The world-leading strengths of Yorkshire health research could help the whole UK

Patients in Yorkhire and the North are already benefiting from efforts to market the region's world-class expertise to major health firms around the globe.

Patients in Yorkhire and the North are already benefiting from efforts to market the region's world-class expertise to major health firms around the globe. Stock image

Northern universities and NHS trusts lead the world in translating innovative health ideas from the idea stage to reality, a strength that could create huge opportunities to boost the economy.

Though the 'golden triangle' of London, Oxford and Cambridge is world-renowned for its pharmaceutical research, the health system in the North has strengths in vital areas such as the running of clinical trials and in public health.

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This expertise could be vital for a major firm which has developed cutting-edge medical technology but needs help delivering it to patients, from manufacturing to training of staff and dealing with the supply chain.

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The Northern Health Science Alliance, which represents research intensive universities, NHS teaching trusts and northern Academic Health Science Networks, acts as the bridge between the North and global firms.

Dr Ben Martyn, the NHSA's Cluster Development Manager, says London's status as a internationally renowned capital city means much of the world needs to be told about the benefits of working with the North instead.

He said: "It's us going out there and telling the world about the expertise that exists within the North of England, and outside of that one area that they might know of, and trying to help identify opportunities where the North of England has expertise that doesn't exist in the rest of the UK.

"We do have areas that are world leading and don't exist in Oxford, Cambridge and London. If we don't project this out into the world, we miss out on opportunities that are good for the whole of the UK."

The North's expertise in running clinical trials quickly and accurately - as well as having a number of areas of high health need - makes it attractive for global firms and benefits patients who get access to cutting-edge technology.

Israeli firm Healthy.io recently used the Yorkshire health system to its advantage when the Modality GP practices in Hull tested its urine analysis kit for patients with Type 2 diabetes. An evaluation carried out by the York Health Economics Consortium, a firm owned by the University of York, showed the test could bring significant savings to the NHS.

And [email protected], a Yorkshire-based 'accelerator programme' aimed at helping digital health innovators navigate the region's NHS and bring benefits to patients, helped bring a pioneering artificial intelligence project to a wider audience.

Canadian firm Scaled Insights scans human speech and creates impressions of the speakers' personality to be categorised, making it much easier for health organisations to understand patients' needs.

The company, which has chosen Leeds as its global headquarters, has run more than 100 pilots of its product since beginning the programme.