Experts at Strathclyde University and the Institute for System Level Integration (iSLI) claim that Scotland is in a good position to pioneer the next generation of global healthcare technologies.
The message comes as academics and businesses in the engineering, science and medical sectors are invited to attend an event next week to identify opportunities for the development of technologies such as wireless sensors for health monitoring and telecommunications for remote diagnosis.
The event has been organised by the university alongside Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices (SIMD), ISLI, the Wellness and Health Innovation initiative and Strathclyde Links.
Prof Patricia Connolly of the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices at Strathclyde University, said: ‘The need for new technologies to tackle healthcare problems and improve preventative medicine has never been greater.
‘With an ageing population, new devices are needed to help people manage existing medical problems at home and prevent new illnesses from occurring. The rise of home blood pressure and glucose monitors is an example of how people can monitor their own health to ensure early detection and prevent potentially life-threatening conditions developing.’
Connolly added that in a clinical environment, there is a demand for new imaging and diagnostic equipment, as well as intelligent medical devices for surgery and rehabilitation.
She said: ‘Scotland has a proven track record as a leader in electronic technology and a pioneer of medical devices. By bringing together expertise from the engineering, science and medicine sectors, we are ideally placed to meet the international demand for effective healthcare innovations. SMEs interested in working in this sector can also access support from the organisations sponsoring the event to help them enter the field.’
Janette Hughes, project manager at the Wellness and Health Innovation initiative, added: ‘Innovative application of new and existing technologies in a collaborative environment will play a major role in delivering the solutions to the challenges of providing a 21st century healthcare service. Collaboration between clinicians, researchers and commerce has been placed at the heart of improving patient care in Scotland’s E-Health strategy.’
The ‘Opportunities for Electronics in Healthcare’ event will be held at Strathclyde University on 17 September from 13.30 onwards.