Previous Events

Take a look back at previous events from Greater Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem

June 2022 | Digital Futures / Manchester Ecosystem: Urban Health

This GM Connected Health Ecosystem was held in collaboration with the Digital Futures Health & Care and Cities and Environments themes, in-person at Citylabs 1.0.

Understanding the multifaceted relationships between our changing urban environments and human health and wellbeing has long been recognised but often poorly understood by those with responsibilities for designing and managing our cities. For the past 30 years or so the WHO European Healthy Cities Network has led the way in attempting to steer healthier urban environments.

Despite this we still evidence showing large variations in healthy outcomes for residents across different parts of cities. In this Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem workshop, we brought together a range of experts in health informatics and urban planning and spatial analysis to explore how we can work more closely together and develop innovative responses in support of healthy cities.

Click on the links bvelow to view the presentations from our guest speakers.


ECHAlliance Update: Andy Bleaden (Community director, ECHAlliance)


Healthy urban planning and design: Dr Razhieh Zandieh (Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning, The University of Manchester)


Manchester Urban Observatory: Dr Ettore Murabito (Data Lead for MUO)


Tackling Root Causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development: Prof Cecilia Wong (Professor of Spatial Planning, The University of Manchester)


Population Health Databases: Niels Peek (Professor of Health Informatics, The University of Manchester)


April 2022 | Deep dive into the GM Care Record – connecting health and care across GM

On Tuesday 26th April 2022, Digital Futures hosted the GM Connected Health Ecosystem: Deep dive into the GM Care Record – connecting health and care across GM. The event welcomed guest speakers from The University of Manchester, Health Innovation Manchester, NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre and Graphnet.

Health and care organisations across Greater Manchester have accelerated the deployment of the GM Care Record for all 2.8m citizens to provide frontline professionals with vital information in the fight against COVID-19.

The GM Care Record allows workers in health or social care, easy access to patient information that is critical to support decision-making about patient care and treatment. It is being used to access over 140k patient records by over 13.5k frontline users each month (Dec. 2021) and connects over 500 organisations including primary and secondary care, mental health and community trusts, out of hours services, specialist trusts, social care and the region’s ambulance service.

It’s an extension of integrated care records already live in each locality of Greater Manchester. However, it collates patient information from across Greater Manchester into one place, making it easily accessible for health and care workers to inform direct care from across geographies and organisations.

The GM Care Record also provides the platform by which clinical pathways can be truly digitally transformed through the closer integration of services and bringing in new technology such as remote monitoring.

In addition, the GM Care Record is not just about care and treatment – it also provides the mechanism by which citizens’ deidentified health and care data related to COVID-19 can be used for research and secondary use purposes.

Greater Manchester has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Likewise, there are communities within GM that have been disproportionately affected. Working with The University of Manchester, the use of deidentified patient data for research will us help to understand this and how we can improve GM’s health and care response to the pandemic and ultimately to improve the care of our citizens.

The project has been overseen by Health Innovation Manchester and the GM Health and Social Care Partnership, working on behalf of GM’s devolved health and care partners, and the technology provider of shared care records – Graphnet.

This event brought together different perspectives from clinical, academia, industry and the GM health and care system to showcase the work that has gone in to creating the GM Care Record and the benefits this will bring to the care and treatment of the citizens of Greater Manchester in future.

Click here to watch the recording of the event.

Feb 2022 | How the pandemic has sparked innovations and new partnerships

On Thursday 10th February 2022, Digital Futures hosted the GM Connected Health Ecosystem: How the pandemic has sparked innovations and new partnerships. The event welcomed guest speakers from The University of Manchester, Health Innovation Manchester, Better and the ECHAlliance, as well as a live audience who participated in a Q&A session after each presentation. Read the full article here.

July 2021 | Digital Transformation & Ageing in GM

The Ecosystem event featured presentations from the projects, and offered a networking-style session to answer questions and facilitate connections between potential research partners.


