A look back to the national event in Scotland !

NHS Western Isles Research and innovation were delighted to welcome over 40 participants to their Digital Fayre event held in the Caladh Inn, Stornoway on Tuesday 28 February. Participants included members of the IT4anxiety consortium and guests who had travelled from Belgium, England, Northern Ireland and mainland Scotland. The event was also supported by Dr Adam Giangreco, Director of Health, social and life sciences, UHI and Joanne Boyle, Head of Engagement at DHI. The visiting presenters were delighted to experience good weather and witness the spectacular Northern Lights.

The morning session began with a presentation led by Martin Malcolm, Head of public health intelligence and information services at NHS Western Isles who leads the research and innovation team which includes the organiser of the event Marion MacInnes, Project Manager and Carolina Borda-Nino, Health researcher who are both based in Stornoway. This presentation gave an overview of recent and ongoing projects the team has led on and contributed to. 

“NHS Western Isles has a long track record in collaboration in research and innovation projects and it was great to be able to share just a flavour of these at the Digital Fayre.  Such projects provide important opportunities to test innovative solutions to the particular challenges in delivering healthcare and improving the wellbeing of our island communities”, Martin Malcom

The next session was led by Vinciane de Moffarts, Project lead for IT4anxiety and Dr Siobhan Poulter, Research associate at Ulster University who are lead partners in the project. Both explained the wider project in more detail making links to NHS Western Isles who are a sub partner. 

Following this, the audience were introduced to the three visiting UK business start up innovations involved in the IT4anxiety project. These are Kindspace, Cerina and Brainberry who were asked to do a short presentation to describe their innovation and then take part in an exploratory round table discussion led by Dr Alison Robertson, recently retired NHS consultant psychologist. At this point, a Q&A was also offered to the audience with questions coming from NHS staff, social care staff and members of the public. Participants were then given time to visit the information stalls and ‘test’ the innovations and talk to the business start up innovations in more detail. For more information on all 23 start ups in the IT4anxiety project visit IT4Anxiety - Managing anxiety via innovative technologies for better mental health | Interreg NWE (nweurope.eu)

In the afternoon session Dr Ania Zubala, UHI gave a presentation on the recent online art therapy pilot conducted in the Western Isles in collaboration with NHS Western Isles and supported by third sector organisations Alzheimer Scotland and Advocacy Western Isles. This presentation was followed by a workshop to explore participants views about the online art therapy pilot and discuss future research opportunities in this area. 

The day ended with a drop in session for the public from 4-6pm to visit information stalls and meet with the NHS research and innovation team. For those who could not attend please visit Research and Innovation Service - NHS Western Isles | Serving the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

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