In 2019, CENSIS was commissioned by the Scottish Government to explore and support the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Scotland’s key economic sectors.
We held workshops across key industry sectors as part of our FutureTech programme, and as part of this programme, we explored opportunities around IoT in a health context in Scotland. This included a huge range of subjects, such as medical wearables, providing support and care in the wider community, personalised drug development, and maintaining an efficient hospital or care facility.
If you haven’t hear of the term ‘Internet of Things’, in its simplest form, it is about connecting devices to the internet, and to each other. This includes everything from a FitBit or Nest thermostat in a domestic context, to industrial IoT used to enhance manufacturing or make improvements in areas such as asset management or maintenance.
Have a look at our ‘Getting started with IoT‘ brochure for more information and examples of IoT in use.
The benefits of using IoT in health and social care might include
IoT for health at home
Hospital at home is the concept of traditional care delivered in the home environment as an alternative to a hospital stay or to allow early discharge. Examples of this are clinical monitoring of chronic conditions such as COPD and diabetes.
To enable the move to home-based healthcare, IoT medical technologies are essential to allow clinicians to monitor patients in real time to understand changes in health condition.
IoT technologies can be used for
Wearables, coupled with and in-home sensor and communication networks, could help older people to live independently for as long as possible. The existing analogue telephone lines for telecare – currently used by 170k people in Scotland – will be turned off in 2025, presenting a major opportunity to the introduction and application of IoT and other digital solutions.
There is a Scottish wide programme run by the Scottish Local Government Digital Office, who CENSIS are working with to support innovation activities in this sector.
The following areas are examples of where IoT technologies can be used to enhance digital telecare
The smart hospital encompasses lots of different applications of technologies to enable the hospital estate to operate as efficiently as possible.
The following areas are examples of where IoT technologies can be used:
Asset and equipment tracking
Hospitals and health facilities range from some of the most complex buildings to doctor surgeries. There are many items that can be tracked with IoT technologies
There are a number of different types of technologies that can be used for tracking with each one dependent on requirements of the application. Common technologies used in tracking are Radio frequency identification (RFID), GPS, Bluetooth beacons and LoRa.
Within the healthcare industry there are numerous examples of where IoT technologies can assist with compliance within the healthcare system and estate.
Low carbon healthcare to reduce energy costs
Reducing energy costs across large estate is an area that IoT can enable better understanding of energy usage and control of the systems so that optimum comfort and energy performance can be met. The following areas are examples of where IoT technologies can be used:
Health and social care
We explored various areas of health and social care subjects within our CENSIS FutureTech programme.
This is an area where Internet of Things (IoT) technologies could deliver huge benefits and enhance people’s lives.
Within the FutureTech programme, CENSIS met with people from different sectors to hear their ideas about the transformative potential of IoT.
IoT technology will transform business operations across Scotland and impact every sector of the economy.
5 subject areas
The Scottish Government-funded FutureTech workshops were held across Scotland throughout 2019 in the subject areas of