An online citizen innovation platform has been launched to bring together members of the public living with different health conditions to share ideas and help develop the next generation of healthcare products.
Design Together, Live Better connects citizens (patients, carers, family members, friends or anyone interested in health) with companies and entrepreneurs to co-create new healthcare solutions based on real needs.
“We need to make better use of people’s insights into their own conditions and lives; they are the experts in what would make life easier and, more specifically, what’s missing and what could be created to help.” Lars Sundstrom, Enterprise Director
Two healthcare projects are already live on the platform and seeking citizen input: a speech therapy app called ‘Intelligent Sounds’, which could be used by people who have suffered strokes or head injuries or have Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis; and the ‘Music Memory Box’ which helps people with dementia to recall memories.
The Design Together, Live Better platform has been developed by the West of England AHSN and was launched at the ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ event in Swindon in April.
The event explored and celebrated the increasing role members of the public play in the co-design and co-production of new products, as it is being recognised that people living with challenging health conditions are best placed to see what features are needed in new products and technologies.
Hilary Newiss, chair of the health and social care charity coalition National Voices, was the event’s key note speaker. Hilary has been central to developing recommendations as part of the NHS Accelerated Access Review on putting patients at the centre of health care.
Three patients-turned-innovators also shared their inspiring stories of designing new products in response to their own health conditions.
However not everyone living with a health condition is in a position to develop their own solution, which is why the West of England Academic Health Science Network has developed the Design Together, Live Better platform to facilitate meaningful dialogue between patients and companies and gather user input.
Delegates at the event were given the opportunity to help share their ideas to shape and develop this new platform, which is currently at beta-testing stage.
Lars Sundstrom, Enterprise Director at the West of England AHSN, says: “We need to make better use of people’s insights into their own conditions and lives; they are the experts in what would make life easier and, more specifically, what’s missing and what could be created to help.
“Our new innovation platform will do exactly that by putting people in touch with each other, to co-design and co-create the next generation of innovative healthcare products so that they precisely match currently unmet needs. I am really excited about this – it could be a real game changer!”
Join the community
Anyone interested in joining the Design Together, Live Better community can do so online at designtogetherlivebetter.org/join-our-community. You can also follow us on Twitter at @DTLB_ and on Facebook at /designtogetherlivebetter.
Call for innovators
We are keen to work with innovators looking to co-design and test their innovators with users. If you are an innovator with a new concept or product being developed, find out more about connecting with the Design Together, Live Better community at designtogetherlivebetter.org/innovators.
For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on May 6, 2016