£10m telehealth scheme announced for Scotland

300,000 households to benefit from rollout of telehealth technology over the next three years

Scottish Health Secretary, Alex Neil, has announced that 300,000 households will benefit from the rollout of telehealth technology over the next three years as part of a £10m government investment.

The programme is aimed mainly at elderly patients with conditions such as diabetes or heart and lung complaints and has been given the thumbs-up following a successful trial in Ayrshire.

The use of devices there saw a fall of up to 70% in hospital admissions as doctors were alerted earlier to any deterioration in a patient's condition.

To support more widespread deployment of the technology, a new innovation fund is being created that will finance the development of new innovations for use within health and social care services.

The Government will initially put £100,000 into the fund and it is hoped it will then attract further investment from Europe and the private sector.

"It's about making sure that we are at the leading edge, not just in the UK and Europe, but globally in terms of delivery of a high-quality service to our patients," said Neil.