The first of Vall d’Hebron Innovation and Science Week comes to an end

All the activities associated with virtual and augmented reality, robotics, simulation, 3D, entrepreneurship and research came to an end after five days.

19/11/2021

Today, the first Vall d’Hebron Innovation and Science Week came to an end. Promoted by the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus Innovation Committee, it took place between 15 and 19 November and comprised five days of all types of activities associated with virtual and augmented reality, robotics, simulation, 3D, entrepreneurship and research. Some of these activities were aimed at the professionals of Vall d’Hebron and the professionals in the sector at other institutions, whereas others were aimed at society in general and children. Click this link for a minute-by-minute account of the Week.

"Vall d’Hebron is and wants to be a leading hospital in innovation. We want to provide knowledge and ideas to improve the health of all of society”, stated Dr Albert Salazar, director of the Vall d’Hebron. On behalf of Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, its director, Dr Joan Comella, stated "we are pleased to have been able to dedicate an entire week to innovation and science. Technology and research are global. Therefore, the solutions that we provide through research have a global impact".

The four strategic aspects of the Vall d’Hebron innovation model are: “promoting an innovative culture and providing support to professionals; leadership and visibility in the promotion and comprehensive management of innovation; creating a sustainable and innovative ecosystem; promoting technological and knowledge transfer”, explains Dr Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Head of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Psychiatric Department and chairman of the Innovation Committee, who wanted to highlight the participation of the different sections of the hospital as well as the interaction between the clinical professionals and the innovation processes in the Week. This Innovation and Science Week, Dr Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga explains that, “has highlighted all the actions promoted by healthcare professionals at the bedside and which have become innovative projects and products”.

“With this Week, we wanted to bring Vall d’Hebron closer to the citizens”, affirms Dr Anna Sala, head of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Innovation Unit and Deputy chair of the Innovation Committee, continuing, “and raise awareness of the more innovative projects that we carry out, ranging from virtual reality to 3D printing, robotic simulation and the digital transformation and its use in the health setting, with activities designed for our professionals as well as for the citizens as a whole, both adults and children”. This Week has gathered all the stakeholders involved in the health ecosystem (patients, healthcare workers, healthcare institutions, companies, children, etc.) into a variety of workshops and roundtables and, in addition to presenting the innovation carried out at the Hospital, “we also debated what hospitals will be like in the future, the new ways of collaborating with industry and patients and the importance of humanisation in hospitals”, explains Dr Anna Sala.

"In order to innovate, it is necessary to identify the real (clinical) needs, and from there analyse the ideas for new products and services. At the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute, we have a professional team that helps researchers throughout the entire technological transference and knowledge valorisation process", explains Laia Arnal, Director of Business Development at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute. She stresses that "this is our commitment: to generate economic and social wealth, create business opportunities and market our knowledge through the collaboration and co-creation with national and international partners".

The roundtables, a central pillar of the Week

The roundtables were one of the central pillars of the Innovation and Science Week. A total of five were held. The first, which took place on the Monday, was titled “The role of virtual reality and augmented reality in the hospitals of the 21st century”, in which various experts debate the development of virtual reality and augmented reality software and their application in the health setting. The aim was to discuss the potential of this technology in health, its current uses in clinical practices and the challenges of the future. On the Tuesday, day two, the round table “New collaborative models in R&D&I” was held during which different experiences, opinions and visions were shared of how the collaborations in research and innovation between companies, hospitals and their research centres are being structured and driven. The round table “Applications of robotics in the health sector”, a debate between experts in robotics and its application in the healthcare setting also took place on day two.

The roundtable “Simulation in health”, which took place on Wednesday, focused on the values of simulation in health and gave two examples of simulation-based training performed at Vall d’Hebron: the SIMOONS project and the Medical Area Simulation Group for the training of Emergency Department residents. Two additional roundtables took place on Thursday: “Applications and the potential of 3D printing in clinical practice”, a debate between experts in 3D printing technology and its application in the health sector; and “Innovation for the patients and with the patient”, during which it was possible to listen to the accounts of Vall d’Hebron patients who are participating or have participated in actions relating to innovation, either in technology or services. Lastly, the roundtable on “The acceleration of the digital transformation health” was held today, Friday, which detailed the objective of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Digital Transformation Committee and the strategic line followed by the Hospital for digitalisation and an improvement in the service for citizens, with the patient being at the centre. During the debate, projects were presented that promote the digital transformation of the Hospital and the Telemedicine projects in collaboration with ROCHE, who provided the vision of the pharmaceutical industry.

Another highlight of the Week was “Vall d’Hebron entrepreneurs”, a series of conferences designed to raise awareness of more than a dozen spin-offs and start-ups generated at Vall d’Hebron. These are companies with a technological base born to develop technologies and knowledge, such as Mosaic and Peptomyc, by the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), and Adan Medical, Modis, Mimark, Anaconda, Endolipid, Nora, Tensor Medical and Bsure Medical, by the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and bring them to the market. All these spin-offs and start-ups have created dozens of jobs, raised millions of euros in funding and it is expected that they will have a significant impact on clinical practices and the generation of social and economic wealth.

The professionals at Vall d’Hebron have been able to attend various practical workshops on the topics covered during the Week, such as simulation (where those attending were able to immerse themselves and test the SIMOONS platform), virtual reality and augmented reality aimed at patients, virtual and augmented reality aimed at professionals and the training of health care professionals, mindfulness sessions with virtual projections to relax professionals, 3D printing workshops and also on the design thinking methodology applied to health.

With regard to activities aimed at citizens in general, visits were arranged of the more innovative areas of the Campus such as the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute, the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat) and the ICU, and they have also enjoyed speeches on research and science. Children were able to participate in a workshop with robots and a scientific workshop where they discovered how medicines are made. Throughout the week they were also be able to visit the exhibition “The other side of research”.

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