Cisco has been announced as the first sponsor of EHI’s newly created Health CIO Network, which has already attracted the support of four regional groups.

The network was launched at EHI Live 2013 in Birmingham in November, at the end of an inaugural conference for health chief information officers and other health information leaders.

The aim is to create a platform to give health CIOs greater professional recognition, to build a shared identity, to influence national policy and to discuss the business issues that affect healthcare IT.

Jon Hoeksma, the co-founder and editor of EHI, said: “The commitment of Cisco in supporting the Health CIO Network marks a milestone in developing new models of collaboration and partnership in NHS IT.

“By bringing together groups of leaders in a network of networks, the Health CIO Network has huge potential to support information leaders across the NHS, accelerating best practice exchange and adoption.

“Regional groups from London, the North East, the South West and Greater Manchester, have already joined the network and NHS England is an active supporter.”

The network will be delivered through face-to-face events and online tools. As sponsors, Cisco will be present at regional and national events, will host a specific Cisco themed day, and will also have a prominent role on the Health CIO Network advisory panel.

Terry Espiner, Cisco health sector manager, said the company was keen to support the network because of its long involvement in healthcare IT, and its potential to improve patient care.

“ICT has a fundamental part to play in future models of healthcare delivery, and this new CIO forum is pivotal in maximising the role of IT in healthcare delivery moving forward,” he said.