Medisch Spectrum Twente, ZGT (Ziekenhuisgroep Twente) and the University of Twente launch a joint innovation fund: the 'Pioneers in Health Care Innovation Fund'. The aim of the fund is to encourage collaboration between medical specialists from MST and ZGT and researchers from the UT MIRA research institute. The collaboration should lead to new insights and technology that improves patient care. For the first year, the three parties jointly propose an amount of 400,000 euros to be spent on eight innovative projects at the interface of medicine and technology.
A lot of technology is developed for healthcare, but too often it is technology that the medical community has not explicitly asked for. If scientists and medical specialists work together at an early stage, it is precisely the technologies that are needed which arise and which can also be deployed more quickly in the clinic. In order to promote sustainable cooperation between researchers and medical specialists, UT, MST and ZGT have therefore established the 'Pioneers in Health Care Innovation Fund'. For the first year, the three founding fathers have jointly made an amount of 400,000 euros available. This money will be used in the coming year for eight innovative research projects at the interface of medicine and technology. For the following years, other partners will also contribute to the fund.
Both MST, ZGT as UT regard the fund as a resource that will ultimately benefit the patient. Bas Leerink, chairman of the Executive Board of Medisch Spectrum Twente: "MST believes it is very important that the enormous research potential in the region is directed towards improved outcomes in the care for our patients. That is emphatically a criterion in the Pioneers in Health Care Innovation Fund that we have started with ZGT and the UT." Meindert Schmidt, Chairman of the Executive Board of ZGT, agrees: "As an innovative hospital, ZGT likes to encourage research that can contribute to improvements in patient care. In this way, organizations in Twente offer medical specialists the opportunity to perform their own research and so together strengthen the healthcare."
Also according to Albert van den Berg, scientific director of UT research institute MIRA, the aim of the technology that his research institute develops is the improvement of the welfare and the health of patients. "In order to optimally apply the latest technological advances for use in healthcare, it is essential to work on the basis of clinical requirements. We therefore believe that it is vitally important to use the vouchers from the Pioneers in Health Care Innovation Fund for sustainable cooperation between the UT and our local partners MST and ZGT."
In total, 33 research proposals were submitted. These were evaluated on the basis of, for example, the relationship between the clinical problem and the technological challenge, the expected quality improvement, the degree of cooperation and the applicability in the clinic. Eight proposals received vouchers. These include the development of a sensor system that warns people with a new hip if it threatens to shoot out of its socket and research to improve the quality of life of Parkinson's patients by providing them with feedback about their gait and posture by means of smart glasses technology.