International Engagement

About work area

Engagement with international colleagues working in the field of digital health and social care is essential in establishing positive relationships and building on Scotland’s global reputation for the quality of our digital health and care services.

Our vision is that innovation in digital health and care will help the Scottish population to live longer and healthier lives, while creating new jobs for the economy. Engagement with other regions and countries is vital to:

  • ​Identify development opportunities for Scotland and build relationships and partnerships to support the development of high quality digitally enabled services in Scotland.
  • ​Continue to represent Scotland in relevant international networks.
  • Learn from others and to capture and share good practice locally, nationally and internationally.

The role of the International Engagement Team (IET), which sits within Technology Enabled Care & Digital Healthcare Innovation, is to implement the activities in its International Engagement Action Plan.

The International Engagement Team (IET) has established an extensive network of relationships across the digital health and care landscape and works closely with a range of national and international organisations from: health, social care and housing, third sector, policy, academic sectors to develop sustainable digital health and care services.

The International Engagement Team (IET) supports the implementation of the Directorate’s Digital Health and Care Strategy and activities. The IET Action Plan focuses on:

Global Outlook and Reputation

  • Active engagement with Scottish stakeholders to promote benefits and opportunities for collaboration and knowledge transfer with international networks and stakeholders.
  • Undertaking speaking engagements and participating in relevant international conferences / events that promote Scotland’s reputation in digital health and care and integrated care.
  • Organisation of knowledge transfer and learning activities on digital health and care and integrated care between Scotland and international stakeholders.

Relationships and Partnerships

  • Active participation in international networks – promoting Scotland as an attractive collaboration partner and seeking out opportunities for knowledge exchange.
  • Developing bilateral relationships with international regions to maximise exchange of good practices, opportunities for research, innovation and identify new funding.

Securing Investment in Digital Innovation

  • Identifying relevant funding opportunities for digital health and care developments.
  • Securing new funding for digital health and care innovation activities in Scotland.
  • Working with enterprise and government agencies to seek and exploit international opportunities for Scottish SMEs and inward investment by international stakeholders’ in Scotland.

​The Team is based in National Services Scotland and is led by Donna Henderson, Head of International Engagement. To find out more about the Team’s activities and the International Engagement Action Plan for TEC & Digital Healthcare Innovation, please contact Donna Henderson and follow @TECScotland

What the area does

Within its Relationships and Partnerships area of activity, the IET participates in the following networks:

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Network IET Role
American Telemedicine Association Members of the International Special Interest Group
Digital Health Advisory Group for Europe (HIMSS) Member
European Health Telematics Association
President – Donna Henderson, Head of International Engagement Team
European Connected Health Alliance
Coordinating Thematic Innovation Ecosystems for Digital Health and Care and Integrated Care – Nessa Barry and Andrea Pavlickova, International Engagement Managers
European Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA) Treasurer – Andrea Pavlickova, IET
Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) Founding Members of the Telehealth Network
ICDA Treasurer – Donna Henderson, Head of International Engagement Team
International Foundation for Integrated Care
European Innovation Platform on Active and Healthy Ageing – Reference Site Collaborative Network

Example of work done

Under its Global Outlook and Reputation area of activities, the Team organises

  • Annual DigiFest conference
  • Digital Health and Care Learning Network

It also organises and supports knowledge exchange activities for Scottish and international stakeholders.

The Team also prepares mapping reports identifying international learning on specific topics, including:

  • Digital Inclusion
  • Digital Front Door
  • Digital Prescribing
  • Digital response to the COVID pandemic

Within the Securing Investment in Digital Innovation area, the IET identifies new opportunities for research, innovation, and it also co-ordinates digital health and care research and innovation projects, which include:

  • ACSELL (Interreg Europe)
  • mPower (Interreg VA)
  • iSimpathy (Interreg VA)
  • SCIROCCO Exchange (EU Health Programme)
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Project IET Role
ACSELL (Interreg Europe) Project Partner
mPower (Interreg VA) Co-ordinator
iSimpathy (Interreg VA) Co-ordination Support
SCIROCCO Exchange (EU Health Programme) Co-ordinator

Our work

The Digital Health and Care Division is involved in a wide range of work across health.

Our Strategy

Scotland’s refreshed Digital health and care strategy was launched on 27th October 2021. A joint initiative between the Scottish Government and COSLA, it outlines approaches to improve the care and wellbeing of people in Scotland.