10.00 - 10.10 Introduction (Ben Bridgewater, Health Innovation Manchester)

10.10 - 10.30 Deploying Digital Interventions in Care Homes – Response to Covid-19 (Jay Hamilton, Associate Director of Health & Implementation/Patient Safety Collaborative Lead)

10.30 - 10. 50 Support for companies in digital health and aging - R&I accelerator, SME voucher scheme and UKRI £12m healthy-ageing challenge (Daniel Zamora, Commercial Programme Manager, Health Innovation Manchester)

10.50 - 11.10 ARC (Speaker TBA)

11.10 - 11.20 GMCA (Speaker TBA)

11.20 - 11.30 How the digital healthcare revolution leaves the most vulnerable behind (Dr Omer Ali, Lecturer in Public Health, University of Manchester)

11.30 - 11.40 Falls prevention in a digital age: addressing the digital divide (Prof. Chris Todd, Deputy Director Healthy Ageing Theme NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester)

11.40 - 12.00 Networking and Q&A Session

12.00 Close

May 2021 | Digital Healthcare projects: COSMIC-19 and EMBRaCE

The second Connected Health Ecosystem of 2021 was held virtually on Tuesday 18th May, 10.30-12.00.

The meeting focussed on two new projects in connected health that are led by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust:

COSMIC-19: A pilot study to assess whether artificial intelligence combined with continuous vital signs monitoring from wearable sensors can predict clinically relevant outcomes in patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection on general medical wards.

EMBRaCE: Enhanced Monitoring for Better Recovery and Cancer Experience in Greater Manchester.


Zoe Merchant (Specialist Occupational Therapist, The Christie) 

Anthony Wilson (Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, MFT)

John Moore (Consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine, MFT)

Anthony Wilson gave a presentation the COSMIC-19 (COntinuous Signs Monitoring iCOVID-19) Project and the lessons that have been learnt from undertaking a wearables trial with patients in a hospital setting.

Zoe Merchant then spoke about EMBRaCE-GM and the rationale for a wearables trial in cancer from a PPI perspective before Anthony Wilson gave an overview of the study and the infrastructure that is in place to support it. Zoe then went into more detail on the qualitative methodology in EMBRaCE-GM with regards to Patient participants and Healthcare Professionals. John Moore rounded up the talks on EMBRaCE-GM, giving a presentation on the future direction for the EMBRaCE-GM research group and the potential for collaborations in the GM system.

Seonaid Lafferty and Effa-Bassey Ettah then gave an overview of the current GM AI & Cyber Foundry projects which are offering SME's the opportunity to access expertise which will provide the skills and knowledge to clarify their visions, enhance internal operations and bring innovations to market. Find out more by opening the presentation linked below or by contacting (Project manager, Cyber Foundry) or (Project manager, AI Foundry).

The final presentation was given by Ania Jolly who talked about the ERDF R&I Accelerator which focuses on helping SMEs to commercialise their research and collaborate with research institutions. The project will work with Greater Manchester SMEs to accelerate their development and improve commercialisation of innovative health & care projects and services within the life sciences sector. More information can be found here or by contacting or

The Ecosystem, which is coordinated by Digital Futures, plays an important role in bringing together key organisations and personnel in this area, creating a platform for sharing new and important policy developments, research, funding opportunities and innovations.

We are a member of the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance), a network of permanent multi-stakeholder Ecosystems across Europe, North America & China.

To find out about future Connected Health Ecosystem events and to discover more about Digital Futures, sign-up to our mailing list here:

The Ecosystem is delivered in partnership with the ECHAlliance and Health Innovation Manchester.

Jan 2021 | Health Innovation: Funded Support & Collaboration Opportunities

The first Greater Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem of the year was hosted by the University of Manchester’s Digital Futures and Health Innovation Manchester on Thursday 21st January 2021. 

