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Health points: NHS patients to get personalised healthcare advice through tv and games consoles

NHS patients in Scotland may soon be able to get personalised healthcare advice through their television or games console, under a new digital health project.

Living it Up (LiU) is designed to link patients' needs and interests with professional advice, local services, activities and events through devices such as TV sets, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and games consoles.

Video conferencing between patients and healthcare professionals is also being trialled in the £10 million project.

LiU was designed in consultation with a pilot group of 5,000 people, including 61-year-old Bernard McGuckin who is on the lung transplant waiting list.

He said: "Since I was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) I have been offered tremendous support that has helped my condition.

"LiU will give me the chance to share the things that have helped me manage my condition and hopefully this will in turn help other people."

Health Secretary Alex Neil met Mr McGuckin at the project launch at The Peak sports complex in Stirling.

He said: "LiU looks at care in a rounded way, not just treating people as patients but linking them into their local community and helping them to pursue interests that keep them healthy.

"That includes supporting people to live independently at home, one of our key priorities. That it is generally better for people's health and will also help our health service cope with our ageing population."

LiU users will be encouraged to help develop the local services they would like to have provided digitally.

It is now being made available in the Forth Valley, Lothian, Moray, Highlands, Argyle and Bute and Western Isles health board areas, with an expected 55,000 people using it by May 2015.

Professor George Crooks, medical director at NHS 24, said: "LiU is an ambitious and unique programme which will assist in the integration and effective delivery of health and care services, while empowering users and carers to actively manage their own health, care and wellbeing and maintain their independence."

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