How digital health solutions can equip us against future pandemics - online showcase

In the lead up to the G7, an online event aimed at Cornish small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is set to highlight how Cornish eHealth businesses and new technologies can tackle some of the most pertinent health challenges today.

The inaugural eHealth Innovation Summit 2021 will take place online on Wednesday 9 June, 9:30 – 11.30am, and will showcase how Cornish eHealth businesses and new technologies are supporting care, health-related fields and wellbeing through innovation.

Key points of discussion include how innovation within the sector could form part of the global recovery from coronavirus, how digital health solutions can strengthen resilience against future pandemics and why a collective approach to creating and using new technologies is needed when solving global problems within the health sectors.

Organised by Acceleration Through Innovation 2 (ATI2) and eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall (EPIC), two University of Plymouth led projects which are funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the event will feature some of the cutting-edge and globally relevant digital health and health tech solutions emerging from within Cornwall’s thriving tech and creative sectors.

Chairing the webinar is Jo Hancock, ATI2 Programme Manager at the University of Plymouth, who will introduce innovation from the ATI2 perspective, and share some of the many projects that their business support programme has supported throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over the last four years. She said: 

“Digital health is a real strength of the University of Plymouth, and it’s this world-class knowledge and research that the businesses working with ATI2, and EPIC, really benefit from. Our programmes often work collaboratively to help those Cornish SMEs who are innovating and creating some truly life-changing digital health solutions. The eHealth Innovation Summit will shine a light on those businesses and connect them to others in the South West, perhaps who are on similar journeys and can collaborate to solve the complex problems that the health sectors are facing.”

Cornwall has one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the UK, enabled by one of the best broadband networks in Europe, making it well placed to host the G7 Summit. Priority policies for discussion during the G7 will be intrinsic to enabling radical innovation within eHealth, making the eHealth Innovation Summit poignantly placed in the preceding week.

Dr Arunangsu Chatterjee, Associate Professor of Digital Health and Education at the University of Plymouth, Co-Director of the EPIC eHealth project, is one of the headline speakers at the event. He will talk about the work of the Centre for Health Technology at the University of Plymouth, and how it is helping to drive eHealth research and innovation, not only in Cornwall but overseas as well, through the South West Interdisciplinary Technology Consortium for Health and events such as EPIC’s recent Meet the World series. He said: 

“In the last 12 months the pandemic has catalysed the adoption of digital health solutions in ways that had been predicted to take many years. For any health entrepreneurs or tech businesses interested in pivoting into eHealth, now is the time to do it when people working in health and care are particularly open to addressing challenges around remote and integrated care, especially here in rural settings like Cornwall.”

One of the Cornish eHealth companies that both ATI2 and EPIC have supported is Ultramed, the creators of the MyPreOp app, an app which allows patients to complete their preoperative assessment online and is supported for national scaling by the NHS Innovation Accelerator 2020. Ultramed were recently named in the ‘First 100 UK Digital Health Companies’ playbook, as listed by the Department of International Trade, and will join the event as one of five expert panellist.

Dr Paul Upton, Founder and CEO of Ultramed, who will take part in the panel discussion, said:

“Ultramed has benefited from significant support from organisations supporting Cornwall eHealth innovation. This has underpinned our growth from 3 employees to 12 over the last year, further supported by Innovate UK investment. Networking and collaboration are essential in gaining knowledge and I look forward to sharing my experiences in co-founding Ultramed and our journey over the last 6 years.”

Over the last 12 months and throughout the pandemic, ATI2 has worked with over 317 businesses, registered 134 SMEs onto the programme and awarded 23 innovation grants to support projects with a total value of £585,181. They’ve helped numerous businesses across the county to bring new products, services and processes to market. Similarly, the EPIC project has tangible impacts for businesses participating in the programme, from the creation of jobs and increasing revenue to assisting with bringing new products and services to market, such as software applications, cloud-based platforms, eHealth robotics and hardware. EPIC enables businesses to demonstrate the efficacy of their eHealth solutions in order to make sure that they are market-ready.

eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPIC)

A collaborative, three-year project, EPIC helps grow eHealth businesses and improve health, wellbeing and enhance care quality. Funded by a £2.7 million grant from the European Regional Development (ERDF) and the South West Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), EPIC has established an eHealth ecosystem that connects key sectors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with research expertise at the University, led by Dr Arunangsu Chatterjee and Professor Ray Jones. The project enables new technological innovations to be created and adopted and so far has successfully awarded 42 grants to businesses for this purpose. Working together with key partners, the project is helping to improve the quality of life and boost wellbeing.

Learn more about EPIC

Centre for Health Technology

Bringing together digital health and health technology expertise from across the University to drive the development, evaluation and implementation of innovative technologies, products, services and approaches to transform health and social care.

Find out more about the Centre for Health Technology