Rural Health and Wellbeing

Technology and Rural Health | Community Wellbeing | Rural Services Provision

The Rural Health and Wellbeing group (RHW) is part of the Institute of Health Research and Innovation and aims to advance knowledge of health and health services in rural and remote communities. Those communities currently face a number of important challenges including:

  • changes in demography;
  • changes in the nature of health care provision;
  • and increased expectations of the community.

RHW is developing the evidence base for rural health care by :

  • carrying out relevant primary research;
  • developing collaborative research with social scientists, geographers and policy researchers;
  • and bringing the international perspective through appropriate collaborations.

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership (SRHP), formerly known as the Scottish School of Rural Health & Wellbeing, is currently being hosted by The Rural Health and Wellbeing group; read more about the work of SRHP.


The Rural Health and Wellbeing research group carries out innovative research and evaluation in the area of rural health, health services and community wellbeing. A part of the Institute of Health Research and Innovation, the group collaborates with other researchers in Inverness, Moray and Lews Castle Colleges as well as being a member of the Digital Health Institute and RGU-UHI collaboration.

We aim to contribute to the knowledge base on preventing ill-health and promoting wellbeing. Our research not only enhances understanding of patterns and experiences of health, illness and their underlying drivers, but also contributes to the development of health services policy and delivery that functions in as effective and appropriate ways as possible for staff, patients and families.

We achieve this by addressing real life policy and practice challenges through close collaboration with policy makers, health service staff and communities. Using the humanities and social sciences, our team works with the public and third sectors to engage users and health professionals in services design and evaluation. This has helped us further the understanding of the challenges inherent in health and care service provision in rural areas.

Using applied social science, the unit’s work in digital health focuses on how technology can be used in new ways to deliver health services in rural areas. This involves the design, testing and evaluation of technology to advance understanding of the digital infrastructure, organisational, professional and cultural barriers to the use of technology in rural services.

Our themes

Health and Wellbeing Services Design and Delivery

  • Digital health: the role of technology in health and social care
  • Community engagement and co-production
  • Diabetes services
  • Older people's services

Promoting Health and Wellbeing

  • Health behaviour change
  • Diabetes prevention and physical activity promotion
  • Health and wellbeing promoting environments

Contact us

Rural Health and Wellbeing

Centre for Health Science
Old Perth Road 

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t: +44 (0)1463 279573

Head of Group:
Senior Researcher:
General Enquiries:

Alexander Graham Bell Centre for Digital Health

University of the Highlands and Islands
Moray College UHI
Moray Street
IV30 1JJ

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t: +44 (0) 1343 576475