Digital Telecare

Twinning solution

Strategic roadmap for digital telecare 

Twinning type

Partial adoption

Main policy priority

Digital tools for citizen empowerment and for person-centred care


Scottish Government, Digital Office for Scottish Local Government (Scotland)


University of Agder, Grimstad Kommune (Norway), Agency for Social Services and Dependency of Andalusia (Spain)

Short description

The critical role of digital technologies, such as telecare, in supporting people to remain living safely at home has been recognized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only very few regions in Europe have managed the transition from analogue to digital telecare services. This twinning brings together 3 regions, Andalusia (Spain), Agder (Norway) and Scotland (UK), all with well-established telecare services, to share their strategic plans and progress with digital telecare to improve their regional strategic and/or operational plans. The outputs of the twinning will be a strategic Digital Telecare Roadmap and a Citizen Pathway for Digital Telecare that will be relevant for EU regions that are implementing digital telecare. The twinning builds on long-standing collaborations between the twinning partners, through Memorandum of Understanding (between Agder and Scotland) and previous EIP on AHA Twinning (between Andalusia and Scotland). All partners are EIPonAHA Reference Sites and are committed to sharing the outcomes of their twinning experience with the EIPonAHA Reference Site community.


Twinning activities

As a result of a delay in finalising the project contract, the project did not kick off until August 2020. A Project Team, consisting of 2 – 3 representatives of the project partners, was set up in August 2020 and the project co-ordinator (Scottish Government) set up bi-monthly project team meetings, scheduled in advance for the duration of the project. During the interim reporting period (September – November 2020), the Project Team had 9 regular Project Team meetings. To facilitate effective management of the project, an Action Log was created and is updated following each Project Team meeting. To facilitate communication between the project partners, the project co-ordinator set up a Microsoft Teams channel and all project documentation is saved in the Files section. The project co-ordinator prepared a Dissemination Guidance document and a Dissemination Log for the project partners to ensure a consistent approach to project dissemination.


The process of knowledge exchange in this twinning provided the three twinning partners with valuable insight into the different stages of the analogue to digital telecare journey; the issues that must be considered at each stage; and the opportunities for new service models that digital telecare can offer. This partial-adoption twinning developed a generic “roadmap” (pathway) covering the transition from analogue to digital telecare services, and the relationship between digital telecare and telehealth services, based on the experience of the twinning partners who are at different stages of the digital transition process, and each dealing with a different scale of change. The learning and outputs from the project helped to improve awareness of the complex issues involved in the digital transition process, as well as informing the partners’ strategic planning efforts as they progress their development plans for digital telecare and telehealth services. The twinning partners also contributed to the development of a new Citizen Pathway for Scotland’s Digital Telecare Playbook (a digital repository of guidance, resources and tools), co-designed by the three partner regions. The Pathway is available to stakeholders via the Digital Telecare Playbook website – new users must request access to the Playbook here:

Added value and benefits

The expected added value of the twinning project was that it would give the twinning partners an opportunity to share their experiences of developing and delivering telecare services in their regions, and to inform their plans for moving to digital telecare and the further service innovation opportunities that this digital shift offers. In this twinning, the three partners each had something to offer the other partners, in terms of innovative service models, and so each partner was able to generate valuable learning outcomes / benefits for their own telecare services.

Barriers and success factors

The critical success factors of the twinning were: 1) the project partners’ willingness to be flexible and to adapt the project’s planned activities, in response to COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on their telecare experts’ time / availability. The partners had to agree to deliver the twinning activities virtually whilst trying to ensure that the knowledge exchange process was still effective. 2) The partners’ openness and honesty about their respective telecare services, the challenges they were facing and their plans for future developments. All partners willingly shared their knowledge, expertise and resources with the other partners. The main barrier to success was the COVID travel restrictions which limited our ability to organise study visits which would have enhanced the knowledge transfer experience.


The Digital Telecare Roadmap is hosted on the Scottish Government’s TEC.Scot website and will remain there for as long as its contents are relevant. The partners may choose to add new resources to the Roadmap, as and when they wish. The current collection of resources is of potential value to other European regions when planning their digital telecare service developments. The Citizen Pathway is “owned” by the Digital Telecare Office and it will be maintained and updated as required going forward.