Sharing and collaborating at Ecosystem: Digital Health in the North

Digital Health Ecosystem Event

Delegates from across the North of England met in Manchester on 26 September for a day of knowledge sharing and collaborating focusing on Digital Health.

Health Innovation Manchester was joined by fellow Academic Health Science Networks the Innovation Agency, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and North East North Cumbria AHSN at a collaborating Ecosytem.

The event, held at Manchester’s King’s House Conference Centre and run in partnership with the European Connected Health Alliance, featured a variety of NHS and industry speakers discussing the latest thinking, new developments and innovations. It also gave attendees the opportunity to discuss adoption and spread with innovations and learn more about how the AHSNs are working to bring innovations into the NHS.

Following a welcome and introduction from representatives of each AHSN including Richard Stubbs (Chief Executive Officer, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN), Liz Mear (Chief Executive, Innovation Agency), Linda Whalley (Strategic Advisor, Health Innovation Manchester) and Seamus O’Neill (Chief Executive Officer, AHSN North East and North Cumbria), the event paused to pay tribute to Keith Chantler, Director of Innovation at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, who sadly passed away last week.

Keynote speeches were led by Bleddyn Rees (Director, European Connected Health Alliance), who explained how the goal of the ecosystems was to create mutually beneficial partnerships to improve health and how three billion people could potentially benefit from a Commonweath & European collaboration. He said: “Organisation in the North have the opportunity and ability to collaborate and rise above self interest.”

Paul Rice, Head of Technology Strategy, NHS England, then discussed future opportunities within digital and how they could help to transform the NHS and improve the care and experience of patients. It was then followed by a talk on digital opportunities within academia from Sarah Rogers, Professor of Health Informatics at the University of Liverpool.

The audience posed questions to the expert panel, including health collaboration post Brexit, patient and public inclusion within digital technology and “inclusion by design”.

Each area then had the opportunity to showcase one of their Northern Digital Assets with talks from:

  • Dr Victoria Betton (Managing Director, mhabitat) on collaboration and codesign in digital health
  • Chris Chapman (Digital Ecosystem Lead, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust) on the Salford Experience of becoming a Global Digital Exemplar
  • Louise Wilson (Programme Manager, Great North Care Record) on how sharing information across the NHS can mean clinicians have the right information at the right time to give patients the right care and their experiences rolling out the system
  • Matthew Gardner (Programme Manager IT Transformation, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust) who explained “The Liverpool Way” and establishing a culture of innovation on their digital journey to becoming a Global Digital Exemplar

Finally the audience heard quick three-minute pitches from SMEs with digital innovations who are currently working within the system, with each business explaining how their ideas can make a difference within the NHS. SMEs taking part included iQ Digital Health, who are working with MFT and The University of Manchester on the Children’s Health and Monitoring Programme (CHAMP) which encourages families to monitor their children’s growth trajectory, and gives parents access to their children’s height and weight measurements over time, using an online dashboard. d2 Digital also presented on their award-winning collaborative mobile app for stroke mimics, working with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, North West Ambulance Service, Greater Manchester Stroke Operational Delivery Network and Connected Health Cities, following an idea which began during Health Innovation Manchester’s Mobilise the NHS.

It was followed by a networking lunch and the chance to browse stands from SMEs and other organisations working within the system.

To read a Twitter thread from the day click here or search #DigiHealthNorth in Twitter

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