News

31st May 2019

Health Hack event turns NHS challenges into technology ventures

At the two-day event, which took place on 23rd and 24th May at the Life Sciences Hub Wales, five successful projects were awarded with Welsh Government funding of £7500 and further support from the Bevan Commission to develop their innovative solutions.

The first day of the event saw 17 operational and clinical challenges from across the NHS ‘pitched’ to over 100 participants – with the aim of encouraging others to form a team to develop solutions together.

Challenges included:

  • Helping laryngectomy patients to prepare themselves physically and emotionally for surgery
  • Highlighting early indicators of stress in NHS staff
  • Using virtual reality in staff training and education
  • Predicting, assessing and managing patient risk in care homes

Following these pitches, teams formed and worked together on solutions, product ideas and prototypes.

These solutions were then presented to an expert panel, who considered a range of factors including how well the solution met the need, what impact this may have on patient experience and outcomes and how realistically the solution can be delivered.

The five successful projects receiving Welsh Government funding and ongoing support are:

WACCI (Wales Automating Complexity, Combating Infection)

Developing an artificial intelligence solution to read the handwritten clinical information on a microbiology request form.

Team: Mike Simmons, Hywel Dda University Health Board with Meridian IT

From Popping to Hopping  

A progressive exercise program following rupture to the Achilles tendon.

Team: Anne-Marie Hutchinson, Swansea Bay University Health Board with Orchard Media

CHEETAH: Health pathways

Developing a user-friendly system to track patient management pathways.

Team: Helen Iliff, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board with Inhealthcare

Byw Bywyd Gyda Poen

Providing a Welsh language pain management programme

Team: Ffion John, Hywel Dda University Health Board with OSP Healthcare

BUDS

Co-designing an interactive app to enable children and young people to better understand and self-manage their health conditions.

Team: Shaun Thomas, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board with Ben Griffiths (a Designer and renal patient) and Orchard Media

Sion Charles, Deputy Director, Bevan Commission, said:

“Year after year the dedication and commitment of the participating health professionals to collaborate with industry to develop innovative solutions to their workplace challenges never ceases to amaze me.  The energy in the room is captivating, and it’s a pleasure to take part.”

Chris Martin, Deputy Chair, Bevan Commission and Welsh Health Hack panel chair, said:

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to play my part at such a wonderful event. What impressed me most was the drive and determination of our clinical colleagues to embrace innovation that will really make a difference to patient care in conjunction with progressive tech companies. One word ‘inspirational’.”

Cari-Anne Quinn, Chief Executive Officer at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said:

“This year’s Health Hack has been a great success. It was very exciting to experience the buzz and enthusiasm of the participants over the two days. Not only were we able to reward five projects with the opportunity of further support, the event fostered countless interactions allowing colleagues from healthcare to share their challenges and discuss how technology and innovation might help find solutions.”

The Welsh Health Hack was a collaboration between the Bevan Commission, Life Sciences Hub Wales, MediWales, Health Technology Wales, Welsh Government, Health Education and Improvement Wales, NHS Wales Informatics Service, and Digital Ecosystem Wales. The organisers would like to extend their thanks to all participants over the two days.

If you would like to catch up with the action from the Welsh Health Gadget Hack, visit @waleshack on Twitter and use #WHH19.