Major changes in how we research, diagnose, and treat disease and illness are creating new challenges and opportunities that north east Scotland’s life sciences sector can lead in tackling.
The use of real-time health and genetic data in clinical settings, medtech advances, precision medicine tailored to each patient, how and when care is delivered, patient knowledge and expectations, and an aging population are important factors driving rapid change in medical science and healthcare.
North east Scotland’s academics, clinicians, companies and researchers are in a strong position to respond to these changes and develop new solutions – from new drugs and technology to the use of health data to inform decision making – that will transform healthcare in the decades ahead, producing better outcomes for patients and transforming how healthcare professionals work.
This evolving environment and the response of researchers and clinicians was highlighted by Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, Head of the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen, at a meeting of the ONE Life Sciences Network in Aberdeen today (Tuesday 4 February 2020).
North east Scotland has sector strengths including biologics, health data and imaging and a track record of commercialisation in these high-value areas through its company base.
Growing the sector is a regional and national economic priority with a goal of doubling the number of companies in and around Aberdeen this decade. Major investment has been secured to deliver the £40 million BioHub project on the city’s Foresterhill Health Campus. The delivery of the innovation hub, led and co-funded by Opportunity North East (ONE), will provide incubator space for new companies, bespoke accommodation for growing established businesses, and business growth support in a collaborative environment.
Prof Bhattacharya said: “Research and innovation carried out in Aberdeen – from the development of the MRI scanner to health data and economics – has changed the way we work in healthcare in the UK and internationally, impacting the lives of millions of people for the better. The exciting opportunity now, at a time of unprecedented change in medical science and healthcare, is for our academics, researchers, clinicians and companies, to be at the forefront of drug development, advances in technology and the use of health data to diagnose and treat patients in new ways and to improve the health and well-being of the nation. We are pulling together as a community to do this and the commercialisation of our innovation to get it to market will bring significant health and economic benefits.”
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