Healthcare Innovation Expo 2011

On the 9th & 10th of March the Mobile Collective was out at theHealthcare Innovation Expo on behalf of the DotGovLabs Innovation Hub to help them boost awareness for their latest challenge, and to inspire a collaborative approach to innovation as part of the Future Zone programme.

The event attracted 10,000+ health and social care commissioners and providers who are interested in high impact innovations to improve patient care and productivity – we didn’t meet all of them by a long shot – but we certainly had some great conversations, both at the Ideas Wall and during our sessions, and were amazed by everyone’s willingness to let loose a bit of creative energy at the Expo.

3 Ideas Sessions + the Ideas Wall = sharing & building on good ideas, supporting innovation on the ground & inviting potential solutions into the Innovation Hub for further development.

The Innovation Hub in Action Programme:

DAY ONE, Wednesday March 9th – Introduction to the DotGovLabs Innovation Hub


Gary Ashby, the former Programme Director for NHS Choices introduced DotGovLabs, explaining how it works, and who participates. Sandie Bakowski of DotGovLabs introduced the NHS Innovation Challenge and the chance to win £5k, £2k, and £1k in cash prizes. Prizes for the most recent Healthy Living challenge were awarded on the spot as some of the winners were with us at the Expo.

Margaret Gold and Giles Gibson of the Mobile Collective, shared some of the solutions that have been contributed on the Hub thus far, and opened the floor for discussion. We talked about ideas as simple as SMS appointment reminders & discussed the barriers to scaling such easy cost-saving services across all PCTs and GP offices. We also talked about outreach services such as laptops with NHS Direct at the local community gym, and other simple ways in which people can be reached and supported wherever they may be. The whole session lead to some great discussions – and we hope that many of the new ideas generated get posted on the Innovation Hub.

One of our own favourite points made was about the need for outcomes-based innovation (i.e. letting go of the means or medium, focusing on the desired result and working backwards from there). This is particularly poignant for the mobile industry from which we hail.

DAY TWO, Thursday March 10th – The Innovator’s Secret

It was a bit cheeky of us to lure people into our second session with promises of secrets to be divulged, but we do have a few genuinely powerful tips for spotting opportunities to do things in a new way:

Look for New Combinations – taking everyone out of the healthcare context for a few minutes, we shared an example of a new combination of existing ingredients taking the alcoholic drinks market by storm. Read more about What you can learn from the Bloody Mary .
Redefine Quality as Convenience – making our daily lives easier is a great source of added-value thinking, and while the emergence of pre-washed and packaged lettuce may not be world-changing, it is a great example of a ‘service’ (convenience and ease-of-use) that increased the consumption of healthful foods and opened up a great new revenue source for the stagnating lettuce farm industry. Read more about the Inventiveness of Bagged Salad.

Ask ‘what if we did it the way they do it?’ – there are so many examples of great approaches, services and solutions in other industries, that can be the source of great new innovation when applied to another industry. And it all it requires is a bit of ‘what if?’ thinking. One really great idea that was contributed during the Expo on the DotGovLabs Ideas Wall came out of the question “What if hospital appointments and check-ins were as easy as EasyJet check-ins?”

We played a little game of ‘Drag-and-Drop’ at the end of the session, where we invited the audience to think of examples of digital products and services that they use in their daily lives, and then got them asking ‘what if the healthcare industry did it that way?’. To prime the conversation, we asked how the attendees might make use of Twitter Mood Maps or Google Flu Trends in their own line of work. This lead to lots of great ideas, which we hope to see posted to the DotGovLabs Innovation Hub in the future.

BOTH DAYS, March 9th and 10th –  The DotGovLabs Ideas Wall

The DotGovLabs Ideas Wall was a physical space at the Expo to profile the NHS Innovation Challenge, share some of the solution ideas being posted by members of the Hub for further development, and to invite everyone to add their own ideas to the wall.

We were there with our lovely volunteers to engage people in conversation around the potential for digital solutions to classic healthcare issues, and many great ideas were contributed.

It was fun to watch the wall fill up over the course of the two-days, and many passers-by contributed to the ideas of others to flesh them out further or take them in a different direction.

All participants were invited to submit their ideas on the Innovation Hub for further support and development by the community, and to enter their solutions into the challenge for a chance at cash prizes.

Where did it go from there? Ideas were invited into the Innovation Hub to be developed further with the community – and solutions can also be entered into the NHS Innovation Challenge, for the chance to win £5k, £2k or £1k in cash prizes-  we also invited all who attended to participate in the mHealth Innovation Camp, where the medical community will come together with the mobile community to put more ideas into action together.

What Ideas Emerged?

Interestingly, a large volume of ideas emerged around the prescription process, and many of them came from people involved in that area of healthcare themselves.

It was also abundantly clear that both Patient Data and Aggregated Data will yield a rich area of opportunity for healthcare services.

The Innovation Hub is a virtual space enabling digital innovation of public services, and is part of the Cabinet Office Skunkworks programme. It is all about a new type of digitally enabled collaboration; creating an ongoing space between government and citizens where we build brilliant digital solutions to social challenges. The Innovation Hub brings together the know-how of professionals, policy makers and real people, providing opportunities for skilled and experienced people to participate in government.  It creates collaboration across government departments, non-profit organisations, businesses and individuals;  finding new and innovative ways to solve problems together using digital technology.

The Mobile Collective is an ‘idea-to-launch’ service for the collaborative development of mobile applications, products & services across many industries. We are running a series of events which take a collaborative approach to generating & developing good ideas, nurtured beyond the event itself by a wide range of participating technologists, field experts and market channel partners to turn the idea into a commercially viable product or service, and take it to market. We are building an online collaboration community for idea development that provides a supportive process all the way to implementation.  The business model is joint-venture / revenue-share.

The Healthcare Innovation EXPO 2011 was the largest event of its type in Europe, attracting over 10,000 delegates from the public, private and voluntary sectors. With over 250 exhibitors, 250 speakers and 250 seminars, all featuring high impact change and activity  that can deliver improvements in quality and productivity in the NHS. Developed and supported by the Department of Health and UK Trade & Investment, the EXPO helps managers, GPs, clinicians and front line staff understand the part they can play in delivering change, and how they can drive adoption and diffusion of innovation.

The Future Zone featured future innovations that will transform the way patients are treated in the future. This zone included scientists talking about the most important discoveries and medical applications that will change all our lives.


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