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New digital health hub launches for Wales and South West

14 March 2024

Group photo of the LEAP Digital Health Hub university partners.
Front row centre, LEAP’s Cardiff University expert team (L-R) Professors Paul Harper, Maneesh Kumar and Daniel Gartner together with the hub’s university partners.

Cardiff University researchers will lend their expertise to a new digital health hub for Wales and the South West of England.

The Leadership, Engagement, Acceleration and Partnership (LEAP) hub aims to surface unmet health and care needs and create new collaborative research projects which bring together industry, academia, patients, carers and healthcare professionals.

A skills and knowledge programme will also see the hub deliver a portfolio of training to professional part-time learners in the digital health community.

By engaging with local communities, the region’s health and social care organisations, and with industry partners nationally, LEAP aims to lead and shape the international agenda in digital health.

The Cardiff University team, drawn from its School of Mathematics and Cardiff Business School, will contribute expertise in service operations and operational research as applied in healthcare.

Professor Paul Harper of Cardiff University’s School of Mathematics said: “We’re delighted to be members of LEAP, which will provide unrivalled opportunities for practitioners and researchers across Wales for developing and strengthening skills and research in digital health.”

Advocates for analytics-driven process improvement within digital health and mathematical modelling projects, they aim to emphasise healthcare analytics concepts across strategic, tactical, and operational decision-making levels, encompassing scheduled, unscheduled, and other care services.

Professor Daniel Gartner of Cardiff University’s School of Mathematics added: “We’ll be contributing to pivotal areas of research on transforming healthcare and expanding care beyond traditional hospital settings, as well as enhancing predictive and prescriptive healthcare analytics.”

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the £4.11 million hub is led by the University of Bristol and brings together expertise from the region’s leading universities, including the University of Bath, Cardiff University, the University of Exeter, Health Data Research UK and the University of the West of England.

Alongside its institutional partners, LEAP's partnership network extends to 21 supporting companies, seven NHS Trusts and Health Boards, four social care organisations, five local authorities, Health Innovation West of England, and the business incubator SETsquared.

Professor Maneesh Kumar of Cardiff Business School said: “With a consortium of over 50 partners, LEAP is not just a project; it's a commitment to elevate our region's digital health capability.

“I’m looking forward to steering LEAP towards transformative healthcare, predictive analytics, and community-driven research as part of the Cardiff University cohort of practitioners.

“Here's to LEAPing into a healthier, more connected future!”

Find out more about the LEAP hub.

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