ATHealth ensures conditions for applied research for technological innovation in health/home care strengthening the cooperation in regional innovation chains.
Regional innovation chains often face deceleration of speed in implementing the knowledge from academia into practice. Applied research centers need to expand the extent of their activities within the quadruple-helix cooperation. The ATHealth Center responds to the need for developing the capacity of a faculty interdisciplinary center for applied research and innovative technologies related to health in interaction with the health/care system stakeholders.The Center provides scientific infrastructure for co-creating, testing, piloting and delivering innovative solutions in health and home care by strengthening quadruple-helix cooperation in regional innovation chains. The previously missing environment for the deployment of virtual infrastructures, remote sensing and mobile applications was ensured in a university in cooperation with local business and care-givers, stimulating the quadruple-helix cooperation. The center became the proactive basis for building a network of virtual laboratories for remote monitoring at national level, providing cloud services, continuous monitoring in home care while ensuring access to research teams and facilities for care-givers. It created capacity for continuing education nationally in the field of providing distance monitoring of health in home care.The Center holds regular events bringing together academia, digital business and health and care sector for co-creating innovative tools, services, and solutions in support of health/home care.
With a initial funding of 250000 EUR and team of 5 scientists the Center ensured the necessary infrastructure and competences for effectively carrying out interdisciplinary research and applied technology development activities in the areas of health and home care within quadruple helix cooperation.
Evidence of success
Giving access to all participants in regional innovation chains, the Center facilitates the process of pilot generation of new products, processes and services by cooperation of academia, clinics, care givers and SMEs. It ensures the infrastructure, equipment and scientific support needed for deploying innovations in applied technologies in health for academia, professionals in health/home care and digital business. 12 new digital solutions for health and home care started from ATHealth center.
Many efforts have been put and still are made to attract the SMEs to be more proactive in cooperating with the academia and to get to use the facilities available for the collaborative research and the interaction within the regional innovation chains.
Potential for learning or transfer
ATHealth center creates the technical and scientific environment for a cooperation between a research entity in university and formal healthcare providers (clinics and social care providers) along with SME’s operating in the field of ICT innovations identifying various cloud-type innovative solutions for remote services. Although the Center was focused on applied health technologies segment, the practice could be used also to set up projects specifically in the home care segment, using the model cooperation between research entities and informal care providers and hospitals. An applied research center for tackling complex issues in health/home care sector with collaborative research and cooperation with digital companies could serve as a model to be followed by public bodies for ensuring conditions for co-creating, testing and piloting innovative solutions answering specific needs in areas and regions facing different social challenges as depopulation, ageing, lack of work force.