The meeting focussed on two upcoming opportunities for funded support and collaboration for companies involved in health innovation – particularly in digital health: Health Innovation Manchester’s Research & Innovation Health Accelerator, and a ‘sandpit’ event hosted by the University of Manchester’s Institute for Data Science and AI in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute.

Daniel Zamora gave a presentation on the Research & Innovation Health Accelerator led by Health Innovation Manchester, the organisation responsible for boosting innovation in Greater Manchester’s health and care system. The Accelerator will be delivered in partnership with the University of Manchester, Manchester City Council, Bionow and The University of Manchester Innovation Factory (UMIF). Open to SMEs in Greater Manchester looking to accelerate their products or services into the healthcare field, opportunities range from targeted support in navigating markets to collaboration with University of Manchester academics to develop new products and services. 

Professor Chris Taylor then spoke about the four ‘sandpit’ events being hosted by the University of Manchester’s Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI) in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute in March 2021. One of the sandpits will focus on Health and Care Innovation based on Data Science and AI, with others on Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, Clean Growth, and Digital Transformation. Funding is available to support collaborative feasibility studies (£10k-£15k) co-developed at the sandpit events. 

October 2020 | East Netherlands: Your Gateway to Europe

The October 2020 Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem was hosted by the University of Manchester’s Digital Futures and Health Innovation Manchester on Tuesday 27th October 2020. 

The meeting focused on opportunities for UK healthtech businesses in the East Netherlands, facilitated by the East Netherlands Development Agency (OostNL). We were joined by Marloes de Goeijen, Advisor to New Businesses (UK) and Rik Luimes, Advisor to New Business (Health), from OostNL, who presented on the work of the Agency, as well as Robert O’Dowd from RealHealth, who provided an industry perspective on UK health businesses in the region.

Marloes de Goiejen gave a presentation on the work of OostNL and the opportunities afforded to British businesses in the region, as well as touching on the topical issues of Brexit and the current Covid-19 crisis.

Rik Luimes then presented on his area of expertise: healthtech in the East Netherlands. He gave an overview of existing infrastructure in the region, and gave suggestions of opportunities for UK businesses. 

After a short Q&A break, we were joined by Robert O'Dowd of RealHealth, who gave practical tips and advice for UK businesses looking to engage with the region, as well as presenting the work of his company. 

July 2020 | Deploying Digital Interventions in Care Homes - GM's Response to Covid-19

The July Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem was hosted by the University of Manchester’s Digital FuturesHealth Innovation Manchester, and Safe Steps online on Wednesday 29th July 2020.

The situation in care homes remains critical, with the battle against the coronavirus epidemic in North West care homes ongoing. The University of Manchester's Digital Futures, Health Innovation Manchester and digital tech company Safe Steps discussed Greater Manchester’s response to Covid-19, and the latest innovation for care homes which will offer better visibility for clinicians and care workers on elderly residents who are at risk.

The event included presentations on the use of digital healthcare systems in Greater Manchester in response to Covid-19; and the development and roll-out of the Covid-19 symptoms tracker. We also showcased the work of industry partners assisting us with digital health applications.

Online attendees had the opportunity to ask questions to the panel of speakers as part of the event which was chaired by Digital Futures Health and Care theme lead, Professor Niels Peek.

Ecosystem meetings are held quarterly, with discussion, debate, workshops and networking focusing on key developments and opportunities for technology in the health and social care space in Greater Manchester.

The theme of these meetings can be suggested by any member and the Ecosystem team will do our best to facilitate events which meet the needs of all our members.

