The Scottish Health Secretary, Alex Neil, has announced the investment of an additional £10 million (about US $ 15 million) to support home health monitoring solutions across Scotland, the BBC has reported. This additional funding for the NHS Boards will enable people to use technology such as tablet computers and smartphones to monitor conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and lung problems at home, the report added.
In 2011, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy in Scotland set out her strategic vision for achieving sustainable quality in the delivery of healthcare services across Scotland, in the face of the significant challenges of Scotland’s public health record, changing demography and the economic environment. The Scottish Government’s 2020 Vision is that by 2020 everyone is able to live longer healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting and, that Scotland will have a healthcare system where, amongst other goals, there will be a focus on ensuring that people get back into their home or community environment as soon as appropriate, with minimal risk of re-admission.
Mr Neil’s announcement was made during a debate in the Scottish Parliament entitled ‘Update on Delivering the 2020 Vision in NHS Scotland’. Mr Neil claims past efforts in telecare and telemedicine have meant that £2.8 million has been “ploughed back” into Scottish frontline services and reduced emergency admissions to hospital by 70 per cent.