InnoScot Health celebrates 20-year anniversary with renewed focus on empowering NHS to enhance the future of healthcare
Formed in 2002 and formerly known as Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL), InnoScot Health has a strong track record of working in partnership with NHS Scotland to inspire, accelerate, and commercialise impactful healthcare innovations, originating from health and social care staff.
In the 20 years since its inception, InnoScot Health has formed seven spin-out companies, evaluated over 2000 ideas, and successfully integrated 250 of them into healthcare settings in Scotland and around the world.
Its long-standing senior management team has meanwhile accrued almost 50 years of service with the organisation, including Head of Regulatory Affairs Elaine Gemmell who helped to establish the organisation back in 2002.
This week, Elaine received a long service award in recognition of her 20 years of work.
Executive Chair Graham Watson said: “From day one of this organisation, Elaine set the high standards that we continue to attain to. Her commitment and professionalism combined with deep expertise in healthcare innovation is a huge asset to our organisation and it is a pleasure to work with her every day.”
With the advent of its third decade, InnoScot Health is setting its sights higher with a refreshed look and enhanced website that is making the submission of ideas from NHS staff significantly quicker and more intuitive.
Breakthrough ideas honed across the last two decades with InnoScot Health have included a range of medical devices, products, and technologies commercialised for use in hospitals, care homes and on-scene emergency settings.
A leading example of such innovation is the Structured CRitical Airway Management (SCRAM™) portfolio of emergency airway bags that enhance the performance of emergency airway management and tracheal intubation, reducing the time to treat critically ill or injured patients.
Invented by Air Ambulance Paramedics and developed in collaboration with InnoScot Health and commercial partner OpenHouse, research has shown SCRAM™ has significantly reduced intervention time, results in fewer procedural errors, and reduces cognitive load.
Another successful spin-out from InnoScot Health in partnership with NHS Ayrshire and Arran has been Clear Surgical, a medical device company focussed on the design and manufacture of innovative medical devices for use in surgery.
Clear Surgical operates globally within the medical, dentistry and veterinary sectors, supplying technologically advanced products such as the OpLight™. This revolutionary, single-use, sterile, disposable light source provides direct light into cavities during surgery due to its ability to be affixed to existing surgical instruments, eradicating shadowing from overhead lighting systems.
Graham Watson said: “Looking back on the last 20 years, it has been a privilege to work in partnership with NHS Scotland and help bring hundreds of game-changing healthcare innovations to market.
“We are proud of everything we have achieved and how we have helped to improve the patient experience both nationally and globally by inspiring, encouraging, and supporting the NHS to help translate ideas into innovative products and services that are making a real difference to the lives of patients here in Scotland but also around the world.
“That is very humbling and testament to the talent and capabilities we have here in Scotland.
“Looking forward too, we recognise that NHS Scotland has a significant challenge ahead in meeting its recovery plan aims, capitalising on new ways of working, maximising fresh technologies, and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
“At InnoScot Health, we are now striving ever harder to encourage innovation – simple or complex – from all levels of the NHS and help shape a better future for all.”
He added: “Through our new look website, it has never been easier to submit ideas and get the expert support you need to take the first crucial step on your innovation journey.
“Fundamentally, a good idea can be sparked by anyone at any time – sometimes the simplest are the most effective, and our website is reflective of that notion.”
InnoScot Health has a unique role in encouraging new ideas from NHS Scotland staff, the importance of which has been hugely underlined by the pandemic and the significant health care system pressures which it has continued to create.
InnoScot Health insists it is now vitally important to unlock the know-how and first-hand experience of NHS staff to improve treatment and patient care.