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COVID 19 has offered us a lot of insight into how country level and global collaborative research can speed up and break down considerable barriers, when urgency requires a different approach to the safe implementation of therapeutics at scale and at speed. It has shown us that at times, we need to get out of our comfort zones, our specific ways of working and forge new paths, to benefit of society.

The intensity of thinking, skills, disciplines, services, universities, businesses, governments, local public services, care facilities, and people involved in this innovation process cannot be underestimated. The changes to our thinking across every known service, process and procedure to allow this rapid transformation and many innovations to occur in a short space of time, has helped us understand how creative we can be, when everything that is known to us has to be dismantled and reassembled to save life. It has enabled innovations to occur where they are most needed, and it has also got everyone involved in thinking about the many areas of health care service and delivery that now need to be addressed going forward.

NHS employee wellbeing

From the past few months we have perhaps also questioned how staff working in the NHS could be better supported in the future, so that all the people in the organisation and the services that feed in and out of it can be better supported, this includes our public health and care services.  We have not seen the immense challenges of breaking down barriers, working with new providers, calling in a much wider response to quickly innovate, and getting huge numbers of people to be involved in a new service, product, and process design. If we could apply this to the most important aspects to our health care delivery and self-care, imagine what innovations we could inspire.


We have also realised that we have to feed in to every aspect of a service and innovation, and that we all have many roles to play in not just our own health and care management at home, but how we can shape at scale transformation and new innovations, or design. We all offer unique insight into our own health and wellbeing as observers, with needs, whether those needs are our own, the needs of friends and family or our observations of services. We all have unique and useable insight into new ways of doing things, new therapeutics, quality of life, care, and more, and we may have unmet needs, which transcend healthcare and are a constant in everyday life. Health is also a consideration in the climate emergency in terms of changes we need to make to improve our environment, which ultimately can have a positive impact on our health.

The Future

Where is the line drawn between what we deliver and receive and what we feed back in terms of information? How do we better support the many challenges we have as humans?  Do we visit hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, care settings, or stay at home, in the knowledge that our health could be monitored and supported remotely, with early interventions possible and deliverable in a different format? What might we do in our own life to better support the NHS to meet the future challenges of large populations, unknown diseases, and viruses, or better support our wider mental health as a result of lifestyles which might be out of sync with the way our life is designed now?

We are all capable of offering insights, data, observations, understanding real needs, challenges, and designing products, processes and services that care for us all.  How many times have you thought about the life that could have been saved with the right equipment, intervention, or service?

Durham Future Innovation Building Programme provides design and innovation brainstorming to create and analyse an idea to then think about developing a product, process or service innovation, or design.  Do you have challenges, bottlenecks, service delivery challenges, new therapies and technologies that you want support with?

Find out more information at Durham Future Innovation Building Project – Business Durham

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