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Yorkshire and Humber digital technology and healthcare event launched

Designers and digital technology specialists are invited to meet healthcare professionals at a free business development event.

Connected Healthcare aims to bring together creative and digital innovators and key personnel from healthcare organisations across Yorkshire and Humber to explore market opportunities for technology products in the NHS and wider healthcare sector.

The lunchtime event is being hosted by Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre (DMC) on Thursday January 21.

It will look at how existing innovations such as mobile apps, virtual reality, telehealth, animation and robotics products are being used to improve the patient experience. The event will then focus on how the commissioners and suppliers could work together to develop future projects and products.

Connected Healthcare has been organised by the DMC, through Enterprising Barnsley business support; in partnership with the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), which aims to promote service improvement through innovation in the NHS. The event is also supported by Tech North, a government-backed body which aims to accelerate growth of the digital economy in our region.

DMC project director Tracey Johnson said: “Innovative technological products, software and digital solutions are really helping to improve the delivery of patient care in the NHS and wider healthcare sector today.

“But it is not always easy for those working within the sector to make connections with specialists from the creative and digital industries; nor for both to understand how each other’s sectors work.

“Our event aims to bring talented designers and developers and representatives from healthcare organisations into a shared forum where they can get to know each other and learn more about how they could work together to tackle challenges to healthcare provision with bespoke design and technology solutions.”

The free event is open to all creative design and digital technology specialists in Yorkshire and Humber and health service professionals.

Connected Healthcare will feature a digital tech showcase where companies such as Docobo, HMA Digital Marketing and Switchstance; and universities including Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield will demonstrate their recent healthcare innovations. Speakers will be drawn from the Y&H AHSN, Tech North, the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) at University of Sheffield; mHabitat, which is part of NHS Leeds, and the Bradford Digital Health Enterprise Zone. The event will finish with a networking lunch.

A series of other events, facilitated by the DMC, will follow in 2016, including a programme of practical ‘hackathon’ workshops where partners from healthcare and creative and digital sectors will sit down and tackle real, identified patient care challenges – and seek to design creative and digital prototype solutions. A further Connected Healthcare forum will then concentrate on how to access finance for product development.

Philippa Hedley-Takhar of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: “One of our core objectives is to support industry and innovators to understand and engage with the NHS market. We are delighted to be partners in Connected Healthcare, which aims to help create robust partnerships which align digital innovation with real clinical need and have the potential to transform the way we deliver health and social care.”

Laura Bennett of Tech North said: “We are excited to be supporting the Connected Healthcare series of events in Barnsley. This initiative is essential in bringing together digital and technological innovators with key figures and organisations involved in the planning and delivery of patient care in the healthcare sector. We hope it will lead to the development of many creative solutions and digital healthtech innovations in the wider region.”

Connected Healthcare will be held at the DMC, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW, on Thursday January 21st 2016 between 11.30am and 2pm. To register for free click here.