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Tackling Health Inequalities through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

By January 17, 2024No Comments

On Tuesday, the Royal Society of Medicine and NHS England hosted their second conference addressing the topic of how to drive down health inequalities. The conference was a mixture of keynote speeches, panel and breakout sessions which provided a great opportunity for discussion and sharing of ideas.

The day opened with Professor Bola Owolabi, Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England talking about taking the opportunity to all work together to achieve the shared vision of exceptional healthcare quality for all by ensuring equitable access, excellent experience and optimal outcomes. Bola shared details of the Core20PLUS5 approach which identifies 5 Focus clinical areas requiring accelerated improvement.

A fantastic Innovation keynote speech followed from Kaakpema (KP) Yelpaala , who is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale School of Public Health. In his presentation KP discussed several themes related to equitable innovation and entrepreneurship in the health sector sharing key learnings from the US in terms of what works, and also what doesn’t.

In the afternoon, sessions focussed on how to get the best out of the digital innovation to reduce the impact of health inequalities with content-filled fireside panel conversations.

Prof Tony Young, who is the National Clinical Director and Lead for Innovation for NHS England then took to the stage to introduce some of the members of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme of which Tony is the founder. This session demonstrated the important role that entrepreneurs can play in reducing the impact of healthcare inequalities and how innovation can help to intentionally design against inequality.

As BIVDA prepares to kick off the Springboard Programme next month, we can work closely with our members to understand the health inequalities that exist and how we can all work together to innovate and deliver products that address these challenges.

Ben Kemp