Innovative solutions are being developed for teleheath and telecare initiatives in Scotland thanks to one million pounds of European funding.
The pioneering technology has already meant that many dementia patients at Abbeyfield Care Home in Ballachulish have had access to specialist mental health support without going to hospital.
Between 2006 and 2011, around 44,000 people took advantage of a telecare service, which ultimately helped to avoid 8,700 emergency hospital admissions and over 3,800 care home admissions.
The Scottish Health Secretary, Alex Neil, visited New Craigs Hospital in Inverness to see the dementia project in action and to announce the new funding.
“This project is a fantastic example of how using innovative technologies can reduce the need for hospital admissions,” said Mr Neil.
“Enabling people to be treated as close to home as possible, or in a homely setting, is a key priority for the Scottish Government. ”
The National Delivery Plan for telehealth and telecare was also launched by Mr Neil. The plan will enable more control and choice in health, care and wellbeing services for an additional 300,000 people by 2015, it is hoped.