Why the Name Health Foundry? How Did it All Come about?
Health Foundry is a collaborative workspace for people using, or interested in digital technologies to improve health and wellbeing funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. The Charity have been investing in digital health innovation for a number of years and wanted to pilot a space for digital health start-ups and healthcare professionals to come together.
The Charity had seen the work of Architecture 00 and thought they would be the perfect partner – not only for designing the coworking space but also to build the community.
In June 2016, construction work began on the site of an old children’s nursery, and we opened our doors to members in September 2016.
We felt the name Health Foundry reflected two aspects of the space – firstly, the coming together (fusing/melting) of different types of people to create new innovations and solutions, and second, the idea of the Foundry ‘sparking’ new ideas and partnerships. We also think it’s quite a cool name!
What’s Your relationship with Guy’s and St Thomas’?
We are funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the charity arm of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Hospital Trust. The Charity are really hands-on and involved in the space, providing connections and expertise which is invaluable.
We are also building a good relationship with the Trust, with individuals as well as teams and registering as members, to hold meetings, innovation sprints and attending Health Foundry events.
What Cool Stuff can Members Get / Experience by Spending Time at Health Foundry?
Lots! Firstly, we provide an inspiring workspace for our members with a variety of different spaces to work from including fixed and hot desks, booths and even a chillout space. We have a monthly programme of member-only and public events here that provide inspiration and learning opportunities.
Some of the great events we have hosted recently include an event on what the NHS can learn from the media in terms of digital transformation and a round table on invisible innovation.
Secondly, we provide connections and introductions that help our members progress, whether that’s through the ‘NHS Navigator surgeries’ that advise on accessing the NHS or through Will Nicholson, our Community Connector, who provides introductions and advice about working with voluntary and community groups in Lambeth and Southwark.
Lastly, through our Open Solutions Lab (news article) we help organisations transform the way they provide their health services by hosting workshops, designs sprints, round tables and learning expeditions.
What are Your Hopes / Plans / Dreams for the Future?
Health Foundry 1.0 is just the beginning. We hope that the space will be the catalyst for developing a health tech hub south of the river that attracts start-ups and corporates to collectively change the way we deliver healthcare in the UK.
If you would like to find out more come for a free trial day.