Innovation festival explores real world solutions for Bucks healthcare workers

Date: 25/03/2024 | Category: News 2024

Earlier this month, the Research and Innovation (R&I) department at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust hosted the first ever BRAInWAVE festival of innovation, bringing together partners from across the healthcare and technology sector to build real-world solutions to issues faced by frontline healthcare staff.

It was attended by 62 people from organisations and companies including Ufonia, Quantium, the Royal College of Surgeons and NHS England. Delegates had the opportunity to hear from leaders in the field of clinical innovation, witness hands-on demonstrations of some of the innovations the trust is currently involved in to improve the experience of patients and staff, and join workshops to start analysing new problems and build solutions. Speakers’ topics ranged from skincare analytics for cancer patients to the use of AI in patient-facing healthcare.

However, the focus for BRAInWAVE was not only to come up with practical solutions to high-impact problems but actually implement them, which is why the Trust was awarded £200K funding to join the prestigious NHS InSites Clinical Entrepreneur Programme which recognises the Trust as one of 18 leading innovative organisations.

One such solution was exhibited by Skin Analytics who have developed an artificial intelligence platform to analyse photos of skin lesions to assess if these are skin cancers. Following BRAInWAVE we are setting up a trial of the platform in our skin cancer service. Skin cancer referrals have increased 300% over the last 10 years. Being able to implement a system like Skin Analytics will be a huge benefit for both patients and colleagues at the Trust.

Dr Andrew McLaren, Chief Medical Officer at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are very proud of our track record in research and innovation at the Trust. Collaborating with local enterprises and partners across the healthcare and tech industry is key to finding better and bolder solutions to help our people improve the care they provide to our patients here in Bucks. BRAInWAVE was a fantastic way to highlight these solutions, to celebrate and keep innovating.”

Dr Nick de Pennington, Founder & CEO Ufonia Limited, said: “It was wonderful to be asked to share my innovation journey at the Trust’s first BRAInWAVE event. The team have been instrumental in the success of Ufonia, they were our first clinical site and remain at the forefront of thinking how patient-facing AI can transform their care pathways.”

Dr Dan Mullarkey, Medical Director Skin Analytics, said: “It was inspiring to hear from other like-minded innovators and passionate Trust staff about all the work they’re doing to find and implement real-world solutions for frontline challenges. We were grateful for the opportunity to give a talk on our own real-world solution for dermatology – our AI medical device, DERM – and highlight the impact we’ve seen across our deployments since 2020. We’re very much looking forward to working closely with the R&I department and the wider Trust team as we launch DERM to support the local skin cancer pathway.”