Tackling health challenges
With the health sector facing the challenge of diminishing resources and an ageing population, innovation has the potential to make a difference. Health innovation is about challenging the status quo and providing creative, novel and useful ideas that can be implemented to bring about meaningful change. SMEs have a crucial role to play in supporting this vision - bringing new ways of thinking and technologies which have the potential to push boundaries.
But, taking ideas from concept to market is challenging. Through a series of interventions, we will support senior decision makers of SMEs build innovation capacity, and accelerate product development.
Create a culture for business innovation
Accelerate product development
Join our thriving network
To build innovation capacity and to foster the power of peer to peer learning, a series of innovation management workshops are available to owner-managers, MDs, and senior decision makers of SMEs based in Lancashire. Over two days, learn a framework for understanding customers’ challenges and develop solutions driven by their needs, whilst transforming your thinking around open innovation.
The next workshop is due to start on 8 November, on 'A Person Centred Approach To Problem Solving'.
Develop digital products and services
Access expertise within the School of Computing and Communications, and accelerate your product or service ideas. At no cost to the business, our team of Analyst Developers will work on a bespoke brief set by you. Opportunities are available to:
- Explore the viability of digital product and service ideas
- Identify innovative digital solutions using data assets
- Develop software prototypes such as apps or management systems
- Conduct usability testing for commercialisation.
Current projects range from cleaning specialists looking into contamination control issues, to the development of a cloud-based mental health support system for employees. However diverse, we can discuss opportunities for your business.
Case Study: Pursuing greater clarity in workplace mental health
Mente is a new organisation supporting businesses with how they manage mental health. Now, thanks to the expert assistance available via Lancaster University’s Health Innovation Campus – backed up by two graduate internships from Unite Plus – Mente’s founder Mel Joseph says she is one step closer to her vision of improved transparency, understanding, and standards across the mental health and wellbeing market.
Launched in early 2017, Mente draws on Mel’s background in creating business solutions, as well as her experiences and training in mental health. The company offers a one-stop solution that provides employers and their employees with access to a suite of courses, diagnostics and signposting to professional services, across the spectrum of mental health from early intervention to recovery.
‘The cost of poor mental health for business and the economy as a whole runs to almost £100bn a year,’ Mel says. ‘The Stevenson/Farmer Review, in October 2017, called for more research into the ROI around mental health interventions and really highlighted the need for greater transparency and comparability of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). It confirmed my concerns about this unregulated market: businesses aren’t sure what to do and don’t know what they’re getting.’
Hoping to create an independent comparison site to sit alongside the Mente platform, Mel approached Lancaster University for help. As the University builds towards its world-class Health Innovation Campus, Lancashire businesses are able to work with dedicated teams including the School of Computing and Communications to apply the latest digital skills and develop game-changing ideas for the health sector, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Over 12 weeks, a specialist team of Software Developers developed an innovative ranking algorithm for EAPs and designed a prototype system, the first of its kind. They were assisted in this by the work of a graduate intern from the Unite Plus placement programme through the careers department and also funded through the European Regional Development Fund. The student conducted in-depth research focusing on the best way to make comparisons between products.
Mel now has a live wireframe and is working on the look of it. ‘I couldn’t have done it without Lancaster University,’ she says. ‘Not only has it helped me to shape the system, but this is so new and different it has also excited and challenged the team. Businesses should remember that a university isn’t just there for teaching students – it’s there to help business.’
With Mel’s company already showing employers the commercial benefits of compliance, there is plenty of positive interest in her new venture, she says. ‘It is a very exciting time for us, we have some interesting meetings planned with the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, and the Director for Public Health – watch this space!’
Join our network
Take advantage of networking opportunities and inspirational masterclasses, showcase events, and workshops from across the University. Gain insight into the challenges facing the health sector from key health partners, and find out about the latest research and technology in health and innovation. You will also gain access to a pool of tools and resources designed to support your ongoing innovation journey.
“When you’re interested in ideas, you listen to everybody because you know you don’t have all the answers yourself. When you invent something on your own, everything is an uphill struggle, but from the first time I came here, it has been so easy." Shameem Sampath is an internationally renowned knee surgeon and entrepreneur. With support from Lancaster University, his business is realising the potential of mobile technology and ‘gamification’ in the refocusing and personalising of modern medicine.
Get in touch
To discover more about upcoming events, workshops and other ways to work with us, please call 01524 510813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding & eligibility
Access to events, workshops, and digital consultancy support is fully funded, and available to European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) eligible businesses.
- Based in Lancashire
- Employ fewer than 250 full-time employees
- Has an annual turnover less than £40 million
- Has received less than £160,000 of publicly funded support in the last 3 years