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A Data-Driven Nation

In this month’s blog, our Head of Data David considers the growing applications of data and AI, particularly in healthcare.

It is fascinating to observe the rapid rise in the generation, application and acceptance of data across the whole economy. Having historically been utilised behind the scenes, we are now seeing it as one of the major drivers in the delivery of economic and societal advancement.

There is significant focus within Scotland on creating a prosperous data driven nation. The launch of Scotland’s Digital Strategy and Scotland’s AI strategy outline the roadmap looking to build Scotland as a centre of data excellence. In addition, the release of a Datacentre and Digital Connectivity Vision set out the intention to grow datacentre capacity in Scotland in a green and sustainable way. Scottish Government has committed to a £7m boost for supporting the tech ecosystem in Scotland as part of its plans to implement the recommendations in the Scottish Tech Ecosystem review.

Delivery of a suitable data infrastructure will enable the development of Scotland as a digital society grounded in the capture and application of usable data. Scotland has traditionally had a strong history in the application of data within sectors such as Finance and Law but looking forward, the rapid expansion of data applications within additional sectors such as Health, Climate and Geospatial through the introduction of AI and machine learning will create significant opportunities for service delivery and job creation.

Having seen the daily application of health data throughout the public health reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine development programmes the health benefits of data analytics are becoming much more visible.

Healthcare is the fastest growing global market for the application of AI. The recent purchase by Microsoft of Nuane Communications for $16 Billion as part of their AI driven Healthcare programme gives some indication of the vision for the global market. With significant AI based activity in the health sector, Scotland is well placed to develop these opportunities. Recent announcements regarding developments of cancer assessment tools by Canon Medical Research Europe working with the University of Glasgow and the development of wearable sports tech by PlayerData help to demonstrate some of the skills within Scotland.

The landscape and opportunities for AI companies will be discussed at the upcoming webinar that I am speaking at: “Exploring Artificial Intelligence Market Opportunities in Germany and Scotland” organised by Germany Trade and Invest in cooperation with KI BUNDESVERBRAND and Scottish Development International on Thursday 22nd April, 3.30pm to 5.00pm.

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