TECHNOLOGY businesses and healthcare professionals are collaborating on two innovative new projects being trialled to improve healthcare delivery in York.

NHS Direct 2.0, a collaboration between SCY (formerly Science City York), City of York Council, York NHS, University of Sheffield and Navmotion, is to to create an online, interactive doctor that delivers a more tailored approach to patient needs.

And Health Spark, a collaboration between Kathryn Grace, a former design manager at Everything Everywhere (EE), and York digital agency The Distance, Birmingham City University, SXT Health CIC, Hull University and York Mind, takes a crowdsourcing approach to local healthcare. Their app uses a news aggregator, social media and technology used by York start-up Yatterbox to enable the public to ask and answer questions, and give their views on local healthcare issues.

The projects are the result of a weekend brainstorming event, Synergy Surgery: Creative Health, which brought together more than 60 healthcare professionals, IT, digital and creative businesses and health service end users.

The event followed a call-out on the GeniUS! York online forum which asked people to put forward their solutions for local healthcare improvements.

Attendees at the Synergy Surgery event then formed workshops to explore solutions to some specific challenges within these areas. They then formed small groups which culminated in a pitching competition for funding from City of York Council’s Delivery and Innovation Fund.

Anthony Main, mobile director and founder of digital agency The Distance, said they were already looking at project plans. “It normally takes months of meetings to develop ideas to this stage. We did it in a weekend,” he said.

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, who led the judging panel, said another three ideas – involving patient self-management, redesigning the pharmacy and engaging with socially isolated patients – also had great merit and said she hoped that with further development they too would progress to pilot stage.

If the pilot projects prove successful, the GeniUS! York team will work with the project organisers to help scale up their ideas to regional and national levels.