Technology Enabled Care (TEC)

About the Work Area

The Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme is an area within Digital Health & Care that enables Scotland’s citizens to benefit from a range of services. The programme focuses on citizen-facing solutions where outcomes for individuals in the home or community settings are improved with simple technology and devices. Digital options are being applied across health, care, and housing settings. The aims are to empower citizens to better manage their health and wellbeing, support independent living and deliver access to services through digital options. This includes an appropriate focus on service design, re-design, digital skills, and citizen engagement to promote and support the scale-up of digital services.

We have strong partnerships and collaborations including with government departments; local government; health boards; professional bodies, third and independent sector patients, and public advocacy. The strength of these collaborations is facilitating increased national capacity and supporting the acceleration of the implementation of digital options in response to the pandemic.

What the work area does

The TEC programme has a focus on several key areas, which are at various stages of majority including:

  • Connect Me – Remote Health Pathways uses simple technology and medical devices to enable individuals to share information about their health and wellbeing with health care professionals and/or automated monitoring services. This helps them to self-manage their condition or symptoms from home or wherever is convenient for them. In some situations, it also enables the transfer of information to help manage referrals, diagnosis, and treatment without the patient and health care professional always having to be in the same place or communicating together at the same time.
  • Digital Mental Health – the increased demand for mental health services is being supported through the expansion of digital services. This includes the delivery of digital therapies, rapid development of video-enabled therapy (via Near Me), and expansion of computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
  • Near Me Video Appointments  – provides an option to attend health, care, and other appointments via video call at home or wherever is convenient. The option to have a Near Me appointment is being rolled out across health, social care, housing, and the wider public and third sector.
  • Digital Social Care – are increasing their use of digital approaches across social care and social work, in both institutional and community settings.
  • Telecare – in partnership with the Local Government Digital Office and TEC in Housing, this workstream is providing leadership and support to drive transformation and innovation to deploy telecare services. This is being delivered in collaboration with telecare service providers, citizens, and other key stakeholders.
  • Transforming Local Systems – this Pathfinder Programme is adopting the Scottish Approach to Service Design. The aim is to help local partnerships to design preventative and (where appropriate) digitally enabled services, supports and self-management approaches with and for citizens.
  • Digital Inclusion – this programme aims to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to develop their digital skills and confidence, and can access an appropriate device and connectivity to do the things they want to do online. The new programme will focus on digital inclusion in Mental Health and Housing in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and Connecting Scotland.

Examples of work done

  • Connect Me – Remote Health Pathways – over 30,000 patients have used remote monitoring for hypertension with over half of Scotland’s GP practices engaged in our blood pressure scale-up project. Monitoring for symptoms and conditions including COVID-19, asthma, heart failure, and chronic obstructive, pulmonary disease are also available.
  • Digital Mental Health – 20 digital mental health treatments are available nationally, through referral and self-referral. These include treatments for depression, stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.
  • Near Me Video Appointments – 1.4 million video appointments have been undertaken across health, care, public, and third sectors services. Use was significantly increased during Covid-19.
  • Digital Social Care –  through the programme just under 2,000 digital tablets have been delivered to over 75% of Scottish Care Homes benefitting over 90% of Scotland’s care home residents. To support the role out there have been associated learning and training resources for staff and residents.
  • Telecare – supporting the imperative for telecare services to transition from using analogue to digital telephony by 2023. Other priorities include looking at areas of service re-design and transformation including using consumer technologies along with how appropriate use of data can help achieve better outcome for citizens.

Our work

The Digital Health and Care Directorate 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.