Telemedicine/e-health applications have the potential to play an important role in Britain's National Health Service (NHS), including the NHS in Scotland. The Scottish Telemedicine Action Forum (STAF) was established by the Scottish Executive Department of Health in 1999 to take a range of applications, targeted on national priorities, into routine service. In the process it has provided insights into how advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be moved from the research stage into routine service. In this article four of the projects are described and analysed focusing on the key issues that have emerged as critical for carrying projects successfully through to implementation in service as follows:
1. A multisite videoconferencing network linking 15 minor injury units to the main accident and emergency (A&E) centre.
2. A single-site neonatal intensive care "cotside'' laptop system to assist communication between parents and clinical staff.
3. A single-site outpatient chronic disease management system.
4. A multisite software audit tool to support the care of cleft lip and palate patients from birth onward.