Innovation – what is it? by Gareth Presch

Posted on 1st November



The World Health Innovation Summit (#WHIS) team see many, many exciting innovations on a daily basis.

Much of the initiatives we learn of start within the community by people who have a passion and need to simply make the world a better place. They will often have seen an opportunity to create something new, or improve on an existing process or product, using a different method - most of the time these ideas come from people with strong sets of values and ethics and completely different perspectives.

Much of the initiatives we learn of start within the community by people who have a passion and need to simply make the world a better place. They will often have seen an opportunity to create something new, or improve on an existing process or product, using a different method - most of the time these ideas come from people with strong sets of values and ethics and completely different perspectives.

#WHIS not only supports innovation – it delivers it. We now create a means for people to connect and create innovation in an instant through various technology’s which can be shared across the globe in an instant.

We can connect, collaborate and co-design like never before.

As we gather in Dublin on the 22md and 23rd of November for the Innovation Showcase in Trinity College, along with many other global innovators, we will look at some of the new ways of working that we believe will shape our future:

The World Health Innovation Summit provides a platform for individuals and other members of the community to work together to improve our overall health and wellbeing. Bringing diverse groups of people (across a span of industries) together in an environment creates a vibrant way of working through health within our communities while stimulating economic growth – creating innovation, collaboration and open sources sharing like we've never seen before.

Every single person can be involved in this opportunity as health is an area every single person in the globe has a common interest in. Social media is one of the many powerful tools used to create these opportunities to share and co-design our health and wellbeing in real-time. With 1.5 billion people using Facebook alone on a daily basis we know that this is one of the many platforms where we can learn and work together to deliver health for the wider public.

We at #WHIS are living proof that this has now become the reality: our own #WHIS global community initiative simply started with one tweet, using the simple hashtag #togetherweinspire

Effective communication and knowledge transfer via social media can support our health services and alleviate pressure while also encouraging the next generation to become the next nurse or doctor of the future. 99.9% of health care is delivered in the community - and much of our communities in todays world are online.

We bring to fruition many innovation; one of which we showcase below.

Designed by an innovator in our local community Mr Stephen Fox, he has created a simple, yet effective ID-SOS - WHIS Community Card www.id-sos.org. This cared creates a safe platform for patients and carers to upload their medical history - an extremely important tool for health professionals, especially in emergencies.

All of the solutions we promote are tested by our communities, patients and health professionals before we decide to promote them. International author and one of the Top 50 Inspirational Women, Yvonne Newbold, who is herself a mom, carer and patient, said:

"This emergency card can be read by anyone who has a smartphone with a QR Scan Reader App. The information you can upload to it covers their medical history, any medications they need or any allergies, their emergency contact details and you can even upload their photo too. I particularly like the idea that you can choose exactly how much and what sort of information you upload yourself. It could be helpful in so many different situations, from being involved in a serious car accident to wandering off and getting lost in the middle of Tesco. What a very reassuring solution for some families where there is a child or a family member with a learning disability or autism."

Yvonne is also one of our many WHIS Ambassadors who strives to improve health services on a daily basis.

This is just one example of the innovations we're currently working with, and developing, in the community to support our health services and the wider public. Other areas of engagement that we plan to develop involve the latest Virtual Reality, RoboDocs and Smarter Villages solutions, to name but a few!

So to reiterate – “What is Innovation?”

#WHIS know now it is not products which change the world, it is the people. And if these people come together to collaborate then only good things can come from that.

So on this note, I, on behalf of our global #WHIS team, look forward to seeing you in Dublin and remember - #togetherweinspire



Health Innovation Week 2016