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Idea Description
Supplementary Information
Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Our Game Based Learning platform, could be easily deployed to support the WM Mental Health community - parents, carers, teachers, clinical staff, in early recognition, intervention and prevention, especially for early intervention of young people.
Overview of Innovation:
Our Game Based Learning platform has a unique difference over 'other' digital / serious games providers. Our platform provides the ability to easily change, update and amend game experiences, so that any investment in an experience is extended to address an organisations ever changing requirements. Our platform allows a Game Based Learning experience to be developed in under 10 days and can be changed / updated in minutes. The platform is available 'locally' or in the Cloud and can be deployed on Tablets, PCs or via the Internet. We have already successfully worked with and developed a number of games within the Healthcare Industry - namely around the subject of 'Stop the Pressure' - Pressure Ulcer training for Tissue Viability professionals.

We believe that our Game Based Learning platform could be deployed to assist the Mental Health community to drive communication, early intervention and help with prevention of Mental Health - especially within the area of young people, as a Game Based Learning experience is un-intrusive, engaging and enjoyable, thus suiting the demographics for the younger generation.

Game Based Learning, provides an engaging conduit to deliver knowledge in an enjoyable format, games generally result in players relaxing and engaging in the defined subject. This creates a learning platform that is open to all levels of intelligence and education, providing an level playing field for the overall audience.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Our Game Based Learning platform, aligned to the ‘Future in mind’ report could support the WM Mental Health community - parents, carers, teachers, clinical staff, in comms, intervention & prevention, especially for early intervention of young people.
Overview of Innovation:
Our Game Based Learning platform has a unique difference over 'other' digital / serious games providers. Our platform provides the ability to easily change, update and amend game experiences, so that any investment in an experience is extended to address an organisations ever changing requirements. Our platform allows a Game Based Learning experience to be developed in under 10 days and can be changed / updated in minutes. The platform is available 'locally' or in the Cloud and can be deployed on Tablets, PCs or via the Internet. We have already successfully worked with and developed a number of games within the Healthcare Industry - namely around the subject of 'Stop the Pressure' - Pressure Ulcer training for Tissue Viability professionals.

We believe that our Game Based Learning platform could be deployed to assist the Mental Health community to drive communication, early intervention and help with prevention of Mental Health - especially within the area of young people, as a Game Based Learning experience is un-intrusive, engaging and enjoyable, thus suiting the demographics for the younger generation.

Game Based Learning, provides an engaging conduit to deliver knowledge in an enjoyable format, games generally result in players relaxing and engaging in the defined subject. This creates a learning platform that is open to all levels of intelligence and education, providing an level playing field for the overall audience.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Mental Health: recovery, crisis and prevention / Long term conditions: a whole system, person-centred approach / Wellness and prevention of illness / Education, training and future workforce / Wealth creation / Clinical trials and evidence / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
The 'Future in Mind' report commissioned by the NHS, clearly discusses the benefits of early intervention relating to mental health, especially for the younger population. To achieve early intervention successfully, the whole 'mental health' community must be involved - peers, parents, teachers, friends, professionals etc. Applio believes that a proof of concepts - Game Based Learning experience, would greatly assist in breaking down the barriers in the 'openness' and 'discussions' relating to this difficult subject. Games have the ability to really engage an audience, provide an enjoyable way to discuss a subject, break down perceived barriers and drive engagement within the younger community - they are after all, already playing digital games!
Initial Review Rating
3.40 (2 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
Delivering a proof of concepts Games Based learning platform as a trial within the West Midlands Mental Health arena, would provide the West Midlands with the required analytics required to measure the impact of what we are proposing. Should the analytics prove to be beneficial, then the West Midlands would benefit in relation to the whole Mental Health community being able to successfully communicate, provide early intervention and improve prevention in the younger generation of the West Midlands. This could then be showcased to the greater community of the NHS.
We believe that the proof of concepts would only require approximately 20 to 25 days of time from Applio, obviously we would require input from experienced practitioners, which we estimate to be between 3 and 6 days. 
Current and planned activity: 
We have already provided Game Based Learning experiences to the NHS in partnership with WMAHSN, we created two experiences relating to 'Stop The Pressure' - Pressure Ulcer training for Tissue Viability professionals. One experience was 'story' based - about a patient called Angela Smith. The other a competitive team vs. team experience that contained numerous questions and scenarios addressing the very technical issues of Pressure Ulcers. The games were played at team meetings and the feedback was excellent:

