Scotland Policy Conferences

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Digital health services and growing the life sciences sector in Scotland

Morning, Tuesday, 18th June 2024


This conference will focus on:

  • the way forward for digital innovation and the use of data to improve health care in Scotland
  • priorities for growing Scotland’s life sciences sector

It will be an opportunity to discuss The Scottish Government’s Greater access, better insight, improved outcomes: a strategy for data-driven care in the digital age, published last year, alongside the Care in the Digital Age: Delivery Plan 2023-24.

The discussion also take place as The Scottish Government’s National innovation strategy 2023 to 2033 is implemented, with a new strategy expected by 2025.

The Care in the Digital Age strategy aims to improve services through enabling health and social care providers to effectively and securely access, use and share data to support planning, research and innovation, and ensure that individuals can see and manage their own data. The delivery plan aims to help health and social care providers to achieve this.

Delegates will examine progress, outstanding issues, and priorities going forward for the development of data and digital health.

Those attending will discuss strategic options for tackling challenges raised by stakeholders, including developing digital infrastructure to enable growth at scale, as well as maximising access for all to health innovation, and fostering collaboration and engaging citizens and health and social care professionals in the development and integration of digital health and data innovation.

The agenda also looks at strategies for supporting the health and social care workforce so that they are empowered to engage with and benefit from system innovation, including priorities for training and professional development, as well as driving collaborative working and ensuring that those working in services share in benefits of success.

The conference will also be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to assess priorities and next steps for the life sciences sector in Scotland.

Delegates will discuss how Scotland invests in life sciences and health innovation, key priorities for benchmarking value, engaging SMEs and businesses, and what an increased focus on healthcare innovation could mean for economic productivity.

Further sessions will discuss priorities for regulation and the support innovators will need in bringing products to market, next steps for integrating innovation within the National Health Service, and fostering more integrated working between health boards.

Keynote speakers who have agreed to take part include: Jonathan Cameron, Deputy Director, Digital Health and Care, The Scottish Government; Professor George Crooks, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre; and Albert King, Chief Data Officer, NHS National Services Scotland. We are confirming their availability in the run-up to the UK General election.

Further speakers include: Louise Coupland, Alliance Scotland; Elaine Gemmell, InnoScot Health; Dr Robyn Gunn, NHS Fife; and Layla Robinson, Research Data Scotland.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • digital health and data innovation: assessing the current delivery landscape and next steps - lessons in implementation so far - effective change management - attracting investment and funding
  • addressing system challenges: utilising data and health innovation to streamline care and help address waiting lists - capitalising on advances in telemedicine - options for more personalised care
  • data: priorities for a smart and connected data ecosystem - options for integrated patient records and enabling delivery of remote healthcare - empowering patients in engaging with health data
  • access: strategies for easier access to health data for public and health and social care providers - listening to service users and data champions to inform future direction - data protection
  • infrastructure: updating legacy systems - change management - the path to integrated patient records - supporting innovation within health and social care partnerships
  • key growth enablers: regulatory assistance and sandboxes - data democratisation and protection - next steps for the Life Sciences Strategy - benchmarking investment - growing life sciences R&D
  • workforce priorities: education, training and skills development - data literacy - opportunities for CPD, collaborative working and knowledge sharing 
  • wider impact: potential for city deals to assist in the development of Scotland’s life sciences sector - priorities for key innovation growth areas, such as future medicines manufacturing and precision medicine

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues in the presence of key policy officials who are due to attend from The Scottish Government; CSO; DHSC; and DBT.

Keynote Speakers

Professor George Crooks

Chief Executive Officer, Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre

Jonathan Cameron

Deputy Director, Digital Health and Care, The Scottish Government

Keynote Speakers

Professor George Crooks

Chief Executive Officer, Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre

Jonathan Cameron

Deputy Director, Digital Health and Care, The Scottish Government

Albert King

Chief Data Officer, NHS National Services Scotland


Layla Robinson

Chief Partnership and Strategy Officer, Research Data Scotland

Dr Robyn Gunn

Head of Laboratory Services, NHS Fife

Elaine Gemmell

Head of Regulatory Affairs, InnoScot Health

Louise Coupland

Digital Health and Social Care Programme Manager, Alliance Scotland