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Students showcase healthcare ideas

22 November 2022

Dr Fiona Brennan, Joshua Oguntade, Emmanuel Onyango, Adanna Anomneze-Collins, Barbara Coles, Dr Avi Mehra
Left to right: Dr Fiona Brennan, Joshua Oguntade, Emmanuel Onyango, Adanna Anomneze-Collins, Barbara Coles, Dr Avi Mehra

Students with bright ideas for better healthcare have shared clinical innovations at an end-of-year showcase event, with winners taking away a £1,000 prize to bring their idea to life.

After spending the year on the Learn 2 Innovate programme, students from various degree including healthcare, computer science and medical engineering went head-to-head to pitch their ideas in front of an expert panel of judges.

The winner of the Learn 2 Innovate Student Innovator Award prize for the Cross-University Collaborative Innovation Task went to Under Pressure, a team led by Frank Davis, a 4th year medical student from Cardiff.

Frank Davis said “The learn 2 Innovate programme has been exceptional all year round. We received interesting, informative lectures throughout the year from small start-up CEOs to huge medical technology business people.

“It was organised brilliantly. We all felt extremely grateful and inspired to be able to listen and pick the brains of extremely influential people. Every group produced a thought provoking and innovative idea which shows incredible and consistent engagement every student had in this programme.

“My group were honoured to be named the winners and being involved in this programme has given us the confidence to continue to pursue the development of our innovation idea.”

The Learn 2 Innovate programme was established by then Cardiff medical student Alexander Coombs after finishing his intercalated degree at Imperial College London.

“Whilst studying at imperial I was fortunate to be exposed to healthcare innovation from studying my surgical innovation degree to being part of a team making a contact tracing app. There were lots of opportunities for Imperial students and I wanted to bring that exposure back to Cardiff.

“I founded the Learn 2 Innovate programme after formulating the initial concept with then CUReS president, Sanchita Bhatia. This idea grew into a 1-year cross-university, cross-faculty programme which aims to inspire and support students to become future innovators in healthcare. We have been extremely fortunate with the calibre of speakers and mentors on the programme, and our successful first year is owed to our students and our very supportive partners, the INSPIRE team and CU Clinical Innovation Hub.”

Panel judge Dr Fiona Brennan, a consultant anaesthetist with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “Clinical innovation has a key role to play in the modernisation and future development of the NHS. As a member of the Green Health Wales Team, I am keen to champion innovative healthcare, and today’s showcase was a masterclass in how to devise, develop and deliver outstanding new ideas.”

The panel included Barbara Coles, Project Manager, Accelerate Wales; Professor Keith Harding, former Dean of Clinical Innovation, Cardiff University; Professor Jonathon Gray, Director of Innovation and Improvement, CAVUHB and Dr Avi Mehra, Co-Founder, Doctorpreneurs.

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