Yesterday, Tuesday 9 November, we attended the signing ceremony of the collaboration agreement for the launch of the first Living Lab in health in our community at the CHUO. This initiative will enable the development of innovative projects in the healthcare sector, including our AVECEN project, a virtual assistant for the management of neurodegenerative diseases.
The event was chaired by the Regional Minister of Health, Julio García Comesaña, accompanied by the manager of the health area of Ourense, Verín and O Barco de Valdeorras, Félix Rubial; the manager of the Axencia Galega de Coñecemento en Saúde, Antonio Fernández-Campa; and the territorial head of the Regional Ministry of Health in Ourense, Laura López del Castillo; the Regional Minister of Health highlighted the commitment of the Galician Executive to turn Ourense into a benchmark of health innovation.
Thanks to this innovative initiative, we will have the opportunity and at the same time the responsibility to evolve AVECEN in direct contact with clinical staff, patients and their families, who will have an active role in the use and management of the system.
With the incorporation of AVECEN to the Ourense Living Lab, the entities that are part of the consortium, we take another step forward in our firm will to bring technological innovation closer to users, being part of an open innovation ecosystem focused on people and in a real environment. With this, we give continuity to a project initiated in 2018, co-funded by the Conecta Peme Programme of the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN) and which aims to improve the lives of people with dementia, their caregivers and their families, helping to prevent and self-manage neurodegenerative diseases characterised by a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease
Galicia is a leading player in healthcare innovation
The Galician public health system already has a long history in the field of innovation. Initiatives similar to the new Living Lab in Ourense have already received recognition at national and EU level.
In this regard, next week the Regional Ministry of Health will receive the New Medical Economics Award, which distinguishes Galicia as the Community with the most innovative healthcare activity. In addition, it has just been named a finalist in the European Innovation Procurement Awards.
These recognitions are added to the one received in 2019 by the European Commission, in which Galicia was accredited as a reference region in the development of innovative practices for active ageing or the National Innovation Award in 2013.
Thus, the trajectory of the Galician public health system made it possible for the Spanish National Research Council to choose Galicia this year to be the first autonomous community to join a Living Lab public procurement project at a national level.