A Danish company providing an innovative service for a tried and tested technology.
CorporateHealth International (CHI) have already accessed support to roll out their service in Scotland. CHI have taken advantage of the collaborative environment and willingness to embrace innovation.
CHI UK provides an innovative service for a tried and tested technology - their experts carry out specialist reading of images from a video camera capsule. The capsule contains a tiny camera which is swallowed by the patient and passes through the gastrointestinal tract, capturing up to 400,000 images which are then transmitted for analysis.Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and NHS Highland are working with CHI to develop technology which helps diagnose diseases of the digestive tract.
The patient can take the camera capsule at home instead of coming into hospital for a traditionally invasive procedure, which makes the process safer and more cost effective.
Setting up in Scotland – working collaboratively
From their Danish headquarters, CHI's founders, Hamburg-based Dr Cornelius Glismann and New York-based Dr Hagen Wenzek were looking around the world for the right collaboration to develop their diagnostic pathway.
An existing collaboration between Danish academics and Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Institute led to Wenzek and Glismann sharing their proposals with DHI’s chief executive George Crooks. Professor Crooks swiftly connected the duo from CHI with Professor Angus Watson at NHS Highland and the experienced Life Science team at Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Professor Watson was already exploring this type of treatment approach but lacked the resources to scale it up - CHI’s speciality. Importantly Professor Watson had already been working with Elgin-based IT specialists OpenBrolly on projects such as MyCancerPortal. OpenBrolly had experience of pulling information across NHS firewalls and learnt effective ways to anonymise patient information and then re-attach it to individual patient records.
Vitally CHI, NHS Highland and OpenBrolly discovered through DHI and HIE’s facilitation, that they shared the same commitment and confidence in the benefits the project promises for every stakeholder.
"The Highlands have proven to be a fertile environment for service innovation; receptive to solutions that serve patients better as well as a welcoming pool of knowledge and expertise.Dr Hagen Wenzek, CorporateHealth International
Thirty jobs are to be created in Inverness over three years as delivery scales up.
For the NHS, adding this video capsule endoscopy option to the portfolio of medical examinations means the scarcity of traditional endoscopy procedures can be overcome. While raw delivery costs are still roughly the same, the cost of patient travel from remote places to the hospital and the avoidance of complications make this innovation a significant development. And with increased productivity and continuously shrinking prices for the small camera capsule, economies of scale are set to be quickly realised.
Inverness will be CHI’s global research and development centre and, thanks to intensive collaboration with HIE, CHI has already won valuable contracts. Further, OpenBrolly has been able to quickly accelerate its expertise in collaborative healthcare projects and has already begun additional projects with CHI as the synergy between the two companies develops.
Ultimately CHI’s work introduces the concept of detailed, trusted procedures being carried out at a patient’s home and results provided digitally to the patient’s medical experts.
Although their options ranged worldwide, CorporateHealth International chose Inverness to be its development base because of the city’s innovative culture.
About Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Hagen Wenzek of CorporateHealth International, said: “I didn’t think a government agency could be so flexible and proactive. It isn’t an exaggeration to say the collaborative support we’ve had from HIE has been outstanding. Their Head of Life Sciences, James Cameron, comes from an industry background and his pragmatism, coupled with the willingness of NHS Highland to embrace innovation, have been fundamentally important to our success.”
David Sim, Director of CHI’s principal collaborator OpenBrolly, agrees: “HIE is investing in healthcare and has managed to foster a collaborative environment. No one company is ever going to develop one solution, but working together we can overcome issues and deliver solutions. As a test-bed to foster innovation, I doubt there are any other places that could compete with the Highlands and Islands.”
Read more about CorporateHealth International on the Scotland Is Now website.
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