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Creating Inclusive Digital Health Ecosystems

The aim of this project is to explore ways of involving diverse communities in the co-innovation of digital health technologies as a necessary step to ensure a socially inclusive transition towards a digital health system based on universal health coverage and respect for privacy.

A number of blog posts have been written over the course of this project - see below to view them all. 

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Report 1, July 2023:
"What Good Looks Like for Our Communities"

This project's first report, written by Dr Paulina Ramirez, is available to view or download. The report addresses the first stage of work done in gathering insights and developing an in-depth understanding of people's use and engagement with digital technologies. This was done by collecting qualitative data through conversations and interviews conducted by peer researchers.

The Partners

The Building Inclusive Digital Health Innovation Eco-System project is a collaboration between Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham, the NHS Black Country ICB Digital and IT Team, the walsall housing group, the Centre for Diversity and Equalities (CfDE), and Community Connexions.

Birmingham Business School

Dr Paulina Ramirez; Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham


Paulina is researcher and lecturer with a special interest in innovation systems. Paulina is particularly interested in how national and local institutions influence and shape the creation and diffusion of new technologies, above all in healthcare. More recently Paulina’s research has focused on participative and socially inclusive innovation. In 2022, Paulina was awarded an ESRC IAA impact fund for the Building Inclusive Digital Health Innovation Eco-System project.

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Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) works across the health and care sector in England providing a range of services including clinical support, business support, transformation, commercial solutions and business intelligence.

As part of the NHS, Arden & GEM works with organisations that make decisions on healthcare, hospital trusts, GP practices, local authorities and the voluntary sector to help health and care systems sustainably deliver high quality services which improve health and wellbeing. This often involves digital solutions and we work alongside firms who are innovating to meet this need.

The Building Inclusive Innovative Systems (BIIS) research gets to the heart of ensuring that all communities benefit from digital healthcare by involving them in the design and creation of potential solutions. Firms innovating to produce digital solutions are invited to participate in the research to better understand the viewpoint of the end user. This is an opportunity for these organisations to listen to the voices of communities that can often be overlooked and consider how the benefits of co-creation and co-innovation can be included within their product development process.

“This research asks the questions that are key to tackling digital exclusion in healthcare. I am looking forward to working with both the University of Birmingham and digital champions to understand what users want from technology, how they can get the most out of it and how we can build structures for co-creation.”  Fran Ward, Project Manager, Digital Transformation and Service Redesign.



Blog Posts
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