Digital Catalyst

21/06/2019 9:00 am @ The Crowne Plaza Hotel

Event Details

**This event has now passed**

Read the full Press Release


Alex Birch

Gordon Dodds

Graeme Chapman

Ian Dove

Jamie Doggart

Joe McDonald

Keith Grimes

Liz Ashall-Payne

Matthew Ginn

Rachael Forbister

Robert Fearn

Sir John Burn

View a video about the event:

Please follow us on Twitter @AHSN_NENC and @NIHRCRN_NENCumb  #DigitalCatalyst19

The Digital Catalyst event offers a unique opportunity for companies in the digital sector to connect with frontline NHS staff and academics, to scope and tackle a series of healthcare problems.

In the run up to the event, we asked NHS staff for their challenges, in terms of areas of work that they think could benefit from digital development.

Why Have We Developed the Digital Catalyst Event?

We wanted to create an opportunity for healthcare staff, the digital sector, and academics to come together, network, and hear about the national and local digital strategy for healthcare, as well as to learn about what others are working on in this field. The event will focus upon a series of challenges set by NHS staff across our region, to bring delegates together and harness skills and expertise to solve healthcare problems.

Throughout the day of the event, we would like you to:

Discover Needs

Identify a need you are passionate about, and discover other needs during a problem pitching session.

Form Teams

Form multidisciplinary teams between small medium enterprise companies, academics, developers, and engineers for example, with the aim of bringing about meaningful solutions to the many faceted problems associated with healthcare.


Present your work to a panel of judges, for the opportunity to kickstart your collaboration and share your ideas on the stage.


Be provided with the tools, and be able to access support from both the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, to create innovative prototypes and business models to make your venture a success.

During our open call to NHS staff, key themes emerged which gave rise to seven challenge areas aligned with the NHS long term plan. These challenge areas will be focussed upon throughout the Digital Catalyst event. The challenges are listed below and each one will be presented by clinicians from across the NHS in our region. This will be followed by a high-level scoping exercise, where we will look into each challenge.

Teams will be able to bid for funding to pump prime projects emerging from the event, and continued support will be available from both the AHSN NENC and the NIHR CRN NENC to help make the project a success.

We are looking for solutions that:

• Are human and patient centred

• Digitalise aspects of a care pathway

• Have a measurable impact within the healthcare system

• Are scalable



Session One: 09.00 – 10.20

Welcome and Introduction

Mr Richard Brady, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Executive Digital Lead, NIHR Clinical Research Network North East North & North Cumbria

How digital companies can engage with the GNCR

Professor Joe McDonald, Director, Great North Care Record

Academia and Digital Health

Professor Sir John Burn, HVP/ GV International Project Coordinator, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University

Cloud Computing in Digital Health

Graeme Chapman, Health Industry Solutions Executive, Microsoft

Digitalising the movement of information to enrich care records and create capacity

Ian Dove, Director, HealthCall

Use of AI in Digital Health

Dr Keith Grimes, Clinical Innovation Director, Babylon Health

The Future of MHealth

Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO, ORCHA

10.30-11.00: Refreshment Break and Networking


Session Two: 11.00 – 12.15

Augmented Reality Technology Empowering Clinicians

Matthew Ginn, Commercial Officer, Proximie

How to Engage with Patients and Healthcare Workers on social media

Jamie Doggett, Head of Research, Creation Co

1 Patient at a Time

Dr Robert Fearn, Medical Director, 11Health


Industry Presentations:

Engineering- driven app and platform development

Alex Birch, Market Engagement Co-ordinator, Nebula Labs

A social media content management platform that enables adherence to CQC regulations

Gordon Dodd, Head of Strategy, Clinical Communication

The Digital Doctor

Rachael Forbister, Technology Enabled Care Services Programme Manager, NHS Sunderland CCG


12.00-12.15 Comfort Break

Session Three 12.30-4.30

Introduction to the Afternoon

Charlotte Fox, Innovation Manager, AHSN NENC and Victoria Christie, Patent Attorney, AHSN NENC

Healthcare Challenge Pitches

Chaired by Richard Brady

13.15-14.00 Lunch Break and Networking

Healthcare Challenge Catalyst

Competition Pitches

Chaired by Richard Brady

Why are we so poor at spin-outs?

Charlie Hoult, Chair, Dynamo North East


Closing Remarks

Mr Richard Brady, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Executive Digital Lead, NIHR Clinical Research Network NENC

The Digital Catalyst event (afternoon session) will focus on a number of challenges set by NHS staff, the challenges are outlined below:

Challenge 1

How might we digitally enable clinicians to triage patients to overcome using traditional paper based methods?


Challenge 2

The NHS is the biggest employer in Europe, and the world’s largest employer of highly skilled professionals. How might we digitalise and scale complex training packages to enable staff to deliver high quality care?


Challenge 3

How might we use digital technologies and predictive tools to screen patients and identify those at risk of certain conditions?


Challenge 4

Going to hospital can be stressful enough, but this is made more difficult if you cannot speak the language. How can we digitally help those patients and their carers?


Challenge 5

How can we incorporate gamification into care pathways and treatment options, to increase compliance and enhance patient satisfaction and user experience.


Challenge 6

We want to explore the use and possibilities, of animation, design, and modelling, to visually represent anatomical features and pathologies to patients.


Challenge 7

How can we digitalise the catheter passports carried by catheterised patients, to incorporate training and treatment plans for patients and their care givers.

If you are interested in learning more about the Digital Catalyst event and would like further details regarding the challenges above, please contact [email protected]

We would like to bring to your attention the attached document Digital Catalyst Protecting Your Input, which should be read and understood by everyone who is intending to contribute to the discussions.  The aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for discussion and not a barrier for discussion.  The document covers:

(i) confidentiality – confirming that any confidential information that is disclosed, is maintained as confidential; and

(ii) IP ownership – confirming that the challenges or proposals developed do not imply that IP created by a party is automatically given away to another party present.

If you would like to sponsor Digital Catalyst please have a look at our Sponsorship Packages.

The Stephenson Quarter Car Park is adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and the hotel can be accessed from Floor 10.

Parking charges are below:


Period Tariff
Weekday Hourly Rate 0-1 hour £1.30
Weekday Rate 0-2 hour £2.50
Weekday Rate 0-3 hour £3.60
Weekday Rate 0-4 hour £4.60
Weekday Rate 0-12 hour £6.00
Weekday Rate 0-24 hour £12.00