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Scotland’s health informatics capabilities

Scotland has one of the most highly developed health informatics systems in the world and a long tradition of using linked health service data for research including:

  • Evaluating interventions to deliver patient benefit
  • Measuring long-term outcomes in clinical trials
  • Assessing the safety of new medical interventions
  • Supporting understanding of patterns of health and illness across the whole population.

Few other countries have systems that combine high-quality data, consistency, and national coverage with the ability to link data to allow patient-based analysis and follow up.

This is further enhanced by:

  • Invaluable information on disease incidence by sex, age and geographical location - gathered, verified and presented by the Information Services Division (ISD). This information can be used to undertake high-level clinical trial feasibilities to quantify the initial number of potential candidates for potential trials
  • A Health and Biomedical Informatics Research Strategy for Scotland to enhance research capability in health informatics for patient and public benefit, recognising the importance of stratified medicine, advances in information technology and the increasing complexity of the molecular understanding and treatment of disease
  • The development of a Scottish health and care ‘national digital platform’ linking relevant real-time data and information from health and care records.