InnoEvent – A symbiosis of education and health innovation in Odense

InnoEvent is a recurring event in Odense that focuses on education and innovation. InnoEvent is a collaboration between Odense University Hospital (OUH), Lillebaelt Academy of Higher Professional Education (EAL) and University College Lillebaelt (UCL).

Every year 500-700 students of IT, multimedia, graphic design, marketing and the health professional educations compete in developing innovative solutions for the health care sector. The goal is to establish a collaboration between the students and Odense University Hospital revolving around the innovation process.

InnoEvent offers a unique opportunity for OUH and the organization behind the New OUH to be inspired to find solutions to specific issues and problems. To ensure that the vision for the New OUH can be reached, a new way of innovating and using digital support is necessary, and in this respect the InnoEvent is a ‘playground’ where the creativity of the students is given free reign – but within a very real context; running one of the largest hospitals in the country.

The InnoEvent brings the students from EAL and UCL together for one week. During this time they work together in cross-disciplinary groups using innovative methods and interdisciplinary cooperation to bring forth new ideas and solutions within the area specified by the hospital.

Since 2010 InnoEvent has focused on the following themes:

  • 2010: Communication with patients
  • 2011: Using gaming technology in the hospital
  • 2012: Patient safety and security
  • 2013: New OUH – the Digital Hospital. This had sub-themes of The Acute Patient, The Patient’s Meeting with the Hospital, The Joint Patient (Collaboration between municipality, general practitioners and hospital), Logistics and Infrastructure, The Independent Patient.
  • 2014: New OUH

At the end of the InnoEvent week the best solutions in various categories are chosen and awarded, and the goal is to continue working on the development of these ideas and solutions and hopefully, in time, implement them in the operations of the hospital.

The development can take place in various settings; internships at the hospital or in local companies; a project collaboration between students, hospital and companies; or by the students working independently or with companies on the development. A process has been started to create an ‘incubator environment’ in the Science Park (Forskerparken) in Odense, where the students can get support and guidance to keep working with their ideas for the purpose of starting their own enterprise or to create a product or concept that is strong enough to sell to existing companies who can then offer the product to the health care sector.

The advantages of the InnoEvent are plenty for both the hospital and the participating educational institutions. New solutions and ideas are developed and become the basis of research projects and PhD studies, opportunities for internships and entrepreneurship arise, the students get ideas for future job possibilities and the hospital staff gets a better sense of the skills of the students and a platform for recruiting among the best candidates.

Last but not least, the InnoEvent has become a valuable marketing platform for the hospital and the educational institutions.

 

Read more about InnoEvent on www.innoevent.dk and see a video here that explains the concept and shows some of the succesful solutions from InnoEvent here:

 

 

Over the years, InnoEvent has produced many interesting solutions that have been developed further by the hospital, students and local SMEs. A few examples are:

  • “Young Chat”, in the HC Andersen Children’s Hospital. A chat forum for young patients where they can connect with peers in the hospital ward. The plan is to roll it out to all young patients at OUH, not just those admitted in the Children’s Hospital. The students behind it have established their own SME: http://www.takedesign.dk/, facebook.com/takedesigndk
  • “Medicine Calculator”, HC Andersen Children’s Hospital. A calculator that would allow for quick and easy calculation of dosage for children based on age and weight of the child. The students behind this idea are also a part of the new SME The Make Team. www.takedesign.dk
  • “The Sensitive Incubator”, Maternity Ward. An idea for an incubator for pre-term infants that simulates the environment in the womb to ensure the well-being of the baby, and which also has a video feed allowing the patients to see and speak to the infant through the video from their home. The students behind the idea have established the company InSense: Watch a presentation (in danish) of InSense. 
  • Digitalization of patient information, the Maternity ward. The first idea was to digitize all written information that pregnant women receive during their pregnancy and provide a USB drive containing all of the information in a user-friendly format. This became part of an existing project and led to the students starting their SME called Penimo: http://www.ouh.dk/wm420408
    As a spin-off, a PhD-project is now working with digital information and counseling on pre-natal screening for Down’s Syndrome via the website graviditetsportalen.dk
  • Pac-man game used for rehabilitation, Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery and the Dept. of Rehabilitation. The idea led to an on-going project between the students and OUH. Software based on the popular Pac-man game was developed and has been tested at OUH, and work is currently taking place to improve the platform and software.
  • Several ideas for apps for smartphones. One of these is a ‘Wayfinder’ app, to help patients and relatives find their way around the large hospital grounds. Has been incorporated into the project Applied Health:

The InnoEvent concept has been recognized internationally as well. In 2011 a group of student and representatives of OUH and EAL received the “Best Collaboration 2011” award at the conference “Creative Industries meets Science” in Bremen, Germany. The jury emphasized the exemplary cross-disciplinary cooperation – that a group of student with previous knowledge to the health care sector was able to create relevant innovative concept in only one week.
Furthermore, InnoEvent has been trademarked and is in the process of being established in other countries and has already taken place in Tampere, Finland, and steps are being taken to launch InnoEvents in other countries as well.

 

Hear Jane Jegind, Alderman for the Elderly and Disabled in the Municipality of Odense, give her view of the advantages of InnoEvent:

 

Interview with James Findlay, Play Foundation:

Permanent link to this article: http://old.cimt.dk/ouh-innovative-practices/innoevent/