More than a dozen design agencies have entered the ‘Yorkshire and Humber Digital Health Design Challenge’ and are currently working with healthcare providers to devise prototype solutions to real-life patient care issues identified by NHS trusts.

The Design Challenge, organised through the Connected Healthcare Programme, will culminate in a final ‘hackathon’ day at Barnsley Digital Media Centre (DMC) later this month on Wednesday 20 April 2016.

The most promising idea presented at this event will be awarded a £5,000 Innovation Voucher from The University of Sheffield’s Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH).

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Dr Peter Cudd, senior researcher at the University of Sheffield, said:

“We look forward to awarding the most promising idea at the Yorkshire and Humber Digital Health Design Challenge with a CATCH Innovation Voucher. Our aim is to help the winning team to accelerate their idea and get their innovation a step closer to market.”

Other rewards will be presented to the Design Challenge teams and it is hoped that many of the innovations conceived during the process – which may include mobile apps and telehealth software – will be taken forward and turned into finished digital products which will improve healthcare delivery.

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Connected Healthcare project manager Ceri Batchelder said:

“The key is that this hasn’t been a paper exercise and we hope to see several of the ideas initiated through the challenge fully developed in the future. That’s why we’d particularly like to thank the University of Sheffield for their CATCH innovation voucher, which has added an extra competitive edge to the design challenge.”

Along with the voucher, the winning design team will be matched with one of the University of Sheffield’s health technology experts, who will help them to carry out research studies to support the development of their idea into a commercially attractive proposition for the healthcare sector. The CATCH support requires the design team to source match-funding alongside the voucher to invest in their product development. Details on the terms and conditions of the CATCH Innovation Voucher can be found here: http://www.catch.org.uk/news-articles/innovation-vouchers/

A Connected Healthcare ‘Access to Finance’ event with speakers from funding bodies and business support organisations will be held at the DMC on June 10th. It is open to all designers and creative and digital agencies – whether or not they have participated in the Design Challenge. To find out more go to www.barnsleydmc.co.uk