inDemand continues in Oulu with its second round of co-creating health innovations

The second round of the international inDemand project has been officially initiated during the kick-off meeting in OYS TestLab.

Four selected companies Neagen, Kipuwex, NE Device SW and met the challengers, healthcare professionals and supporters from Oulu University Hospital (OYS) on 14 May 2019. Sixty participants were actively involved in discussing the details of the co-creation process and took some time to get to know one another better. The workshop was arranged to share the most important practical information, define the co-creation & business support framework and prepare the co-creation work plan. It was also an excellent opportunity to identify the specific roles of all the solvers, challengers and supporters.

The inDemand project applies both demand-driven and co-creation approaches. It is implemented in three pilot regions: Murcia in Spain, Paris in France and Oulu in Finland. This year, all the SMEs that aim at solving the Oulu Region challenges are Oulu-based and they have been selected from the pool of eight applications.

According to Pauliina Hyrkäs, Designer of Innovation Services at Oulu University Hospital, the goal of the inDemand project is to co-create new eHealth services that will meet the carefully selected and evaluated healthcare challenges. These new solutions will enable patients to be more involved in taking care of their health, the hospital processes will be enhanced, and the cost savings in healthcare generated.

‘We received very good feedback from both healthcare professionals and companies involved in the last year’s edition of inDemand. We also learnt that the co-creation must be carefully coordinated and it is very important to have all the participants, healthcare and ICT professionals, the key stakeholders as well as experts in the field of health data protection, equally involved in the process,’ said Pauliina Hyrkäs.

The project is a new model of co-creating digital health solutions by healthcare organizations and companies, with the economic support of public regional funds.

‘For companies this new demand-driven innovation model is very interesting. I can see that they are highly motivated to work side by side with healthcare professionals. With regards to tailor-made business support, companies will work for example with Lean Canvases and prepare a commercialization strategy to support successful market launch,’ commented Heini Malm, Senior Advisor of Business Development at BusinessOulu.

One of the solvers, Neagen, has been selected for the challenge ‘Intelligent Screening (Using smart application in patient screening for MRI-scans)’. The goal is to determine if it is suitable to perform an MRI-scan for a patient, by automatically analyzing the existing clinical data. The system can detect at an early stage potential contraindications to the planned scan, and propose more suitable alternatives.

‘The close collaboration with the end users will help steer the technological solution in the right direction, towards a system which alleviates the current workload of medical professionals in charge of planning MRI-scans, increases reliability and patient safety. The final product may be taken in use in PPSHP, and will be offered also to other Finnish hospitals,’ said  Luca Pagani, Product Manager at Neagen.

Kipuwex, in turn, is going to solve the challenge called “Smart Pain Manager” by working on an application for drug-free pain management to help professionals in hospitals and patients at home. This is an add-on module for already existing Kipuwex pain analyser solution.

‘Co-creation plays an extremely important role in the product development and it would be impossible to develop a well-suited solution without requirements, inputs and suggestions from both the experts and end-users. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial co-creation process,’ added Matti-Mikael Cedervall, General Manager at Kipuwex.

Next, the teams will go through intensive 11 months of the co-creation period. During 2019, the goal is to bring development work to a stage where new solutions can be tested by the end users. The testing phase will continue early next year and will culminate in a final evaluation of the solutions in March 2020.

Contact persons

Pauliina Hyrkäs
Designer of Innovation Services
Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District

Heini Malm
Business development support
Horizon 2020 InDemand project

Joanna Seppänen, Health & Life Science, BusinessOulu