Novamed looks to advance health-care solutions with virtual innovation lab
Kirk Hamilton (left) and David Walcott, co-founders of Novamed.

One year after the emergence of the novel coronavirus pandemic, local health-care innovation business Novamed is making significant strides with its Virtual Innovation Lab to explore innovative solutions and opportunities in health care.

“The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst in spurring the need for an innovative space to tackle the current challenges in health care, and Novamed responded to that need with the establishment of the virtual innovation lab,” said David Walcott, founder of Novamed.

Walcott further explained that following the success of the company's first Health Care Innovation Forum – Catalyst, held in March, Novamed has been driving a paradigm shift in health-care development and economic progress of frontier markets by offering high-level industry exposure through the innovation lab. “The lab has maximised the many opportunities that came out of the innovation forum by building on the dialogue that was generated and translating that dialogue into innovative solutions and outcomes,” said Hamilton, founding partner of Novamed.

With its vision of driving health-care innovation and advancing world-class health-care solutions in emerging markets, Novamed's virtual innovation lab is focused on six primary areas of innovation — biomedical engineering, health technology, advance technology, biochemical sciences, clinical sciences and health analytics.

Walcott shared that the goal of the lab is to increase collaboration through tangible outcome-driven initiatives by organising teams around innovative ideas, opportunities, and resources to drive impact in health-care. He also shared that the lab aims to build solutions into prototypes which will then be leveraged into sustainable business models, through industry collaborations, networking and access to global resources through its relationship with organisations such as the World Economic Forum, Harvard and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Walcott added that ultimately, Novamed anticipates that the lab will spin off into profitable and purposeful health-care solutions, which will benefit the health care sector in emerging markets, such as the Caribbean and Latin America.

Novamed, through the virtual innovation lab, had partnered with the world-class lab at the University Hospital of the West Indies to explore Pool Testing (biochemical sciences) to optimise the national strategy in tackling COVID-19 by significantly increasing Jamaica's testing capacity. “This project demonstrated that the University Hospital of the West Indies could potentially save approximately US$1 million every month, and there are many such intelligent interventions that could drive significant cost savings and impact in health care that we intend to mobilise and are happy that the University Hospital of the West Indies is aligned with our vision of continued innovation,” Walcott shared.

To date, Walcott said that the virtual innovation lab has attracted a number of young professionals from across the globe, including in the Caribbean, noting they have had analysts from as far as Dubai and recently landed over 30 applications from the United Kingdom. “Novamed is operating in a global space and our aim is to target young professionals with the requisite skill sets and aptitude, who want to explore innovative solutions in health care globally; the team is excited at the participation we have received so far,” said Walcott.

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