LOCAL businesses and NHS representatives have launched an initiative focusing on the potential for using digital technology to improve healthcare services.

The NHS Open for Innovation event was attended by more than 100 people at Bradford’s new Digital Health Enterprise Zone in Little Germany and was designed to address some of the district’s most pressing health challenges.

The event was a collaboration between Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire, Bradford District and City Clinical Commissioning Groups and health technology firms DHEZ Ltd and Medipex Ltd.

Local digital innovators met with various health and social care organisations and local universities and were briefed about pressing problems and initiatives in respiratory care, children and young people in urgent and emergency care, medicines optimisation and secondary care outpatient referrals.

The event marked the first step in the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ innovation process as part of the Bradford Bright Ideas programme and SMEs will be able to submit an expression of interest.

Ali Jan Haider, director of strategy , Bradford and Airedale NHS, said, “We are working with the DHEZ and Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire with a new outside approach and seeking to open the door for innovation within the NHS.’.

Ian Sharp, DHEZ chief executive, said, “The event was a fantastic opportunity for businesses to talk to clinical leads and commissioners about the challenges they face and discuss how they can collaborate to improve efficiency and patient outcomes.

“The businesses have the chance to propose a solution to solve the challenges and run co-created experiments to prove that quality outcomes can be achieved from their innovations.

“It is hoped that this will lead to projects that will tackle some of the real challenges facing the NHS in our area and start the kinds of discussions that generate real solutions through digital innovation.”