towards a health service which is person-centred and therefore empowers people to be able to better self-manage their long term care. This shift away from a paternalistic health service into a service where the people can take a more proactive role in the management of their care opens a myriad of possibilities for innovative self-management services that can engage and empower patients and clinicians towards a healthcare partnership approach.

Taking care of ourselves

As one of our key strategic areas for improvement and critical to the Scottish Government's Quality Strategy (which sets out a 2020 vision for a safe, effective and person-centred health service), we believe self-management services would have a large impact on the delivery of health and social care in Scotland.

Long term condition monitoring 

Long term conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease require a large amount of self-monitoring and would therefore benefit from enhanced self-management services. Through the use of digital self-management tools, a large amount of real-time data would be available to give a better understanding of the condition rather than disjointed data from several different clinical settings.

Digital communication

The clinician would have access to the self-monitoring data remotely, therefore providing a care path that does not rely on physical appointments but is a continuous observation of the person’s health and wellbeing.

Lifestyle data

Through opening application programming interfaces (API’s), lifestyle data can be used to improve health and care. This involves integrating data from a patient’s personal data store into the NHS’s statutory store, allowing a more complete picture of the citizen’s health. This has real potential to reduce the burden on the NHS and empower citizens through increased knowledge and data ownership. Tackling this challenge of connectivity can give people more control over the management of their condition.


million people used a healthcare app in 2015.

Potential solutions

The possibilities to create effective self-management 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 platform that allows the citizen to track measurements relating to a condition e.g. diabetes. These measurements can be viewed both by the citizen and clinical support team
  • A digital tool that allows for a combination of NHS data (e.g. GP record) and the citizen’s personally held data (e.g. wearable device data) to be loaded onto the same platform in order to have a more complete view of the citizen


Engaging with the development of innovations in self-management provides many possible benefits including:

  • Taking unnecessary pressure away from primary care services
  • Reducing NHS expenditure
  • Improving clinical outcomes
  • Connecting data profiles allowing for predictive analytics

Supporting self-management innovations

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

How we help

  • 1Tell us about your idea
  • 2Collaborate with our partners
  • 3Start innovating
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Our self-management projects

We bring together people and organisations in the health and social care, charity, technology, design and academic sectors to develop new ideas for self-management services. From a digital wellness framework which supports physical activity for patients after a knee or hip replacement to a digital tool that allows for non-statutory data and statutory data to be loaded onto the same platform in order to have a more complete view of the person. Take a look at our innovative projects.

View all case studies

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