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Helve and National Health Service launch Latvian healthcare innovation pilot programme

To improve patient experience in healthcare institutions, the National Health Service of the Republic of Latvia, in cooperation with the innovation management company Helve, launches a digital innovation pilot programme - Open Health Labs. During the program, four healthcare institutions - Paula Stradins Clinical University Hospital, Riga Psychiatric and Narcology Centre, Jelgava City Hospital and Daugavpils Regional Hospital, will work with Europe's best MedTech startups to create innovative solutions for challenges provided by the institutions.

The healthcare sector is essential for all of us. Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts emphasizes : “Innovation is a critical element of Latvia's healthcare policy. It is the way to more convenient and accessible services for patients. Working with startups will enable new, personalised, automated, artificial-intelligence solutions that are needed every day by both industry professionals and patients."

During the sixteen-week online programme, the healthcare institution teams and startups from around the world will work on the challenges identified by the institutions themselves, thinking about current problems and services that can be improved with digital solutions. The newly established innovation pilot programme will serve as a ground for collaboration between healthcare institutions and startups. The co-creation process led by innovation experts will allow for tailor-made solution development.

"It is important that medical institutions gradually become more digitalized and therefore also provide patients with higher quality services. The programme and challenges for startups are developed with the goal to introduce the latest technology solutions in our institutions and provide patients with a world-class experience,” reveals Āris Kasparāns, Director of the National Health Service of the Republic of Latvia.

Marija Ručevska, the Managing Partner at Helve, emphasizes the role of Open Health Labs in positioning Latvia in the European open innovation space

"The healthcare sector is one of the four business sectors with the largest investment in R&D globally. In Europe, around 20% of total R&D investments could be attributed to the healthcare sector alone in 2021. This indicates a great potential to find solutions directly through innovation processes, and we are happy to see that Latvia and the healthcare sector, in particular, is setting an example of innovation in the public sector at the European level."

Paula Stradins Clinical University Hospital and startups will develop a visitor and employee-friendly navigation system and a convenient system for depositing, storing and retrieving patients’ personal belongings during the hospital stay. Startups will help Riga Psychiatric and Narcology Centre to develop a diagnostic tool for assessment of the course of outpatient treatment as well as a digital platform for online inpatient consultation. Jelgava City Hospital will seek startup help to create a tool for continuous monitoring of health conditions of inpatients and a digital tool for monitoring patients’ movements and location, while for Daugavpils Regional Hospital, a digital platform for automated recording, supervision and analysis of prescribed and applied therapy and monitoring of the condition of the patients will be developed.

Open Health Labs invite startups across Europe to apply for the programme to develop innovative solutions alongside the teams of Latvian healthcare institutions. The application process is open on the programme's website until the 29th of August. Experienced experts in open innovation will assess applications, and the programme will welcome the most relevant solutions and motivated teams to tackle the challenges.



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