Scottish Government and NHS announce partnership to test new tech

Programme to support SME growth will work with health test bed initiative

The Scottish Government’s Tech Scaler programme has partnered with the NHS Test Beds network.

Established by the Scottish Government last year – and backed by a £42m contract with Edinburgh-based tech incubator CodeBase – the Tech Scaler programme will see seven hubs set up around the country to support tech start-ups to grow their business.

The NHS Test Bed programme, meanwhile, was created to allow health-service organisations to work with partners in industry and academia to conduct small-scale tests of new uses of digital technologies in real-world settings.

Under the terms of the new partnership, firms taking part in the NHS scheme will be added to the network of companies being supported by the Tech Scaler initiative.

Scottish tech SMEs, meanwhile, will be offered opportunities to work with health professionals to test out the use of their products and services. Such firms will also be provided with opportunities to access anonymised patient data.

The partnership was announced by Scottish Government minister for the wellbeing economy Neil Gray during a visit to Bioliberty in Edinburgh, a robotics firm which specialises in technology to support rehabilitation for patients recovering from a stroke.

The company will be one of 14 firms that will soon go on a Scottish Government-funded visit to New York to showcase their work.

Gray said: “Scotland’s life sciences sector has an annual turnover of more than £8bn and is one of our key sectors for transformative economic growth. This partnership will be able to leverage our world-leading universities, life sciences hubs and excellent healthcare systems to support the growth of the sector and the development of entrepreneurs. Testing products in a real-world environment and accelerating development is vital and will enable a broader reach of the Tech Scaler programme. This in turn will benefit patients and medical staff as they develop cutting-edge technology for use across the NHS, from stroke and rehabilitation through to reducing drug-related deaths. It is a further example of the steps we are taking as we develop a sustainable, high-skill economy that works for everyone.”

Scotland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Logan added: “By making this connection between health testing and business support, we create an environment for innovation which enables Scottish companies to compete effectively, whilst bringing much-needed treatment solutions to the NHS.”

PublicTechnology staff

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