The West Midlands Health and Wellbeing Innovation Network (WMHWIN) have launched the Cohort 1 challenges.

Cohort 1 of the West Midlands Health and Wellbeing Innovation Network will focus on finding businesses that solve five key challenge areas that have been defined by Challenge Owners within the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. Each Challenge Area could have multiple solutions and businesses could pivot existing products to meet the criteria of the challenge. Businesses that apply for the programme will be guided through a product development exercise to meet the requirements of the challenges in collaboration with the Challenge Owners, University of Warwick Innovation Team and Bruntwood SciTech Innovation Team.

Josh Dale, WMHWIN Innovation Hub Manager said: “The programme cannot be more perfectly timed as the pandemic has spotlighted challenges that have become a priority to resolve. This is a great opportunity to work directly with a stakeholder who has the problem that your solution could resolve. There’s no better way to reduce risk for businesses looking to pivot their products or to scale”

Please explore the below challenges and if you think that your solution fits don’t hesitate to apply as soon as you can. If you have a solution that the NHS just can’t miss out on please feel free to get in touch with

Click the links below to see more detail about each challenge or scroll to explore.

Challenge 1Waste Management

How might we ensure patient and staff safety and comfort by monitoring and responding to levels of waste across the hospital?   

The Trust is currently unable to track the capacity and location of waste bins and containers. In the instance of sharp bins, this leads to potential patient or occupational safety risks. If a clinical area finds themselves without capacity in a sharps container, no procedure involving sharps can be conducted until it is replaced. The current solution is a hospital porter who walks all clinical areas daily to collect and replenish sharps bins, as there is no visibility of which area needs containers replaced. This time could be spent more efficiently, with time savings re-allocated to improve patient care and experience.

We’re looking for solutions that:

  • Enable the location tracking and capacity management of clinical waste such as sharps bins.
    • For Example Sensor systems that monitor and report capacity and location
  • Gathers data related clinical waste management and applies predictive analytics to inform optimisation
    • For Example Machine Learning models to proactively predict and manage capacity

Challenge 2 Moving People and Equipment

How might we ensure staff are in the right location with the right equipment to better serve our patients?

The hospital Trust is based across two sites, approximately a 25 minute drive apart. Patient related equipment such as aides or surgical implants, and blood samples for pathology often need to be transported between sites. Staff also require regular transport between the two sites. Currently this relies on road transportation which runs to a timetable, meaning goods are batched for transportation, leading to potential delays and bottlenecks which impact patient care.

We’re looking for solutions that:

  • Enable dynamic response equipment movement
    • For Example Smart logistics solutions
  • Enable predictive scheduling and route management for people movement
    • For Example Rideshare or dynamic transport solutions

Challenge 3Patient Flow through the hospital

How might we optimise the handover of patients between wards as they progress through their care to be more time efficient?

Currently staff rely on bleeps, phone calls and paper documentation transferring patients to ward areas. Conversely admitting clinicians cannot see live bed availability across the Trust.  This leads to wasted time waiting for calls to be answered, phones left unattended after bleeping wards and often means wards don’t have details of the patient when they arrive.

We’re looking for solutions that:

  • Track and report indoor location of patients and route plan through the hospital
    • For Example Indoor geo positioning technologies  
  • Connect and assign records and details to patients for instant retrieval
    • For Example Proximity based data retrieval systems

Challenge 4Patient status visibility

How might we ensure that patients have maximum visibility of the next steps in their care when in the hospital?

Improved visibility of the patient journey is also valuable for patients who, for instance, often do not know how long they’ll be waiting for the next touchpoint and the successive steps they can expect. This could be whilst in A&E or whilst on a ward. This knowledge would improve the patient experience and making it visible to friends and family would also be beneficial.

We’re looking for solutions that:

  • Surface the next steps in patient care to their devices
    • For Example Notification systems
  • Enable patients to share their status and next steps with family members
    • Secure messaging platforms

Discovery Session Free Webinar

Discover some of the biggest challenges that are facing the NHS today and how innovation and your business could help to solve them.

About the Webinar

During this webinar you’ll get the chance to hear first hand the detail about each of the four challenge areas that we are looking to solve as part of this programme directly from stakeholders in the NHS. You’ll also hear about the structure of the programme and how the University of Warwick and Bruntwood Sci Tech will support you adapt, design or implement your solution and prepare a business strategy to support this.

Who is speaking?

Katharine Fuller – Head of Innovation at Bruntwood Sci Tech
Lucy Gilbert – Innovation Manager at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
Josh Dale – (WMHWIN) Innovation Manager
Sam Alsopp-Hall – (WMHWIN) Entrepreneur in Residence

Who should attend?

– Anyone who is interested in being part of the wider network in support capacities such as mentors and advisors
– Businesses that are interested in applying for the programme
– People who are generally interested in health tech and creating an innovative healthcare system