“Welsh Health Hack Winners will change our Health Service for the better”

Five finalists of the Welsh Health Hack have secured significant start-up funding to develop innovations that will support the NHS.

A record-breaking event championing innovation in Health and Social Care is set to see five projects receive significant start-up funding from Welsh Government, Agor IP, and partners with the aim of delivering real-life benefits for patients and clinicians across Wales.

The Welsh Health Hack, hosted by M-SParc in collaboration with a wide range of partners, was the eighth to take place, and the second to happen online. The purpose of the Hack is to encourage collaboration and shine a spotlight on innovative ideas, providing exposure to experts and access to resources often difficult to find.

Health and Social Care workers were invited to share their challenges and are then guided to collaborate with innovators and develop a solution, which is pitched to a panel in the hope of winning the chance of securing start-up funding.

The online event attracted a range of talented professionals from across industry and health and social care to compete for funding. The five winners presented projects that will initially be actioned in various Health Boards across Wales – one of which will take place in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – and the winners and their projects are as follows:

• Sam Rice – The provision of psychological support for healthcare professionals to maintain resilience during difficult times
• Keir Lewis – An app to track the long-term effects of Covid-19 on patients
• Carsten Eickmann - An automated process to track urine output, easing the pressure on medical staff to take regular samples
• Mouli Doddi - Using technology to help with a backlog of patients caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
• John Wells – How to develop a digital workflow for the treatment of facial skin cancer

Managing Director of Menai Science Park, Pryderi ap Rhisiart, said: “That was an incredible event and showcase of innovation and big congratulations to the five winners who pitched innovative solutions that will soon start making a difference to real challenges faced by patients and clinicians in our health and social care sector in Wales.

“The Welsh Health Hack was another fantastic and inspiring event, bringing health and social care professionals from across Wales together with problem solvers to collaborate and innovate in tackling real-world challenges that will improve health and social care in Wales.

“We had a record number of teams pitching in the final round for funding from a £200,000 pot with 22 teams having come together to propose an inspiring range of solutions to tackle a variety of challenges our health and social care professionals face every day. I’m very proud that M-SParc can play a role in this pan-Wales discussion, making a real difference to the lives of patients nationwide. “The Enterprise Hub @ M-SParc was also on hand, in order to support any new ventures developing out of the Hack, and provide them with business support.”

Siôn Charles, Deputy Director of the Bevan Commission, said: “The Bevan Commission is proud to be a part of the Welsh Health Hack. The passion, energy and enthusiasm of participating health and care teams, businesses, and academics is truly uplifting and infectious.

“Winners and runners up should be proud of the solutions they have collaborated to develop, and I hope that they, like many others in the past, continue to progress their work to improve patient experiences and health outcomes.”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board supported the project, encouraging clinicians to take part and present their problems, before supporting them with pitching their challenges.

Melissa Van Der Bijl, RGN, BCUHB Innovation Project Manager said: “BCUHB has supported the Welsh Health Hack for several years but taking the event online due to COVID19 restrictions has proved a really popular alternative to the normal face to face format. “During such a difficult time for the health service, it’s fantastic to be able to offer an event like this to staff, letting them identify their own challenges and get the chance to work with partners, creating efficient solutions to improve patient outcomes … it is a great event!”

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