InnoScot Health supports £2.5m project addressing country’s health inequality challenges
InnoScot Health expertise is part of a Tayside-focused project that will aim to address vital health inequality challenges across the country
The multidisciplinary team’s study – led by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Dundee in collaboration with NHS Tayside – will analyse the use of medical technologies that are being developed in Scotland.
The team will collectively examine how forward-thinking innovation could help to shift the focus of treatments away from large hospitals and into more accessible community settings such as GP surgeries or patients’ homes.
Entitled Accelerating Impact of Community healthCarE in Tayside (AICCET), the £2.5 million project has been designed in partnership with Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside and five Scottish universities.
Head of Regulatory Affairs at InnoScot Health, Elaine Gemmell said: “This is an important project if we are to seriously dig down into where the country’s health inequalities truly lie, and InnoScot Health is proud to be involved in such an inclusive initiative.
“The study is also significant in helping to identify how we can better transition healthcare to community settings, reduce the burden on clinical staff, and look at where gaps in medical technology can be meaningfully bridged for long-term patient benefit.
“As part of the project, InnoScot Health’s specialism in medical device regulation can help to play an instrumental role in analysing the feasibility of such a shift, while also building an effective regulatory environment for NHS adoption of innovative technologies and improved patient outcomes.
“Involvement at an early stage in the development cycle will allow us to share our experience of tried and tested innovation practices to help facilitate successful results.”
AICCET is relevant to InnoScot Health aims as it strengthens healthcare technologies, accelerates adoption of innovative community healthcare solutions, supports better patient self-management, and could result in substantial costs savings to NHS Scotland.
The project is being further supported by Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE), an initiative of NHS Research Scotland.
This is an important project if we are to seriously dig down into where the country’s health inequalities truly lie, and InnoScot Health is proud to be involved in such an inclusive initiative.
Elaine Gemmell, Head of Regulatory Affairs, InnoScot Health
AICCET is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Place-based Impact Acceleration Account (PBIAA), part of UK Research and Innovation.
Experts from Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Science, Dundee's School of Science and Engineering and School of Medicine, NHS Tayside Innovation and Dundee City Council, will work with counterparts from the University of St Andrews, Edinburgh Napier University, and the University of Glasgow, to identify the viability and challenges of delivering such a transition, all whilst maintaining or improving levels of patient care.
Another crucial aspect of the project will be cooperation with industry partners, which will be needed to ensure that mass manufacturing of technology can be provided should successful outcomes be identified.
Elaine continued: “We believe that it makes sense for this highly collaborative study to take place in the Tayside region – not only because of the long-established relationship between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside – and our strong links embedded there – but also due to its mixture of urban and rural communities, and economically diverse population.
“As a formal partner of NHS Scotland which looks to encourage and inspire innovative thinking from the country’s health service, we prioritise new ideas which improve patient outcomes for all and drive regional economic growth. This project aims to do both and is a leading example of the triple helix of NHS, industry and academia in action – an aspect of the project which we will help to build, facilitating access to networks and strengthening links across Tayside and beyond.”
Heriot-Watt's Professor Marc Desmulliez said: “We want to empower patients, when it is reasonable and possible, to be more involved in their own healthcare solutions using technology that is tested and meets the needs of the NHS.
“For example, during their rehabilitation after an invasive surgery, patients may have to carry out some exercises to aid in their recovery. A healthcare solution could be a system that records and monitors the exercise. The essential information is then sent to the surgeon who is in charge to make sure the patient is progressing as planned. This could mean that if the patient is on track, they might not need to go to hospital for a check-up because the doctor has already seen the progress being made.
"Our hope will be to identify how we can ultimately accelerate the impact of community healthcare throughout Tayside to the benefit of all patients, regardless of their personal circumstances."
Complying with medical device regulation
InnoScot Health offers a skilled team of regulatory experts. The organisation also operates an ISO 13485:2016 quality management system harmonised to the Medical Device Directive.
Consultancy, training and advice is available to all NHS health boards, plus companies or universities working in partnership with NHS Scotland to develop medical devices. We ensure awareness and compliance with legal responsibilities and support the design and development of products under an accredited regulatory framework.