April 2020 | Continuing the Digital Transformation Journey in Healthcare

The April Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem was hosted by the University of Manchester’s Digital Futures and Health Innovation Manchester, online on Friday 24th April. Chaired by Professor Niels Peek, Digital futures Health & Care Theme lead, the event focussed on Greater Manchester’s digital strategy for health and care and some of the digital responses being put in place due to Covid-19 across the sector. Included were presentations on:

  • GM Digital Strategy and Digital Response to Covid-19 (Prof. Ben Bridgewater, Health Innovation Manchester)
  • Deploying online consultation tools for Digital First Primary Care and the opportunities for Artificial Intelligence (Dr. Marcus Ong & Gwynneth Derere , Spectra Analytics)
  • Adolescent Mental Health  (Scott Lauchlan-Ford, 42nd Street)
  • Digital Healthcare Consultancy (Will Miller, Keystream Group)

And the opportunity for academia, industry, third sector and health and care organisations to discuss best practice and explore opportunities for deploying digital healthcare solutions in the region.

July 2019 | Transforming Care through Digital Innovation

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Greater Manchester is embarking on an ambitious plan to build on our existing assets to become a globally leading centre for digital innovation, data science and analytics.

The most recent meeting of the GM Connected Health Ecosystem saw stakeholders from across the region gather to discuss the importance of ‘digital’ in healthcare. Attendees heard from Health Innovation Manchester Chief Executive Professor Ben Bridgewater, and newly appointed Digital Innovation Lead Guy Lucchi, who both stressed the importance of ensuring that innovations were fit for purpose; that whilst there are exciting opportunities for industry and commissioners to work together to develop and deliver digital solutions, they must be aligned to population health need.

Digital tech provides the chance to accelerate delivery and deliver real value across the healthcare system – from streamlining processes, enhancing the patient journey, and reducing resource pressures. Demonstrating what works, and more importantly how parts of the system have come together to make it work, can influence and shape policy too. We also heard how GM has benefited from this approach in Frailty and Dementia care.

IEG 4 presented on their CHC2DST solution, providing an insight into trying to access the NHS through programmes such as the NHS National Innovation Accelerator programme, and support from the AHSN network. Delegates also discussed some important emerging trends such as Artificial Intelligence. Ecosystem members DAC Beachcroft LLP provided an overview of some of the emerging issues in AI and healthcare IT law, whilst Informed Solutions Technical Director Matthew Rix gave their take on deploying AI software in the NHS.

The promises and potential rewards of new digital innovations are manifest, but caution is required as we navigate through the interesting and potentially litigious legal and ethical landscape!

Thank you to all our speakers and exhibitors.

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September 2018 | Joint Northern Ecosystem - Digital Health in the North

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September's Connected Health Ecosystem meeting delivered a first; all three Northern Ecosystems, and all four Northern Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), together with the ECHAlliance, delivering a joint event - 'Digital Health in the North'.

Over 250 delegates from across industry, academia, the NHS, Social Care, and wider public sector, gathered at King's House Conference Centre in Manchester to hear about the opportunities for collaboration, and the transformative power of harnessing our digital capabilities across Northern Health and Social Care.

The event was opened by a welcome and introduction from representatives of all four AHSNs (Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive, Yorkshire & Humber, who chaired the event; Liz Mear, Chief Executive, Innovation Agency; Linda Whalley, Strategic Advisor, Health Innovation Manchester; and Seamus O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer, AHSN North East and North Cumbria). Following a tribute to the late Keith Chantler, Director of Innovation, CMFT NHS Trust & Executive Director, Trustech, and a friend and colleague to many in attendance, the event heard from its Keynote Speakers.

Following the introduction, Bleddyn Rees, Deputy Chair of the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance) spoke on the importance of being able to harness skills and opportunities from across Europe and beyond. The ECHAlliance is well positioned to act as a valued connector across different geographies and healthcare landscapes through their international network of Ecosystems. Working in partnership with Ecosystem co-ordinators, the ECHAlliance helps enable this, and supports its members to access funding and learning in a changing and complex environment. 

Delegates then heard from  Paul Rice, Head of Technology Strategy at NHS England, who spoke on some of the fantastic work being done through initiatives such as Local Health & Care Records Exemplars, Global Digital Exemplars (two of whom presented later in the morning), Digital Innovation & Research Hubs, and the ongoing work to improve inter-operability and the patient experience.

