Health Innovation Hub announced

DHBs to band together to provide technology Hub; Govt to part-fund initiative

The government has committed $3 million towards the establishment of a Health Innovation Hub, which will be opened next year and operated by the Canterbury District Health Board and three North Island DHBs.

Health Minister Tony Ryall and Acting Economic Development Minister David Carter jointly announced plans for the Hub yesterday.

In a statement, Carter said: “The new Hub will be a catalyst for innovative ideas coming from our health technology sector.”

It will “assist with developing health technology ideas generated by clinicians and companies into business propositions, products and services”, and will “streamline links between the health service and industry, spread new products and ideas and commercialise intellectual property,” Carter said.

The government’s pledge of $3 million is only part of the $24 million required to run the Hub for five years from 2012 to 2017. Funding for the remainder of the $24 million is being finalised, a Ministry of Economic Development spokesperson told Computerworld.

“The DHBs, regional economic development agencies and private sector firms have all expressed interest and we’re confident about reaching $24 million,” the spokesman says.

A document from the Canterbury District Health Board, dated September 16, notes that the Hub will be “organised as a national entity, initially with two regional delivery arms in Auckland and Canterbury” and will provide three types of services: testing and reference site services, commercialisation of IP and dissemination of service IP.

The Hub’s legal status will be a limited partnership between the four founding DHBs and other “foundation stakeholders”.

This structure will allow other DHBs to join over time and other DHBs have already expressed interest in joining, according to the document.

A Hub commercial board chairperson is expected to be appointed by November, and a chief executive in January, with further staff and a full commercial board recruited in February, and the formal “go-live” in March.

In a separate development to the Hub, the Canterbury District Health Board entered into an arrangement with Orion Software in August that is seeing DHB clinicians working alongside developers from Orion to “advance technology innovation”, according to an Orion media statement.

The DHB is a customer of Orion Health.

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