Funding announced for NortHFutures Digital Health Hub

Funding announced for NortHFutures Digital Health Hub

Jun 9, 2023 Emily Barker News

Press release from launch. 9 June 2023

Newcastle University is leading a ground-breaking £4.17m Digital Health Hub for the North East and North Cumbria (NENC).

The Northern Health Futures (NortHFutures) programme is a collaboration between six regional universities, and seven NHS Trusts within the Integrated Care System (ICS) for NENC

The EPSRC-funded NortHFutures hub aims to create a pioneering healthcare technology (health-tech) research and innovation ecosystem that addresses health and social inequalities in NENC by supporting: inclusive digital skills training and sharing, responsible health-tech design and development, networking and entrepreneurship. 

This programme (2023 - 2026) aims to address unmet health needs in the NENC region, including: health and nutrition for children and young people; mental health and wellbeing; monitoring of people before, during and following treatment beyond the hospital; wider application of virtual and augmented reality in training and delivery of clinical care; and ageing well with long-term conditions.

The Hub combines the complementary strengths and resources of over 50 partners: six universities – Newcastle, Cumbria, Durham; Northumbria, Sunderland, and Teesside; seven NHS Trusts; regional, national and global industry partners; health and care providers; local authorities; innovation accelerators; plus voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector (VCSE) organisations. Through an integrated, regional approach uniting this consortium for the first time, the aspiration is for NortHFutures to establish research leadership in Digital Health, and support the design of useable and useful tools and resources for NENC populations.

From left to right: Naeem Soomro (Director), Jennifer Wood (Project Manager) and Abigail Durrant (Director) outside the Core on Newcastle Helix. Photo by Daniel Parry.

The NortHFutures hub partners aims to create a supportive community infrastructure, drawing upon world-leading expertise and research excellence in Data Science and Data Analytics, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing and Allied Health, Medical Device Engineering and Diagnostics, Digital Business, and Human-centred Design that involves end users of the innovations.

The team will commission research studies and pioneer networking platforms, services and entrepreneurial environments to engage diverse stakeholders in digital skills training and responsible health-tech projects, stimulating social, economic and cultural growth for all.

NortHFutures is one of five Digital Health Hubs funded across the UK as part of an £16.5 m EPSRC pilot scheme.

Read more of the original press release here.