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Event Follow Up: Opportunities for UK space-enabled organisations across Indian Health Sector

Munawar Kazi
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On the 4th of May 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 2030 Roadmap for Future Relations. This roadmap represents the launch of an Enhanced Trade Partnership between the UK and India, with ambitions to double the value of UK – India trade by 2030.

on the 16th of February 2022, the Satellite Applications Catapult (the Catapult), funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, and supported by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and PUBLIC, hosted a virtual bilateral. The bilateral event, which forms part of the Catapult’s wider Pipeline Stimulation Programme (PSP), is designed to showcase innovative opportunities, increase collaboration, and strengthen cooperation between UK and Indian Health organisations.

The Bilateral event represented the culmination of two phases of research as part of the PSP:

  • An initial Discovery phase (Phase 1), where through a series of interviews with government stakeholders, coupled with desk research, emerged two challenging areas in Healthcare which could be addressed through space-enabled capabilities (‘enabling connectivity’ and ‘one health’);
  • A Challenge Refinement phase (Phase 2), where representatives from the Indian government, private, and tertiary sectors helped refine specific challenges, through workshops, and identify specific opportunities which could be addressed through collaboration between UK and Indian organisations.

The specific challenges which emerged from this research included:

Challenge Area 1: Enabling Connectivity

  • Persistent Rural Connectivity: How can you deliver specialist medical services to hard-to-reach communities who suffer from poor connectivity? (e.g., through Enhanced Networks, Drones, mHealth Solutions, etc.)
  • Access to Mobile Data: How can technology providers convince consumers to use expensive mobile data for healthcare purposes?
  • Cost of Connectivity: How can the government ensure that populations benefit from connectivity equitably, and address the double-cost of healthcare and data usage when accessing connected services? (e.g., through Subsidies, Connectivity Hubs, Insurance, etc.)
  • Data Sharing: How can government and SMEs ensure the security of personal data through connected services, to enable data sharing between states and between public, private and informal providers? (e.g., through Cloud-based EHR)

Challenge Area 2: One Health

  • Population Health Management: How can government leverage a One Health approach to prioritise investment and resource in health to address the most urgent health needs in a population of over 1.3 billion; and identify the emergence of environmental health threats? (e.g., through Early Warning Systems, Emergency Response Planning, Urban Planning, etc.)
  • Behavioural Analysis: How can the government capture data in local, rural, and other hard-to-reach communities to integrate into national datasets required to coordinate a One Health approach (e.g., through Wearables, Early Warning through Data Integration, etc.)
  • Intersectoral Data Integration: How can government integrate data across different sectors, including geospatial and veterinary datasets, with healthcare datasets to contribute to population health management? (e.g., through Data Integration Platforms, Consumer Platforms, etc.)
  • Increasing Access for Target Populations: How can hard-to-reach communities benefit from services and guidelines designed using a One Health approach? (e.g., through Mobile Health Applications)
  • Accountability: How can government establish an appropriate governance and funding framework to promote One Health? (e.g., through Policy, Regulators, Innovators, etc.

During the Bilateral event, experts from PUBLIC, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Catapult discussed topics of interest, followed by demonstrations of UK capability to address those challenges.

Interestingly, many of these challenges identified within the Indian health system will be familiar to UK readers as well as key challenges that the NHS is working to address. These findings advocate for greater collaboration between UK, India, and other international policymakers and innovators to coordinate greater collaboration in their approaches to digital health.

Organisations who showcased their products and capabilities to address the specific challenges during the Bilateral Event included:

 

23 organisations and over 30 attendees from India and the United Kingdom attended the event.

More Information: If you would like to know more about the opportunities arising from this event, or would like to explore the potential for future collaboration between the UK and India, please contact: health@sa.catapult.org.uk

Partners:

Satellite Applications Catapult

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created by Innovate UK to drive economic growth through the exploitation of space. We work with businesses and organisations of all sizes to realise their potential from space infrastructure and its applications. Based in Harwell, Oxfordshire, the Catapult was established in May 2013 as a network of centres to accelerate the take-up of emerging technologies and drive economic impact for the UK. We are a not-for-profit research organisation registered as a private company limited by guarantee and controlled by its Board.

PUBLIC

Since 2016, PUBLIC has helped to create and are a part of a leading ecosystem helping to solve pressing issues in the public domain. PUBLIC was built amidst Europe’s start-up ecosystem, helped shape “govtech”, and firmly believe new companies are critical to government transformation. Today, they advise governments, public bodies, and partners seeking to digitally innovate their services and systems; they build technology products and services to transform the public sector from health and social care to procurement and law enforcement; and they convene innovators, policy-makers, and investors to explore and shape the best future of public services.