HEALTH: Fellows welcomed to West of Scotland Innovation Hub

            Dr Ana Talbot, Dr Chris Sainsbury and Prof Steven Lo. 

By Lucy Ashton

The West of Scotland Innovation Hub has welcomed three new fellows to its team of digital innovation in medicine experts.

Professor Steven Lo, Dr Chris Sainsbury and Dr Ana Talbot officially started their roles with the Hub on Tuesday 11 October.

All three fellows have been appointed through the Scottish Health and Industry Partnership’s (SHIP) Innovation Fellowship Scheme and will continue to work in their current roles, alongside taking on their new duties with the West of Scotland Innovation Hub.

Dr Sainsbury, Consultant Physician in Diabetes & Endocrinology, and Professor Lo, Consultant in Plastic Surgery, will continue their work in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), while Dr Talbot, Consultant in Older People’s Care, will continue to be based in NHS Lanarkshire.

Professor Lo, whose projects focus on the use of augmented reality to improve the patient journey, said: “I’m very pleased, I think this shows that we have pioneering work going on in Glasgow, which this Innovation Fellowship will support at a formal level.

“My work involves the more visual aspects of digital innovation, one of them is augmented reality, which is using technology to help patients and doctors understand clinical information, such as operations, better. So it puts it in a very visual form, removing the need for someone to have to read through documents. If you look at statistics, around 40 per cent of people in the UK don’t fully understand medical terms so we have tried to develop something purely visual to make healthcare more accessible and understandable to everyone.”

Dr Talbot, who will lead innovation projects around frailty and falls for the Hub said: “It’s a real privilege and honour to have this opportunity and I’m really excited to take it forward.

“I’m really keen to reduce falls in older people and reduce the harm caused by falls. My project is looking to use technology to try and take an approach of prevention to reduce future falls and reduce fractures and other harms from falls. It’s a really important area that I think will make a real difference to older people’s lives.”

Dr Sainsbury, who is focusing on diabetes and machine learning added: “I’m very pleased to be joining the West of Scotland Innovation Hub. I have an overarching theme around my projects which is looking at how machine learning can be used to improve the patient journey. This will look at aspects of care such as providing even more tailored treatment for each patient’s specific situation.

“These fellow roles are so important to growing the perception and raising awareness of the work going on in innovation and how junior doctors and medical professionals can with an interest can become involved.”

The West of Scotland Innovation Hub, which is hosted by NHSGGC, supports health and social care innovation across the West of Scotland and addresses key challenges to improve health, social care and service delivery.

NHSGGC’s eHealth Innovation Programme Director Neil Warbrick said: “The work of the West of Scotland Innovation Hub is helping to transform services and, following an excellent response from a high calibre of potential candidates and thorough selection process, we are delighted to welcome three fellows with such a range and wealth of skills and experience.

“The Hub team includes research development and innovation staff, eHealth specialists, clinicians and support services, all the team are excited to see how each of the fellows projects develop and how they will ultimately revolutionise the future of patient experience.”

The scheme will support fellows for two years and it is expected that, on completion of their Innovation Fellowship, successful candidates will continue to be actively involved in the design and development of innovative solutions within their area of work.

Professor David Lowe, Clinical Director, Scottish Health and Industry Partnership, said: “The Innovation Fellowship Scheme is a great opportunity for NHS staff to accelerate their careers in innovation and we are excited to see the experience and skills Ana, David and Chris will bring to the roles as they continue to deliver innovative solutions responding to the needs of the NHS.

“All three fellows will have dedicated time to focus on innovation within their current role, which allows us to share ideas, findings and strengthen the innovation culture within NHS Scotland and beyond.”

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