TITCH Workshop Overview

Following on from an event held in Sheffield in December 2015, the TITCH Manchester workshop took place on March 2nd, 2016, at Citylabs.

The workshop offered a ‘pitch to TITCH’ fund with 50k on offer to potential projects. Funding was provided by GH AHSN and CMFT and the event was facilitated by a company called Know Innovation.

Of the 38 attendees, 32% were from clinical backgrounds, 32% were from an academic discipline, 26% from industry and 10% other (other includes representation from the Healthcare Technology Cooperatives, the Clinical Research Network and AHSNs) Most of the attendees were based in Greater Manchester, however some were from Nottingham, Leeds and Liverpool.

Clinicians included consultants and senior professors, across a range of specialities. Representatives from nursing and mental health backgrounds also added to the rich mix in the room. Industry representatives were from various IT, digital and design based companies and were largely based in the North West of England. 

The intention of the workshop was to discuss clinical needs, look at possible solutions and begin to consider potential projects. Attendees had been asked to submit unmet needs via the registration process, these, alongside the unmet needs from the Sheffield workshop, were categorised into the following: 

•                Enabling improved medical interventions through technology

•                Improved technology to aid with diagnostics

•                Enablement of better child friendly education around health awareness

•                Improved technology to help with self-management of a condition

•                Holistic assessments of a child’s needs

A local TITCH perspective was also presented to attendees to highlight examples of how clinicians can take unmet needs and turn them into workable projects. This, in conjunction with a presentation on local research facilities for children, provided a backdrop to the event.  

The second half of the event enabled the attendees to consider potential projects that they would like to be part of. Five were discussed, and clinicians, academics and industry considered being involved. Some projects were very broad in range, such as an interface to interact between all stakeholders, and some were very specific such as developing a new device to help with incontinence; but all projects focused on improving child health. The fund goes live from April 2016 and potential project teams will be supported through the process by GM AHSN and the TITCH network.