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The next presentation was from Sarah Rodgers, Professor of Health Informatics at the University of Liverpool, who talked about the opportunities within academia to help understand, develop, and deliver research that enables better health outcomes. One particular example is that of SAIL, the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank, which houses a multitude of datasets in a safe and secure environment.

There then followed a Panel Discussion and Q&A via, before the second half of the morning got underway with presentations from some of the Norths best Digital Assets. Each asset showcased why they were leaders in their field, and how they were utilising existing digital capabilities as well as harnessing new ones, to improve services and champion innovation in the NHS.

The day finished with pitches from seven invited SMEs. Representing GM were two companies. Firstly, d2 Digital by Design, who developed an award-winning collaborative mobile app for stroke mimics with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, North West Ambulance Service, Greater Manchester Stroke Operational Delivery Network and Connected Health Cities. Secondly, IQ Media, who through funding support from Health Innovation Manchester, and research conducted by the Health e-Research Centre (HeRC) and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, developed a digital platform to help combat Child Obesity.

Attendees were then able to network over lunch and visit the exhibition stands in the First Floor Hall. Exhibitors in attendance are featured here.

The GM Connected Health Ecosystem would like to thank all colleagues who assisted in the organisation of the day, the speakers and delegates in attendance, and in particular the event sponsors -the University of Manchester's Health e-Research Centre HeRCHealth Innovation ManchesterYorkshire & Humber AHSNNorth East & North Cumbria AHSN, and the ECHAlliance.

You can read more about the day by searching #DigiHealthNorth on Twitter

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July 2018 | Data Sharing for Better Healthcare

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The July 2018 meeting of the GM Connected Health Ecosystem took place on Thursday 12th July at MSP Citylabs.

The discussion focussed on the recent awarding of Local Health & Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) status to Greater Manchester by NHS England. The £7.5m award will help further strengthen the work being undertaken to develop integrated care records across GM and better sharing of information.

An overview of LHCRE was provided by Stephen Dobson, Interim Chief Digital Officer, GM Health & Social Care Partnership, followed by presentations and discussion from locality based leads from Wigan & Bolton on their experiences of data sharing across organisations.

In addition, there were discussions surrounding Trusted Research Environments, the opportunities and challenges of data sharing in healthcare, together with hearing from Health Innovation Manchester & NICE on the latest developments on the GM Innovation Hub and mapping our digital health assets.

Thank you to our speakers:

  • Stephen Dobson, Interim Chief Digital Officer, GMHSCP
  • Jonathan Kerry, Assistant Director, NHS Wigan Borough CCG
  • Alison Hughes, Assistant Director Strategic ICT Partnerships, Bolton
    MBC / Wigan MBC
  • Paul Morris, Associate Director of Informatics, NHS Bolton CCG
  • Ben Green, Information Security Manager, Connected Health
    Cities / University of Manchester
  • Andy Bleaden, International Projects Manager, ECHAlliance
  • Linda Whalley, Strategic Advisor, Health Innovation Manchester
  • Jane Garnett, DataLab Lead, Science Policy & Research, NICE

April 2018 | GM CHC: sharing progress & best practice

The April 2018 meeting of the Manchester Ecosystem took place at The Studio, Lever Street on Tuesday 17th. 

As part of the ongoing work to position the GM Connected Health City (GM CHC) in the current health innovation landscape, the meeting was organised to share progress and best practice with key stakeholders from across the region. 

The event offered the opportunity to:

  • Hear about the latest developments from the care pathway projects on (i) diagnosis & treatment of stroke and (ii) reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in primary care
  • Learn about engagement with industry through the clinical automated coding exemplar project with Intelligent Medical Objects
  • See demonstrations from the SMASH & PINGR dashboard interventions using data to discover actionable insights in primary care
  • Discuss the opportunities for developing Learning Health Systems methodologies across other clinical domains and organisational footprints 
  • Explore options for sustainability as well as innovative new ways of working