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Collaboration will drive new growth for SHIL across 2022

Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) believes that strong collaboration will drive further developments in health and social care during a year of significant growth for the organisation

Collaboration will drive new growth for SHIL across 2022 image

Marking its 20th anniversary this year, SHIL specialises in identifying and developing new ideas to help solve problems and address needs in health and social care. The organisation holds a unique and valued position in supporting innovative ideas that originate from within NHS Scotland. 

SHIL’s multidisciplinary team brings vital expertise to the innovation process – intellectual property, quality management and regulatory affairs, prototype development and commercialisation - and works across Scotland in partnership with the NHS, industry, and academia to bring these new ideas and innovations from healthcare professionals to life.

As we progress further into 2022, the process of strengthening Scotland’s innovation activities in health and social care has taken on renewed importance. Collaboration will be the key to success in this endeavour.

The Scottish Health and Industry Partnership (SHIP) has been set up to solve real problems and improve quality, efficiency, and sustainability of healthcare, as well as drive economic growth.

SHIL will be working closely with the new initiative and will launch two innovation calls during the next 12 months that align with SHIP aims.

The targeted campaigns will call for the submission of innovative ideas from health care professionals that can be developed into new products and technologies that positively impact on the services that they provide.

SHIL is working with CivTech, an innovation developer for public sector bodies, on a chest drain monitor for home monitoring of chest trauma patients to help prevent the threat of a collapsed lung. The idea originally came from Ayrshire & Arran Health Board and is expected to develop and mature further during the next 12 months.

The organisation is also working with Health Enterprise East to build a rigorous health economic assessment into its evaluation process for new projects and to also retrospectively apply it to projects which have gone through SHIL. This capability will add considerable value to the evaluation and SHIL’s overall value proposition.

SHIL has partnered with The Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre (DHI) in a first-for-Scotland initiative delivering a unique and growing suite of UKCA marked decision support tools. In line with growing demand, SHIL is also looking to expand its innovation and regulatory team to increase capacity and help develop better engagement in the Grampian and Northern regions as well as the Scottish islands.

The plans build on the ingenuity and innovation demonstrated by SHIL during the pandemic, including the SARUS CPR hood which provides a simple barrier to disease transmission risks faced by CPR personnel enabling safe resuscitation; and further development of the SCRAM Bag for use by the military in supporting safer airway management on scene and helping get patients to hospital more quickly.

“We have made a significant impact in driving innovation during the pandemic and developed real-world solutions that have allowed us to meet immediate healthcare challenges head-on amid a major pivoting process for the NHS,” said Executive Chair Graham Watson.

“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved during this time and our ambition in the next 12 months will be to continue to harness the wide entrepreneurial talent working everyday throughout the NHS and accelerate healthcare innovations that have a positive impact on health, social and economic outcomes in Scotland. Because of COVID, it is more vital than ever that we identify and accelerate ideas originating within the NHS in order to meet the huge demand for innovative solutions.

“As was the ambition when SHIL was formed 20 years ago, our strength ultimately lies in bringing specialist skill sets together in a single place to complement clinical knowledge and ambition, together unlocking the true collective potential of Scotland’s healthcare innovation opportunity. 

“We are also creating fresh jobs in our anniversary year, in turn expanding our team’s already considerable expertise.

“Enhancing collaboration across the health and social care ecosystem, as well as through industry and academia, will be crucial in meeting this ambition and we will work closely with all of our partners to encourage Scotland’s forward-thinkers to keep coming to us with their ideas, whilst identifying specific areas of unmet need and NHS-led ideas that are ripe for further innovation,” added Mr Watson.

As a publicly funded company, SHIL has brought more than 250 inventions to fruition across the healthcare sector, and during the pandemic, the organisation has played an important role in the ongoing COVID response.

This role has included assessing tomorrow’s innovations, providing expert intellectual property and regulatory advice, and encouraging health professionals to submit their ideas through dedicated innovation calls.

Whilst NHS Scotland is facing considerable challenges because of the ongoing pandemic, other significant healthcare challenges persist. SHIL aims to play an increasingly important role in connecting, inspiring, educating and supporting the health innovation community in 2022 and beyond.

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