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From everyday ideas to innovations in health care

Technology and the challenges of everyday life meet in innovation workshops organised in connection with the Health Capital Helsinki collaboration.

The Health Capital Helsinki innovation workshops are based on ideas collected from the Hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) personnel in confidentiality on developing operations with new technological solutions, among other things. More than 70 specialists from HUS, Aalto University and the University of Helsinki attended the workshop.

The leader of Aalto Health Platform, Executive in Residence Markus Mäkelä is pleased with the workshops.

The workshops play an important role as one form of innovation collaboration, as the problems and ideas that come from the care personnel themselves are invaluable.

'Our board monitors these ideas on a regular basis and we aim to support the research and commercialisation projects that develop in these workshops,’ says Mäkelä.

In the event Jari Salo, Specialist in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, talked about successful technological innovations in treating bone and cartilage injuries.

Salo has been involved in the development of a new wood-based material for orthopaedic casts, which can also be used to enhance healing that takes place inside the bone. A start-up called Onbone Ltd was born as a result of this innovation. He has also developed cone beam computed tomography, a unique method for imaging cartilage. Salo has also studied the biomechanics of the tarsal joint in collaboration with a research group studying 3D printing under the leadership of Jukka Tuomi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In addition to innovations and promotion of business, one of the central goals in the Health Capital Helsinki collaboration is to improve the support structures for innovation activity. This already has a good foundation as doing things from the perspective of the actors’ everyday work is one of its strengths.

According to Visa Honkanen, Development Director at HUS, Jari Salo’s experiences of successful innovations are an excellent example of how different strategies to promote innovations can be implemented within the same area.

‘We certainly have ideas, but we still need to improve the support structures. The Health Capital Helsinki activity has started in a very practical way by applying the idea of learning by doing,’ says Honkanen.

Generating ideas an everyday routine

Markku Mäkijärvi, Medical Director at HUS, who opened the event, wants to encourage the personnel to boldly take the initiative and start generating solutions to everyday problems.

‘The ideas for innovations often come from people who do practical work. Bringing ideas to the workshops is important as the idea for the solution can thus be developed in multidisciplinary teams,’ says Mäkijärvi, who is also the vice-chair of the Executive Council of Health Capital Helsinki and the chairman of the advisory board of Aalto Health Platform.

The generation of ideas should be seen as a part of everyday life and it applies to all who operate in health care, not to doctors only.

Deputy Nurse Manager Pirgit Silvast-Äikäs, who was awarded the first Health Capital Helsinki prize for promoting innovation in the event, is a recent example. Silvast-Äikäs’ area of specialisation is peritoneal dialysis, in which she has strong experience.

‘The peritoneal test in its current form is laborious and often fails. Renewal tests take up hospital places and the picture we get from inadequate samples is unclear. The new innovation will help the patient and improve the analytics,’ says Silvast-Äikäs, delighted about the prize.

Silvast-Äikäs will continue to develop the test with Professor of Microsystem Technology Tomi Laurila and other experts from Aalto University. They are part of a growing group of experts who are involved in the research and development of ideas that arise from the innovation workshops. For some of them, funding will be applied for from Tekes at the next stage.

 

 

 

 

The first Heath Capital Helsinki prize was awarded to Deputy Nurse Manager Pirgit Silvast-Äikäs for promoting innovation. Silvast-Äikäs’ idea is related to the peritoneal test in dialysis treatment. Tuukka Harell, Ward Secretary from the Kätilöopisto Maternity Hospital, is also interested in improving everyday life and work and took part in the workshop.

Health Capital Helsinki (HCH) is a research, know-how and entrepreneurship cluster in the fields of life science and health technology in the Helsinki region. Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and the Hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) form an alliance that, based on the research in these fields, develops the innovation and business environment, with an aim to make the Helsinki region the leading Nordic region in the fields of health and well-being. The development measures are coordinated by the Health Capital Helsinki project office. 

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