This year, a number of workshops have been held in collaboration with the NIHR (National Institute for Healthcare Research) Med-tech Co-operatives in the region to identify unmet needs within their specialist areas. The four NIHR Med-tech Co-operatives in the region are:
- NIHR Children & Young People’s Med-tech Co-operative
- NIHR Devices for Dignity
- NIHR Leeds In-vitro Diagnostics Med-tech Co-operative
- NIHR Surgical Med-tech Co-operative
In conjunction with NIHR Devices for Dignity, two workshops have been held around two of their core themes of long-term neurological conditions and diabetes. Both workshops brought together patients, clinicians, researchers and designers to discuss unmet needs which have an impact on daily activities, such as getting dressed, and on life events, such as going on holiday.
A number of common themes were identified in both workshops, and participants were asked to identify potential solutions to the needs that they had identified. NIHR Devices for Dignity are working with clinicians and research partners to take forward some of the ideas generated in the workshops.
A workshop was also held in conjunction with NIHR Leeds In-vitro Diagnostics Medtech Co-operative and the Biomedical Research Centre to identify unmet needs in patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. The workshop was attended by patients with arthritis, Raynaud’s disease, Scleroderma and back pain who contributed their opinions on what the key priorities should be in future MSK research and innovation.
Having multi-disciplinary teams working in collaboration at such workshops is key to understanding the needs of all stakeholders, and the patient voice is key to understanding where priorities should be concentrated. In addition to informing future research projects which may be undertaken by colleagues in the NIHR Med-tech Co-operatives, the outputs from each meeting can be used to articulate problems within a particular clinical area to healthcare innovators.