COLLABORATION

Cross-sector partnership to boost Leeds health technology sector

SOURCE: Tupungato/Shutterstock
Leeds' new healthcare collaboration promises to improve the lives of all 3 million residents with new innovations.

Technology has had a huge impact on the healthcare sector, changing how doctors and nurses perform their jobs, bringing medial procedures into the 21st-century, and providing the sector with a wealth of valuable data in the process.

The journey is far from over yet, with the impact of health technology – or healthtech – growing and its lifesaving potential only expanding with it.

One area that recognises this potential of health technology is Leeds in the UK, where three million citizens are about to become the beneficiaries of some of the most innovative healthtech available.

Embracing the power of cross-sector collaboration, local authorities have brought together leaders from the healthtech industry, along with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), regional enterprise partners, and five universities on a new partnership to accelerate innovation in the sector.

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The group have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing “to drive forward new approaches in improving patient and population health and care through better and faster healthtech innovation.”

Higher education partners include Leeds Beckett University, the University of Bradford, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Leeds, and the University of York.

It’s no coincidence the collaboration is taking place in the Leeds city region. As the UK’s largest economic region outside of London and a centre for high-quality universities, health technology in Leeds is already a powerhouse of innovation.

health technology in Leeds
As the UK’s largest economic region outside of London, Leeds is already a powerhouse of healthtech innovation. Source: Phil Silverman / Shutterstock

Local authorities are also aware of how vital cross-sector collaboration is in getting these innovations out to market and driving the growth of the northwest.

According to a press release one of the partners, the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), the region is home to more than 250 healthtech businesses, and currently has 200 digital and technology businesses operating in the health and care sector.

This new collaboration aims to significantly build on this already impressive start. The group will work to find personalised and community-based healthtech solutions to help local people live longer and healthier lives. Particular attention will be paid to identified at-risk priority neighbourhoods.

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They will also all work together to identify some key priority themes within Leeds’ healthcare system that require added work to meet the needs of Leeds’ citizens.

Driving investment into healthtech in the region is also a key goal of the initiative, in the hope they can support “inclusive” economic growth that benefits all communities.

“It paves the way for us to reduce fragmentation, further harness expertise and capability and radically strengthen the Leeds City Region’s position as a leading global player in HealthTech,” said Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds, John Fisher.

“Each partner will play their part in helping address and overcome the barriers to innovation. By working together in a new, focussed and coordinated way, we will accelerate radical improvements in patient care, health service efficiency and drive economic growth and productivity across the region and the UK.”