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‘Surgical hack’ launches innovation programme

The HTC Foundation’s (HTCf) second Innovation Programme was launched last month with a ‘Surgical Hack Event’, attended by students from across the University of Leeds and guest speakers from the HTC and from the University’s Surgery and Engineering departments.

Students learned about the importance of inter-disciplinary collaboration in healthcare innovation. They were then introduced to four unmet clinical needs in surgery: anastomotic leak, faecal incontinence, abdominal wall hernia and peri-operative wireless monitoring. Multi-disciplinary student teams got to work in ‘hacking’ possible solutions to these problems. The event ended which each team relaying back to the wider group about their ideas for future innovations.

Junior doctor, Stephen Chapman, who helped to set up the HTCf, said: “Some truly excellent ideas were presented and the surgical faculty were delighted to see such fantastic enthusiasm and it made everyone on the HTCf committee look forward even more to how the ideas would be pitched in the Dragons Den.”

The HTCf Dragons Den is the next step in the Innovation Programme. Having investigated and developed their ideas further, the four groups returned on November 29th to pitch possible solutions to a panel of Dragons.  Pitches were scored on their creativeness, uniqueness and clinical feasibility. The winning concept was a novel approach to tackling Anastomotic Leaks using a variety of technologies including organic electronics to detect and alert clinicians to the possibility of a leak occurring. This concept will be used to inform the context of the Innovation Workshop Series which will run after the Christmas break. This five part series forms an educational package taking students through the real-world process of innovation in healthcare.