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Moray Digital Health Centre of Excellence launched as government ministers visit

At the launch of the Moray Digital Health Centre of Excellence were Irene McAra-McWilliam, Richard Lochhead, Reece Moyes, Iain Stewart and George Crooks. Photo by Paul Campbell.
At the launch of the Moray Digital Health Centre of Excellence were Irene McAra-McWilliam, Richard Lochhead, Reece Moyes, Iain Stewart and George Crooks. Photo by Paul Campbell.

The launch of the Moray Rural Centre of Excellence for Digital Health and Care Innovation was marked today with an official visit from Scottish and UK government ministers.

Moray MSP and minister for just transition, employment and fair work, Richard Lochhead, and parliamentary under secretary of state for Scotland, MP Iain Stewart, both attended the launch at Glasgow School of Art’s Highlands and Islands campus.

The £5million initiative, the first Moray Growth Deal project, aims to support the remobilisation of health and care services and the economic recovery of Moray through investment in research and innovation activities aligned to digital health and care.

Funded by the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council, the centre is a collaboration between the Glasgow School of Art and Strathclyde University, who will be spearheading the development and delivery of the projects alongside key strategic partners.

Specialist innovation skills

The Moray Rural Centre of Excellence for Digital Health and Care Innovation will house a state-of-the-art, demonstration and simulation environment (DSE) and an enabling cloud infrastructure, while there will also be a spread of five co-designed ‘living lab’ testbeds across Moray.

These will focus on thematic areas including co-managed health and wellbeing, care in place, mental health and smart housing and communities – reflecting the priorities identified through stakeholder engagement.

It is hoped that the specialist innovation skills offered will help support Moray to create a dynamic and creative digital health and care cluster, enhancing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and secure the provision of sustainable public services.

‘An exciting development’

Mr Lochhead said: “This is an exciting development that will boost Moray’s profile as a centre of digital healthcare and innovation with some of Scotland’s leading institutions coming together to make it happen.

“For many years Moray has been spoken about as an ideal location for testing
digital healthcare innovation given that we have all sizes of populations as well as being
largely rural at the same time.

“I hope that local residents are amongst the first to benefit from such innovations.”

‘This will have a particularly positive impact’

Mr Stewart added: “Digital innovation in healthcare has huge potential for improving the quality, accuracy, timeliness and cost of diagnosis and treatments in our NHS.

“This will have a particularly positive impact for Moray’s communities, who will benefit
greatly from advancements in remote medicine.

“The UK Government is investing £5m in this exciting initiative that will put the region at the forefront of new technologies and practices and is part of the £2bn we are putting into projects levelling up across Scotland.”

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