Robotarium innovation course for NHS intrapreneurs set to be ‘engaging and instructive’, says InnoScot Health


A new course for NHS intrapreneurs taking place at The National Robotarium is being supported by InnoScot Health expertise.

The one-day gathering at the Edinburgh campus of Heriot-Watt University on Thursday 30 May is inviting participants to “learn how you can contribute and inspire others in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the NHS”. 

They will further learn how to use key tools through interactive workshops with the aim of working collaboratively to “co-create solutions to the everyday and strategic challenges we face” in the health service.

Experts from the South-East Region Innovation Hub, NHS Lothian, the Chief Scientist Office, academia, and industry will collectively share their knowledge while delivering engaging, insightful presentations.

Formal NHS Scotland partner InnoScot Health will also be on hand to discuss innovation ambitions with attendees.

InnoScot Health is hosting a round table discussion seeking Innovation Challenges with potential for an engineering solution. Of particular interest are ideas where Heriot-Watt University engineering students could co-develop those solutions with nursing students and test them out at Edinburgh Napier University’s Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre.

Key topics covered by the course include an overview of the National Innovation Programme for Health & Care in Scotland, innovation as an opportunity in the current challenging financial climate, and Patient and Public Involvement in innovation.

Course objectives include:

  • Identifying the value that innovative solutions can bring to the NHS, its staff and the population it serves
  • Exploring the necessary factors for the adoption of innovative solutions within NHS Boards, with the potential for broader implementation across NHS Scotland, the rest of the UK and potentially globally
  • Embracing a ‘Safe to Fail’ approach to experiment with innovative solutions, capturing valuable insights for their continuous development to stay relevant in a fast-changing world

InnoScot Health’s East of Scotland Innovation Manager, Fiona Schaefer said: “I’m certain the day will be a very engaging and instructive one with participants asked to focus on how to optimise co-production of innovative products, services, and processes.

“It will also be an opportunity to share ideas which could be turned into forward-thinking healthcare solutions.

“We’re keen to talk to early-stage innovators at the Robotarium and discuss how we can best support their ambitions.

“InnoScot Health firmly believes that anyone can be an innovator. You may not have the complete solution yet, but if you are able to describe a problem area, outline where better tools or devices could improve care or outcomes while saving resources and making treatment more sustainable, then you’re well on your way. Productive discussions can eventually lead to tangible products that make a real difference.”

Over the past two years, InnoScot Health has provided eight teams of Heriot-Watt University Engineering Design and Manufacture students with real world project briefs from NHS innovators and supported them through their final or Masters year project. 

To enable testing of prototypes and gain early feedback from nursing and other health professionals, Professor Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas of Heriot-Watt University developed a first of its kind collaboration with Edinburgh Napier’s Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre. 

Facilitated by Napier’s Professor Cathal Breen, the partnership has allowed the learnings of the student engineering project teams to be enhanced by clinical insights from Napier nursing students, leading to improved co-designed projects. Bringing together engineering and nursing students is helping develop cutting-edge health technologies to address real clinical needs.

This year, three ideas were being developed. Each originated from a different health board from across the country – a catheter redesign from NHS Fife; cannula cuff from NHS Forth Valley; and wobble stool from NHS Grampian.

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