Digital health

The introduction of digital technology has brought about massive changes to our working lives and the way we interact with other people and organisations. While many industries have embraced digital working, healthcare has yet to fully capitalise on these opportunities. Our Digital Health service seeks out innovations that have the potential to save lives, improve the health of our population and create wealth within the West Midlands.

Digital Health West Midlands

Digital Health West Midlands service seeks out innovations that have the potential to improve the health of our population and create wealth within the West Midlands. We spread the use of existing technologies and data, working with partners in developing new tools and services that benefit the region. Through collaborative partnerships with the NHS, academia, industry, patients and the public, it is our ambition to make the West Midlands the UK’s first truly digital health economy.

To find out more about this service, contact Neil Mortimer on neil.mortimer@wmahsn.org, +44 7955 883692.

While digital tools and the use of data are central to most organisations and industries, the NHS and the wider UK care sector have yet to lever their full benefits. The Wachter Review, published in September 2016, provided clear recommendations that resonate with our own experience and which support WMAHSN’s approach. They were:

The establishment of Global Digital Exemplars (GDEs), with targeted investment to help specific NHS organisations to become world class

Developing a workforce of trained ‘clinician-informaticists‘

Sharing learning and experience between GDEs and other NHS organisations

Our work to date has established a wide-reaching network of people from the NHS, academia, the wider health and care sector, industry and patient organisations. We already support NHS England, NHS Digital and partner NHS and social care organisations with the development of STP’s digital plans and integrating electronic health and care records. We have a proven model (through our Innovation and Adoption West Midlands service, the Serendip® Digital Health Incubator and our opportunities process) for establishing productive partnerships between the NHS and digital innovators, whether commercial, public or third sector.

The challenge now is to provide a clear focus on driving improvements in infrastructure, interoperability, use of data and technology, and the capability and capacity of care and technology professionals, citizens and patients. The foundations exist, with WMAHSN’s investment in Serendip®, the successful implementation of the GENIE digital platform for genomics, and a Regional Image Sharing Platform currently being deployed, as well as our support of NHS partners in applying to become GDEs (or to identify themselves as ‘fast followers’ of GDEs).

Digital Health Ambassadors

As part of the Digital Health West Midlands service, we have three sub-regional ambassadors based in the north, south and centre of the West Midlands region. They provide:

Support for the existing GDEs to identify solutions that address the challenge of becoming world class

Support to ‘fast followers’ and other NHS members in rapid adoption of learning from GDEs

Help clinical, academic and technology professionals in premium member organisations to develop their skills and capacity to drive digitally enabled improvements

Help industry and premium member academic institutions to develop and deliver innovative solutions that meet the NHS’s needs, resulting in the mainstream adoption of digital innovation.

Incubator and Accelerator

Digital Health WM provides support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Social Enterprises in the form of our incubators and accelerator.  Each provides office facilities, expert technical, commercial and clinical advise, and support in finding and accessing funding.  These comprise:

Serendip® Digital Health Incubator at iCentrum (for startup SMEs)

The Digital Health WM Accelerator at iCentrum (for more established SMEs)

The FUSE incubator at iSE (for 3rd Sector & Social Enterprise startups)

Digital Health and Data Learning Community

Based at iCentrum in Birmingham and incorporating the services of the WMAHSN’s Serendip® Digital Health Accelerator, the WM Digital Health Learning Community is led by Ellen Hughes, Digital Health Ambassadors and facilitate workshops and challenge-led events designed to help clinicians, academics, patients and IT professionals with an interest in technology enabled care to develop their own and the region’s capabilities.  Our focus on “digital literacy” helps individuals and organisations develop their skills, understanding and confidence in using technology and data; whether that’s to develop new solutions, or use them in their everyday lives.

Digital Health West Midlands and the Digital Health Learning Community maintain and develop work already underway within other WMAHSN priorities, such as technology enabled care services for people with long term conditions and predictive analytics and other digital tools to support transformation of services and business growth in the Life Sciences sector.

Health 2.0 West Midlands

Health 2.0 is a global network of innovators in the field of health technology and data.  With over 100,000 members in over 70 ‘Chapters’ around the world, Health 2.0 brings together healthcare and technology specialists to accelerate the uptake of digital health.

Digital Health WM hosts Health 2.0 West Midlands which hosts events, meetings and ‘hackathons’ to foster productive collaboration between those looking for innovative digital solutions, and those developing them.  We actively collaborate with other chapters around the world to share learning internationally, and actively contribute to the global Health 2.0 community.

Contacts

To find out more about this service, contact Neil Mortimer on neil.mortimer@wmahsn.org, +44 7955 883692.

You can follow us on Twitter:

Neil Mortimer                                                      @neil_a_mortimer

Digital Health WM                                               @DigitalHealthWM

Health 2.0 West Midlands                                   @Health2WM

WM Digital Health Learning Community             @DHLC_WM