Towards a Digital Health Ecosystem in the South West
  • Bircham Suite, ITTC Building, Plymouth Science Park

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The University has recently launched a Centre for Health Technology. The new centre is interdisciplinary, and hopes to engage engineers, computer scientists, clinical staff and health service researchers involved in the testing and evaluation of digital solution to health and care. 

This development is coterminous with the NHIR’s recent funding of rapid service evaluation teams at UCL and Birmingham. Similar initiatives locally include the Accelerated Design and Programme Testing (ADAPT) project, with its focus on co-production. In general, there is a move towards creating alternatives to time-consuming RCT methods, which are too slow for a rapidly evolving digital health market.

Guidance from NICE for this industry is also at a nascent stage, with the first edition of its Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technologies being released only in March 2019. Different stakeholders, including businesses, regulators, HEIs, patient advocacy groups, primary care networks, and other NHS organisations are moving towards the creation a South West Interdisciplinary Technology Consortium for Healthcare (SWITCH). Which will represent a multi-sector regional critical mass around digital health.

Currently due to the immaturity of the market and the diversity of products that sit within digital health, there are no standardised business models for a rapid prototyping that bring together these different stakeholders. For such a process to come about the test bed (primary care networks), have to work with researchers (HEIs) in accordance to external standards (regulators) with the input of patients groups. This talk will explore and explain the different ways an organisation that links all these different sectors could function. Moreover, what this might mean for research staff and potential future opportunities for commercial evaluation and longer research projects.

This presentation is open to all. To book a place please email laura.gill@plymouth.ac.uk.

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