We are part of a ground-breaking £4.17m Digital Health Hub for the North East and Cumbria, in collaboration with five universities and seven NHS trusts.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded NortHFutures hub aims to create a world-leading healthcare technology centre supporting inclusive digital skills training and sharing, research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The three-year pilot project aims to address unmet health needs in North East and Cumbria, including health and nutrition for children and young people (CYP), mental health and wellbeing, and living well with long-term conditions.
It will develop a programme of networking and entrepreneurial activities, and commission and fund early-stage technology innovation projects.
It is one of six Digital Health Hubs funded across the country as part of a pilot project by the EPSRC.
The Hub combines the strengths and resources of six universities: Durham University, Newcastle University, University of Cumbria, Northumbria University, Sunderland University and Teesside University, alongside seven NHS Trusts, industry, health and care providers, local authorities (LA) and voluntary, community, and social enterprises (VCSE).
Professor Brian Castellani from our Faculty of Social Sciences and Health, who is our project lead, said: “Creating a people-centred, co-designed health-technology ecosystem in the North East – with NortHFutures as its hub – is key to our region’s healthcare future.
“Developing such a digital ecosystem allows us to use digital skills and training, research, data sharing, and cross-sector public, academic, practitioner and entrepreneurial engagement to help improve health and wellbeing in the North East, particularly for underserved communities and those struggling with health inequalities.
“I am really excited Durham is a part of this work.”