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Realising the benefits of digital technology: citizen-led innovation for health and wellbeing - a scoping report for Scottish Enterprise and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)


The report aims to scope existing stakeholders in the digital landscape; describe the current role of the third sector; and identify the benefits, opportunities and barriers to encouraging citizen-led innovation for health and wellbeing.


The research for this report involved wide-ranging conversations, rather than structured interviews, with representatives of Scottish Government, third sector organisations, design schools, universities and Scottish businesses.


The report emphasises the wide-ranging role of digital technologies in health and care innovation from creating markets for investment to enabling sharing of ideas and best practice, and developing digital solutions for health care. It also discusses how digital practices can be used in gaining funding for projects and how they can help to transform the delivery of services, particularly in the third sector. The report identifies potential barriers to digital innovation including cost, time and a skills gap; and explores how to encourage innovation through building skills. It highlights the importance of funding models and building skills within both business and the third sector, and discusses how creating spaces for innovation and recognising the importance of good strategy and planning can also help facilitate innovation and partnership working. The report considers how citizen led innovation can be facilitated across a number of sectors to explore ideas and highlights the importance of participation and how it can be promoted using innovation labs, social innovation labs and digital forums. The research reveals that while models of citizen participation, events and networks exist in Scotland, awareness of these is lacking.


The report outlines several recommendations including the creation of an innovation lab and the organisation of events to disseminate information on digital health innovation and promote citizen participation in digital technology innovation. The report also recommends that shared guidance be produced for business and the third sector to outline the principles of co-production and design and that work be done to identify the digital skills gap within the third sector and how this can be addressed. The report highlights some key initiatives which it also recommends business and the third sector engage with to aid development including Our Voice, Charity Hack Scotland and the Dundee based Academic Health Science Partnership.

Author Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
Published Year 2016
Report Type Research
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies