SWITCH Ecosystem Launch Event
  • Rolle Marquee

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The University of Plymouth’s Centre for Health Technology hosted the launch event for the South West Interdisciplinary Technology Consortium for Health and care (SWITCH) Ecosystem on Monday 8 July 2019.

Building on the University’s digital health and technology research, innovation and implementation work over the past ten years with a range of stakeholders, the SWITCH ecosystem will be an interdisciplinary cross-sector consortium, including NHS partners, industry partners, health and social care organisations and patient groups, set-up to enable greater connection and collaboration across the South West region and beyond.

Part of the European Connected Health Alliance (ECH Alliance), and linked to the wider Digital Health Ecosystem Network across the globe, the SWITCH ecosystem will seek to incubate, accelerate, embed and export innovative technology solutions in health and care, coalescing around internationally-recognised technologies and data standards.

The launch event brought together organisations to create an ecosystem that seeks collaborative opportunities, shares best practice, explores shared challenges around health, care and wellness with the view to foster economic growth in the region.


  • Keynote - Ben Showers, Head of Digital Transformation, NHSX
  • Keynote - Professor Andrew Morris, Director of Health Data Research UK
  • David Shannon, Director of Strategic Development & Improvement and Andrew Forrest Chief Information Officer, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Andy Bleaden, Director of Ecosystem Development, European Connected Health Alliance
  • Amanda Stratford, CEO of Healthwatch Cornwall

 Contact epic@plymouth.ac.uk for any queries.

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Today's events

Biography: Andrew Morris

Andrew became the inaugural Director of Health Data Research UK in August 2017, with a background in medicine and data science, with previous professorships at the University of Dundee, and is currently Chair of Medicine/Vice-Principal Data Science at the University of Edinburgh. 

HDR UK offers the opportunity to support collaboration across institutions and disciplines to work at scale, in our quest to prevent and treat disease, and aims to learn from other disciplines – including computational science, astronomy, arts, social science and physics on how to use and analyse data in a trustworthy way. Ensuring of values between institutions and between the public, academia, industry and funders. 

Andrew has served and chaired numerous national and international grant committees and governmental bodies, including a role as Chief Scientist at the Scottish Government Health Directorate. 

Andrew has attracted over £50 million in grant funding, published over 330 original papers with his main focus being on chronic diseases and span informatics and co-founded Aridhia Informatics, which uses high performance computing and analytics in healthcare.

Andrew’s keynote address will cover more about HDR UK’s work and Digital Innovation Hubs.

Biography: Ben Showers

Ben is Head of Digital Transformation at NHSX, which is an exciting new organisation for digital, data and technology. This joint unit combining the best talent from government, the NHS and industry, will take forward digital transformation in the NHS, allowing patients and staff to benefit from the latest digital systems and technology.

NHSX’s responsibilities will include:

  • Setting national policy, standards and developing best practice for NHS technology, digital and data - including data-sharing and transparency
  • Ensuring that NHS systems can talk to each other across the health and care system
  • Helping to improve clinical care by delivering agile, user-focused projects
  • Supporting the use of new technologies by the NHS, both by working with industry and via its own prototyping and development capability
  • Setting national strategy and mandating cyber security standards, so that NHS and social care systems have security designed in from the start
  • Championing and developing digital training, skills and culture so NHS staff are digital-ready.

Ben previously worked for the UK Department of Health in Digital Assurance and Standards, and as Head of Digital for the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB). He has vast experience in leading the development and implementation of digital and engagement strategies including NCUB’s digital channels and assets such as the website, social and media and brokerage platforms. 

Ben’s keynote address will cover the future of technology within the Health and Social Care space.

Location of the Rolle Plaza Marquee on campus

Please view the map alongside for the location of the Rolle Plaza Marquee on the University campus.

Further information on getting here
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