Who: Life Science Exchange, ehi², Swansea University and ABMU Health Board
What: eHeatlh Focus Group
When: 11th December, 2013
Where: Village Hotel, Swansea
Output: £800,000 grant for eHealth SBRI
A project to improve Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board in partnership with Swansea University received £800,000 funding towards their £950,000 project to support health services in Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot through the better use of patient records and data.
The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) came about following a simple discussion in an eHealth focus group, which was led by a member who had prior experience of undertaking SBRIs outside of Wales. Also, one of the attendants on the meeting was the manager from the eHealth Industries Centre in Swansea University who subsequently identified the SBRI opportunity and engaged with ABMU. ABMU identified a challenge and have been extremely receptive and supportive of the SBRI process. The eHealth group then discussed the opportunity and many attended the two events hosted by Life Science Exchange with ehi² and Welsh Government.
Several companies have subsequently been selected through an application process and have been awarded a contract to find the best way to use data from Swansea University’s Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank to improve services.
Professor Andrew Davies, Chairman of ABMU Health Board, said:
The unique SAIL databank allows us a more complete picture of individual’s health records from a variety of sources. This will help us better understand the health needs of our citizens and predict how these might change in the future. It will also help us monitor the effectiveness of measures we are taking now to improve public health, such as tackling childhood obesity and reducing levels of smoking.We expect it will also lead to a much more efficient use of resources and help us improve the services our patients need and improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.
At his turn, Professor David Ford, co-director of SAIL, was also inspired by the plan:
I am absolutely delighted that we will be working with ABMU to help them to engage with innovative companies to deliver new ways in which the SAIL Databank can be used to support ABMU’s work. Our partnership with ABMU and companies that will become involved in the initiative will undoubtedly develop some outstanding new software products that leverage the power of SAIL databank for patient benefit.
And last by not least the economy minister, Edwina Hart also expressed her opinion:
The Welsh SBRI Innovation Catalyst Programme is a new collaboration between the Welsh Government and the Technology Strategy Board. By encouraging new innovative public sector projects, this programme will create more research and development contracts for Welsh businesses to bid for, helping that sector to grow and create jobs.I hope that, ultimately, SBRI will be used throughout the Welsh public sector for promoting innovation and providing new opportunities for businesses in Wales.