Turning Science Fiction Into Reality – A spotlight on the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI)

Guest Blogger, Grant Reilly:  “Grant is a Chartered Marketer and communications professional with a passion for branding and creating engaging content that adds value to the customer experience and has a positive impact on society.  He also has 15 years’ leadership and management experience of high performing communications teams within the Sport, Charity, Public Sector, Higher Education and Recruitment sectors.”

 

Imagine the following 2 scenarios:

  1. Being a Type 1 Diabetic for 27 years who instantly goes from a history of 147,825 tests finger prick blood glucose tests (over their lifetime) to 0 new blood glucose tests, by wearing a wrist sensor that constantly monitors blood glucose levels without the need to pierce your skin and draw blood.
  2. Using Xbox technology paired with in-room sensors that monitor your individual data in the privacy of your own home, and advise you of minor changes in your body to help you act (e.g. be more active or seek help if something more serious happens).

 

These stories are no longer science fiction, but a reality, and are included in innovative projects being supported by the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI).

 

As the Type 1 Diabetic, I find this one of the most significant changes in my lifetime, in the world of diabetes management. It will allow me to take ownership and be accountable when making more informed decisions on my condition in terms of what positively and negatively affects my blood glucose and how best to dose my medication to ensure constant control, better long-term health and hopefully less reliance on NHS services in later life.

 

The DHI is a pioneer in the health and social care field, and plays a pivotal role in combining world-leading industry and academic expertise with technology, service, and design innovation to create person-centred digital health and care solutions to positively impact society.

The vision is to help the Scottish population to live longer and healthier lives, whilst creating economic opportunities and jobs in the sector. All solutions are scalable and have replicable business models that allow for global adoption if successful.

The DHI is currently focusing on several key solutions to health and care challenges that impact the society including:

  • Providing a scalable solution to allow a mini camera contained in a pill that can be swallowed, avoiding the need for more invasive procedures and allowing for the timing of any investigations to be more flexible
  • Creating a complementary and integrated suite of digital tools and services to empower individuals to prevent the onset of diabetes
  • Linking specialist devices to mobile devices that will detect users risk of having a stroke and allowing them to access preventative medicine to minimise the risk
  • Utilising 5G technology to create a smart inhaler that will allow more personalised and effective treatment plans and early warning of an imminent asthma attack

 

With the rise of digital technology and more sophisticated strategic partnerships, there is a clear opportunity to develop smarter solutions to longstanding health and care issues, that will positively impact society.

 

However, to increase success rates there is a clear need to ensure we continue to empower our workforce and communities with basic digital training courses to enable them to understand and make the most of the opportunity to help themselves.  This is a separate piece of work which will require partners who can help develop and roll out programs on a regional, national and potentially global scale to reduce the digital skills gap in the workforce.

 

DHI is working to inspire the next digital health and care innovation. They want to engage the next generation of potential partners who can offer specialist skills, experience, services and technologies that can be utilised and shaped into the next solution.

 

From my experience, there is no greater satisfaction than working with teams of passionate individuals, from different (and sometimes specialist) backgrounds and skills, to develop solution(s) to these challenges.

 

If you want to showcase your capabilities and work collaboratively to make a positive impact to society you can get more information on opportunities via their website.