The AHSN Network hosts innovation zone at HETT 21 show

The AHSN Network hosts innovation zone at HETT 21 show

Posted on October 7

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Showcasing health innovation was the order of the day, when the AHSN Network hosted the innovator zone at the Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) Show last week (28 and 29 September) at ExCeL London.

As well as hosting the innovation zone, experts from across the Network spoke on the four main stages, discussing ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in health innovation; obtaining real world evidence; and empowering patients in tech-enabled healthcare.

The show is designed to connect digital leaders with world-leading health technology innovators; provide real-life case studies; and learnings from expert speakers, to help drive digital transformation across the healthcare sector.

Thousands of delegates attended this year’s show, which featured four themed forums, including digitally empowered patients; culture and implementation; integration and interoperability; and digital maturity. 

The AHSN Network Innovator Zone featured 24 innovators, who have worked with AHSNs, showcasing their products and services and offering advice to other health innovators. Find out more about the innovators that joined us on pages 9-16 of our show guide.

One of those innovators was Darren Crombie, Founder of Bridgit Care: “My previous life was working in NHS community services. I had a team of nurses over Manchester, and we were looking at how we could use data to keep people well and out of high-cost services. And what we learned from that process is that the NHS is very stretched it's hard for us to innovate. We found this great community of family carers supporting patients day in and day out, and we set up Bridgit Care to support them.”

He continued, “Everybody when they start thinks they have this great unique idea that will change the world. There are no unique ideas. We are all building on the shoulders of those that came before us. Speak to the AHSNs as they know what is out there and what is being bought in the NHS. It’s one thing having an idea, the second is being paid for it and that is one of the challenges we’re facing at the moment. We know it will make a difference, but funding is focused on COVID recovery.”

The AHSNs are uniquely placed between industry and the health and care system, enabling the spread and adoption of innovation by supporting the innovators behind the very best healthcare technologies and, where appropriate, brokering connections with the NHS.

Reflecting on the themes of the show, Professor Gary Ford, Chair of the AHSN Network and Chief Executive Officer of Oxford AHSN, said: “I think the pandemic has created a lot of challenges; all of which people are familiar with in terms of the backlog. But what it has also shown  is that we can together rapidly and collaboratively  find solutions and we need to keep building on that.”

Professor Ford was among the AHSN speakers at the event, who spoke on broad topics including:

  • Designing inclusion into digital health with speaker Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and Vice Chair of the AHSN Network participating in a panel discussing how to take action on health inequalities in a meaningful way.
  • Remote health with AHSN speaker Catherine Dale, Programme Director (Patient Safety) at the Health Innovation Network, talking about enabling citizens to be supported at home through tech enabled care.
  • Real World Evidence with Chair Neville Young, Director Enterprise and Innovation, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, bringing together experts from NHS trusts, NICE and the York Health Economics Consortium, amongst others, to discuss the importance of real-world evidence for the adoption of digital healthcare innovation.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with speakers Michael Watson, Digital Lead, East Midlands AHSN and Pete Waddingham, Programme Manager, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, talking about this burgeoning area of healthcare innovation.

Recordings of all the talks from HETT will be available in the coming weeks.

For a flavour of the event, listen to this podcast:

We’ll be releasing other interviews captured at the HETT 2021 show, so follow us on Twitter to hear more of the themes surrounding healthcare technology.