Talk will explore how new technologies could benefit Highlands and Islands

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Professor Maged Kamel Boulos

Disney’s latest animation, Big Hero 6, tells the story of a boy and his personal healthcare robot, Baymax. A forthcoming lecture from the University of the Highlands and Islands suggests that such developments may not be that far away as a new era in smart devices could have huge advantages for health, wellbeing and wider aspects of society.

An expert in digital health will discuss how developments in technology and the internet could revolutionise life in the Highlands and Islands at a free lecture next month.

Professor Maged N. Kamel Boulos, chair of digital health at the University of the Highlands and Islands, will consider how the Internet of Things, a concept which aims to link items such as medical devices and household appliances with the internet, could be used to improve healthcare, the environment and the governance of the region.

Professor Kamel Boulos explains: “In this age of Internet-of-Things-powered smart cities and smart health and social care services, there is no reason why the populations of smaller and rural settlements should be left lagging. Smart technologies can help to reverse the ‘brain drain’ from the countryside and smaller towns by making them more connected and attractive to young professionals, with better services, akin to those found in larger metropolises. They can also help people better help each other and can play a major role in reducing the social isolation of older people.”

Anticipating the lecture, Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “This promises to be a fascinating event. Professor Kamel Boulos is an expert in his field and will be speaking about some of the most cutting-edge developments in digital health. His scholarship is a fantastic example of how the university’s research excellence is based on and can contribute to the environment, culture, industries and social infrastructure of the Highlands and Islands.”   
Professor Kamel Boulos will deliver his inaugural professorial lecture at the Alexander Graham Bell Centre in Elgin, a new £6.5 million facility for digital health and life science based at Moray College UHI.

The talk, entitled “Creating a self-aware, smart and healthy Highlands and Islands region using the Internet of Things and people”, will take place from 5:15pm to 7pm on Thursday 2 April and will also be available by video conference. To find out more, visit