Guildford Digital Health Hub (GDH), a new initiative backed by Guildford Borough Council, was launched to put Guildford and South West Surrey on the map as a centre of excellence for organisations of all sizes across multiple sectors which are driving innovation in and around digital health and well-being.
The aim of GDH, a collaboration between leading public and private sector organisations already headquartered in the region, is to support new and established enterprises in their ambitions to collaborate, to innovate, to grow and to bring their solutions to market at a local and national level. It will also provide a collective voice to help influence the national agenda and to challenge the status quo.
The founding members of GDH are Alloy Business Innovation, Bravand, Business South, Charles Russell Speechlys, Consentricare, Enterprise M3, Guildford Borough Council, Play Well for Life and the University of Surrey. A representative from each of the founding organisations is involved in driving the initiative forward, helping to create a shared vision to engage, connect and empower all stakeholders.
Bill Palmer, chair of GDH and a founder and co-CEO of Consentricare, comments: “I am very proud to be the first chair of this great new venture, a public-private initiative that seeks to lead the debate around digital health and to give not just a voice but a place to be for innovators, entrepreneurs, established enterprises and new companies that want to make a real difference in the market.
“We are very grateful to Guildford Borough Council for their wholehearted support and initial financial backing for this initiative which is already being extremely well-received by innovators both from the area and, encouragingly, those who are thinking of establishing themselves in South West Surrey. The region’s robust communications and infrastructure, proximity to key markets and a workforce skilled in relevant technologies are all major attractions to enterprises wishing to base themselves in the right place at a very exciting time.
“Our launch event was a great success, attended by a wide range of industry professionals and business leaders operating in this dynamic and rapidly evolving sector. We are now looking forward to growing our membership and delivering true value for all involved, through sharing experiences and networking opportunities, providing support to those just starting out, signposting sources of funding and investment, cross-pollinating ideas and concepts across market sectors and of course through developing our own voice and expressing our own point of view as we set out to challenge some of the established thinking that risks acting as a brake on fresh ideas and innovation.”
Director of strategic services at Guildford Borough Council, Dawn Hudd says: “We are pleased that we were able to promote and fund the launch of the new Guildford Digital Health Hub on Thursday 22 April. Digital health and telemedicine, which provide care for patients through online services and digital technology, have great potential in the borough and we fully support the initiative. We have a growing number of healthcare start-ups with digital products as a key part of their offering in our borough, and we are keen to support these companies to understand how we can best connect them with the NHS and other healthcare providers.
“Guildford is home to the University of Surrey, the Royal County Hospital and the Surrey Research Park and has a thriving technology and innovation community. The digital health hub is a huge opportunity to put Guildford on the map and bring major economic and social benefits for the future.”
Dr Sarah Campbell from Play Well for Life adds: “From my own experiences, starting a digital healthcare business, I believe there is a real need for an organisation like Guildford Digital Health Hub to exist. Bringing excellence and inclusivity to healthcare innovation is something I am incredibly passionate about and something I want to ensure GDH is promoting right from the start.”