Development of Innovation Exchange Platforms for Y&H AHSN and Innovation Agency

Working with a diverse mix of clients across a range of roles within the health and social care sector, Cynergy are fully aware that it is notoriously difficult to bring together NHS staff and industry innovators (such as SMEs and pharmaceuticals). This presents a real barrier to introducing innovative solutions and new ways of thinking to the NHS at a time where resources are more pressured, budgets are reduced, and the quality of patient outcomes and experience are as important as ever.

With an established working relationship with Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, developed through supporting several aspects of their stakeholder engagement, we discussed the challenges from both perspectives, NHS and industry, and set about creating a bespoke solution to overcome this issue, which would present value back to all of their key stakeholders. 

In an ever-growing digital world, Cynergy designed and developed an online Innovation Exchange platform for NHS staff and industry innovators across the Health and Care sector to connect and share innovative solutions, projects and products, which supports the ambition of providing world-class patient care in a cost-effective and efficient manner. By creating Innovation Exchange as a digital tool, it is readily accessible at any hour of any day and is compatible across all desktop and mobile devices.

The real value of the portal is access to shared data, so best practice is adopted and cascaded at scale and pace without being limited to geographical boundaries. With this in mind, we subsequently collaborated with The Innovation Agency to implement the same solution and integrate both regional platforms to create one shared resource. As a result of this collaboration, both the Yorkshire & Humber and North West Coast regions are able to share their intelligence and tried-and-tested innovations can be adopted across a large proportion of the northern AHSN footprint to the benefit of all stakeholders. Whilst undertaking this work, we were also careful to future-proof the offer, meaning that we can add other regions to this existing system efficiently and cost effectively should they wish to collaborate.

Since its initial development in 2015 and with demand for the platform increasing, both organisations decided to undertake some further development to enhance the offer. Cynergy have therefore recently completed a user testing project to gather the thoughts and views of stakeholders including those with NHS and SME backgrounds. 

The results showed that although the platform at the time was a relevant, effective and useful tool, there was a need to reinvigorate the design, which was perceived as dark and content/text heavy, and improve functionality to increase the engagement and interaction with the platform, and also meet the demands of stakeholders who wanted the ability to do more with the tool. This included:

  • Navigation to relevant information, quickly and easily
  • The ability to interact more with the each other and projects – creating a social network of innovation
  • Access to more interactive content and resource features e.g. podcasts/webinars/videos to bring the innovations to life
  • Creating more opportunities to meet the buyer
     

Using this user testing feedback, Cynergy redesigned and completed development of a new Innovation Exchange platform for both Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and Innovation Agency, which was launched at the end of July 2019, and as a result of the above, have:

  • Created a bright, clean website which utilises much more white space
  • Aligned the brand to the national AHSN Network brand and colour palette
  • Used more iconography and visual content to reduce the amount of text and help the user to absorb the information much more effectively
  • Created a user pathway to help users identify their motivations for being on the site and helping guide them to information which is much more tailored to their needs in a more streamlined approach
  • Added a new section to promote challenges/needs across the system to guide innovators as to where they can support and included a comments section to allow for interaction and online sharing and support.

 

You can find their Innovation Exchange platforms here:

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN

Innovation Agency