The University of Twente (UT) and hospitals Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST) and Ziekenhuisgroep Twente (ZGT) started the Pioneers in Health Care (PIHC) Innovation Fund in 2014 to reach their mutual goal: faster introduction of innovative technology in clinical practice by bottom-up collaboration between the world of new technology and medical practice. Menzis is a health insurance company, strongly embedded in Twente.  In 2017 PIHC was expanded with Deventer Hospital and University of Applied Sciences Saxion as partners. Menzis contributed to the fund from 2015 until 2018, thereby aiming to improve efficient and high quality care.

The UT is a modern, entrepreneurial university, leading in the area of new technologies and a catalyst for change, innovation and progress in society. ‘Health’ is a key research theme at the University of Twente, and many research institutes and educational programmes study the various aspects of health and healthcare and the role of medical technology in society. Saxion is a University of Applied Sciences, which offers several educational programs in the Health care field. The applied research at Saxion focuses on  vitality and self-management. The main objective is to allow people to participate in society for as long as they can, both socially and economically. When they are no longer able to do so, technology can help.
MST and ZGT are regional hospitals in Twente who provide high quality care for their large volumes of patients. Deventer Hosipital is a topclinical hospital in the region Salland. These hospitals aim for continuous innovation of care. Research makes an important contribution to the improvement of patient care and the professionalization of care and care professionals.

The challenge for the technical researchers and the medical specialists is to speak a ‘mutual language’. This will lead to a better understanding of each other’s work, resulting in more collaboration and more relevant health care innovations. Technical solutions to overcome limitations in the current health care, or new medical applications of existing technology, that is what Pioneers in Health Care is all about.