Building relationships, changing lives

Wayne Smith, ICHP’s Health Economist, on his recent experiences at the HealthXL global gathering in Dublin. 

Wayne Smith
Wayne Smith, Health Economist, Imperial College Health Partners

HealthXL Global Gathering showcases innovation on the global level by bringing together people with ideas, resources and desire to contribute to the evolution of healthcare.

On 14 September 2017, 80 handpicked digital health innovators from the HealthXL Community came together in Dublin to collaborate. I was lucky enough to be one of them.

Sometimes challenges choose us
The event opened with a most inspiring talk by adventurer and motivational speaker Mark Pollock.

“Sometimes we have the luxury of choosing our challenges. Sometimes challenges choose us. It’s what we do about it that counts.”

It seems there is not a force on earth that can stop Mark and there is a clear lesson from Mark for innovators- connecting and collaborating helps solve problems.

Music as Medicine
Breathlessly, we moved into a session on Music as Medicine. With insightful presentations from companies such as MedRhythms and Singfit. MedRhythms is a Neurologic Music Therapy service and they provide a demonstration of their successful approach to recovery in movement using the ‘Crazy in Love’ song by Beyonce. Singfit uses an innovative approach to music as medicine for residential patients with dementia. They are achieving amazing outcomes with improved mood, decreased agitation and improved focus.

Consent Engine

Dr Axel Heitmueller, ICHPs Managing Director (pictured) presented his views on how data and analytics capability supports innovation. Benefiting from ICHPs access to WSIC data for North West London for care purposes, we are able to access records for over two million people and 380 GP practices. This allows us to provide a longitudinal view of linked data for primary, secondary, mental health, social and community care and create ‘Discover’, a consent engine for clinical feasibility studies.

Employee driven innovation
Day two kicked off with discussion of the leaders role in innovation. Lisa Suennen (Senior Managing Director, Healthcare at GE Venture) and Michael Dowling (President & CEO at Northwell Health) are demanding more female leadership, encouraging companies to provide evidence that innovation actually works and championing of employee driven innovation, aka intrapreneurship.

Collaboration is a catalyst for innovation
Summing up, attending the event was a really great opportunity to see the work of high energy organisations from around the world and understand how they are driving change and improvement. In particular, the HealthXL Global Gathering reinforced that collaboration is a catalyst for innovation.


Imperial College Health Partners provide strategic advice to HealthXL, the leading global platform for digital health collaboration. Request to join the HealthXL Platform today.