eHealth Cluster work to match technology SMEs, public bodies, professionals, academic and health and social care providers to produce products.
The eHealth Cluster was developed to bring technology SMEs, the care sector and public bodies together and use the expertise of sectors to address healthcare challenges.
The aim of Cluster is to enable the Liverpool City Region to be one of the most advanced healthcare economies in Europe by bringing together the resources we have in the Region to work together as an effective cluster.
The cluster is innovative as it is SME led and impartial. It has developed based on the needs of SMEs. The Cluster is innovative in that each category of membership is equal.
The Cluster key services are developing as :
1. Cluster introductions (a focal point for making links between members – e.g. developer and commissioner or clinician, care provider and supplier, developer and expert in a particular field).
2. Cluster Workshops (focussed workshops addressing particular issues – e.g. working with Liverpool City Region, Adult Social Care Commissioners on medication compliance within domiciliary care settings – we are binging together care providers, social workers, Clinical Commissioning Group, Local Authority and tech provides to solve practical challenges).
3. Cluster Visits (giving members chance to visit the facilities we have in the Liverpool City Region, that they would otherwise not have the chance to see. Examples include Hartree Centre, University of Liverpool Gait Lab, Liverpool John Moores University Sensor Labs, etc).
The eHealth Cluster is managed by a single coordinator.
Initially the cluster was financed by Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) and Liverpool Vision. Then had some European Funding for business support through LCCG. The Cluster is now dependent on membership fees.
Evidence of success
Developed as a focal point for eHealth and a way for organisations of all size and type to find a route into the health and care ecosystem.
• Over 320 organisations/individual already engaged with cluster
• Established 26 collaboration partnerships
• Provided tailored and intensive business support to 28+ eHealth businesses;
• Partners in eHealth Cluster Ltd leveraged over £1.25M in new investment this year;
• Created 4 new eHealth businesses;
• Delivered a Community Test Bed facility.
• Large number of disparate organisations.
• Appreciation of contribution made by other sectors.
• Funding streams that encourage a narrow focus within organisations.
• Recognition of the need for impartial, constructive collaboration.
Potential for learning or transfer
The eHealth Cluster is an interesting model as it engages with and support both technology SMEs and the long-term care sector (domiciliary, supported living and residential care) and public bodies (including Local Authorities and NHS) bring colleagues together and using the expertise of sectors to address healthcare challenges.
The growth in eHealth provides great opportunities for all. Developing and deploying effective eHealth products is complex, cuts across different sectors and in order to be successful, needs to involve many different types of organisation.
The cluster is based on the resources and skills we have here in the Liverpool City Region so cannot be directly transferred to other areas. However the process of developing the cluster could be, therefore we could held to develop and grow clusters in other areas but they may look slightly different to ours, based on the local resources.