The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has launched a Digital Health and Skills Lab.

Located within the Serendip Digital Health Quarter in Birmingham, the lab provides a space for the co-design of digital innovations, bringing together health tech businesses, clinicians and patients to develop and test solutions.

It is designed to support the WMAHSN’s mission to increase investment in West Midlands life sciences, and to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the region.

The lab will operate in two phases with the first phase targeting the primary care sector before moving on to focus on secondary and social care.

Neil Mortimer, head of digital health at WMAHSN, said: “The Digital Health & Skills Lab provides a really exciting opportunity for businesses, NHS professionals and the public to come together and engage with digital health in an interactive and informative environment.

“We hope that businesses can use this space to test and showcase their innovation for the benefit the whole of the West Midlands. This is another great step towards a better future for healthcare, and we’re excited for the Lab to continue to grow and expand into the secondary and social care sectors.”

There will be a number of functions within the lab, including a place for life sciences businesses to showcase their existing and emerging innovations to clinicians and NHS managers, and jointly develop new offers with them.

It will also support the redesign of clinical pathways to exploit the value of technology.

In addition, the lab will offer a hands-on environment for people to learn how digital health can impact the West Midlands and improve their technology and data skills.

The Academic Health Science Networks were established by NHS England in 2013 to spread innovation. In September 2019, the networks published a report which pledged to do more to encourage diversity and equality in health technology.