Leeds Digital Health: Building an Ecosystem to Recognise Leeds City Region as a hub for Healthcare and Technology Innovation


Leeds Digital Health sheds some light on their growing community of healthcare and tech professionals and details of their upcoming event 'Beyond boundaries; opening up healthcare networks through interoperability'.

Did you know over 22% of the UK’s digital health workforce is employed in the Leeds City Region? That is an astounding statistic, particularly given the growth of the UK HealthTech market and adoption of digital technologies in healthcare over the past few years.

With NHSE’s huge presence in Leeds, one of the largest NHS trusts in the country in Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and a thriving HealthTech ecosystem which is only going to grow with initiatives like the Leeds Innovation Arc and the West Yorkshire Investment Zone, the region is a hive of activity, and Leeds Digital Health exists to bring the community together in collaboration.

What is Leeds Digital Health?

Leeds Digital Health is a community initiative to bring together healthcare and technology professionals, to share ideas, innovations and best practices, with the goal of championing the Leeds City Region as a hub for digital health innovation locally and internationally.

The faces behind the community come from a cross-section of organisations with a passion for healthcare and technology, with representation from 6B Digital, Aire Logic, BJSS, Digibete, Doc Abode, Health Innovation Yorkshire and Humber, Leeds City Council, and The University of Leeds.

We invite organisations of all shapes and sizes, we have hosted speakers from HealthTech start-ups through to trust and ICS digital leaders, to national NHS leaders, to internationally recognised academics. 

To date, we have organised meetings and networking events over the past 12 months around themes of virtual wards; artificial intelligence; green technology in healthcare; implementing digital pathways. We typically attract 80-100 digital health leaders – with clinicians, informaticians, academics and industry leaders, all coming together to share insights around a given topic.

What’s the Aim?

Across the digital health sector, the Leeds and Yorkshire ecosystem delivers some of the most amazing work, and we want to celebrate that.

We plan to do that by organising compelling events, where we invite speakers to showcase the work being delivered across the community in ‘TED-style’ talks, from product creation to the impact of those in the healthcare setting. These usually consist of 3 or 4 ten-minute talks, followed by the opportunity to network over food and drinks.

We invite feedback from the community, as to what they would like to hear about next. This is vitally important, as it is the community and folk that attends the events that really make them as successful as they have been to date, and it helps us shape future events.

What’s Next?

Well, I’m glad you asked. We’re organising our next event as part of April’s Leeds Digital Festival, titled Beyond boundaries; opening up healthcare networks through interoperability.

Interoperability refers to the ability of different healthcare IT systems to communicate and exchange data to enable seamless and secure sharing of health information among a range of healthcare stakeholders – including healthcare professionals, public health authorities, and patients.

Data interoperability is critical across the healthcare setting for the improvement of patient care. It enables the secure and seamless sharing of patient information across different healthcare providers, ensuring HCPs have comprehensive and (hopefully) real-time access to data, leading to better informed decisions and more personalised patient care.

However, it’s safe to say that as an industry, there are a lot of challenges when it comes to true interoperability. In fact, there’s an argument to saying that with the number of digital health applications on the market only going one way, and the spread and adoption of digital health products increasing day-by-day, the ability to achieve true interoperability across the health and social care landscape is impossible.

Please join us on Wednesday 24th April at BJSS in Leeds, for an insightful evening in collaboration with Leeds Community Foundation – we will be encouraging attendees to make charitable contributions where possible to support the great work delivered by Leeds Community Foundation.

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