One in four Scots unwilling to use digital means for health consultations

Written by Liam Kirkaldy and Sam Trendall on 6 September 2019 in News
News

Although most Scottish citizens believe IoT and smart technology will improve healthcare delivery, many do not want to use bots, conferencing, or web chat

Credit: Pixabay

Although a vast majority of Scots believe the use of internet of things and smart technologies will improve healthcare delivery, a quarter of citizens – including one in three Highlanders – are not willing to use any digital means to engage with a health professional.

A survey of 2,000 Scots, commissioned by Capita for the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN), found that 84% said their decision on where to live would be influenced by access to digital healthcare services, such as video appointments with a GP.

It found 47% would use a video link to speak to a healthcare professional, 20% would use a virtual reality nurse or doctor, and 17% would use a smart assistant or smart speaker.


Related content


But while 88% of respondents said they believed IoT and smart technologies will enhance healthcare provision, 25% of all Scottish citizens would not use digital technology at all to contact a healthcare professional, rising to 34% in the Highlands.

The survey found 62% would like to use smart devices, 46% smart furniture, 36% an ingestible pill (medication with a tiny sensor that can transmit data to a healthcare professional), and 22% would use a nursing robot.

NHS Highland innovation consultant Alan Whiteside said: “NHS Highland is keen to explore the clinical and non-clinical applications from enabling technologies – but research shows expectations around what technology can deliver are far lower in the region than the national average. This is not surprising, considering that in some Highland areas, residents struggle to even get 2G network reception.”

He added: “However, through IoT and smart devices, we can identify deterioration in health earlier which helps shift healthcare delivery from being infrequent and reactive to frequent and preventative. As technology continues to develop, we have a great opportunity to develop disruptive healthcare services in the Highlands that could also help enhance healthcare in other regions of Scotland.”

The SWAN programme was set up to establish a single shared network and common ICT infrastructure across Scotland’s entire public sector.

 

About the author

Liam Kirkaldy is online editor at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. He tweets as @HolyroodLiam.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

GDPR blamed for doubling of Whitehall’s recorded data breaches
8 October 2019

Some departments report vast increases following introduction of new data-protection legislation

AI fought the law?
4 October 2019

The relationship between artificial intelligence and the law is receiving ever greater focus – while somehow becoming less clear. PublicTechnology looks at the role that regulators and...

AI Week: How government learned to stop worrying and love AI
30 September 2019

A few years ago, artificial intelligence was barely on the public sector’s radar. Now, it is one of the most-discussed topics in all of government. To kick off our dedicated AI Week, ...

Related Sponsored Articles

Protecting what matters most: Security for growth
15 October 2019

Security can help you grow whilst protecting the very core of your organisation, writes BT 

Secure SD-WAN: Security by design
8 October 2019

BT looks at how to secure your SD-WAN services, starting with security by design 

Cloud security – it’s not black and white
1 October 2019

Nigel Hawthorn looks at how to review cloud use, report on risks and apply policies to reduce likely data loss incidents in this latest insight from BT

The CISOs and CIOs guide to securing networks in a digital age
24 September 2019

New network technology creates new risk, but the same technology is driving a step-change in how we think about security, writes BT