‘What a great way to learn, really enjoyable and engaging’
‘So much better and engaging that listening to a PowerPoint presentation’  

Applio would recommend as next steps that we arrange in partnership with the NHS a 2hr workshop with a relevant Mental Health professional to hold initial discussions that would provide Applio with enough information to develop a 'demo' game experience, this would prove the technology and provide the foundation to drive this initiative forward.
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
Currently Applio is in discussions with an IP specialist firm, which is looking into the applicability of IP for our Games Based Learning platform. 
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
6-12 mon
Ease of scalability: 
Simple
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
We develop board games that engage and educate frontline staff. 
They improve care delivery and patient safety by giving staff the knowledge, skills and confidence to make beneficial changes.
Overview of Innovation:
Since 2004 we have been developing board games that improve learning and development by making face-to-face engagement easier and more effective. They bring staff together and encourage them to discuss new ways of working. They get people talking and sharing; players learn from each other.
 
Our games improve performance by delivering the knowledge, skills and confidence that staff need to change the way they work, communicate and behave. Games encourage players to relax and have fun making them more receptive to new ideas and more willing to discuss difficult subjects. While the games are delivering structured and engaging learning it doesn't feel like formal learning. This is very important for unqualified support staff (bands 1-4) who may have fear of formal classroom learning for a variety of reasons.

Our games are designed to be extremely flexible and can be played in the workplace without a specialist facilitator or as part of a more structured formal training programme or workshop. This is intentional and is designed to bridge the gap between solitary learning such as eLearning (which may not be engaging or effective) and formal instructor lead training (which can be effective but expensive and scarce).

We have developed over 40 games and most of them are specifically for use in health and social care settings to address specific clinical and organisational issues. Many of the games are designed to reduce avoidable harm and improve patient safety by encouraging continuous improvement among frontline staff. Games cover a range of issues including:
  • Medication errors
  • Sepsis management
  • Pressure ulcer prevention
  • Malnutrition & dehydration
  • Dysphagia management
  • Stroke pathway
  • Communication skills
  • Team working in health and social care
  • Information governance
  • Genomics
  • Cystic Fibrosis (for children with CF)
All of our games are developed in partnership with leading academics, clinical practitioners, educators and frontline staff. We have formal agreements and partnerships with a range of national and local NHS organisations including NHS England, Health Education England, NHS Improvement, NHS Scotland, and NHS Education for Scotland.

We have formal partnerships with a range of organisations in the Midlands including City University Birmingham, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT, Health Education West Midlands, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

Our biggest challenge is publicising our games. This is why we would like funding from the SME Innovation Fund.

 
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Mental Health: recovery, crisis and prevention / Long term conditions: a whole system, person-centred approach / Advanced diagnostics, genomics and precision medicine / Wellness and prevention of illness / Education, training and future workforce / Innovation and adoption / Patient and medicines safety / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
Patient safety and avoidable harm are huge problems for the health and social care systems and for wider society. Many of the changes needed to improve safety are relatively simple and can be carried out by frontline staff without the need for new equipment or complex system or process changes. But these changes cannot happen without effective training and support. Without them frontline staff cannot improve their performance. While evidence based medicine is practiced it is not supported by evidence based training and we believe that within health and social care training is either absent or has no evidence to support its efficacy.

The widespread adoption of eLearning and other remote learning resources are appealing to the organisation because they appear cost effective but can be isolating and unpopular with frontline staff. It's easy to conclude that if these methods of delivering training were effective then the incidence of avoidable harm and patient safety incidents would have decreased or disappeared. They have not.

We believe that the most effective way of engaging and training frontline staff is face-to-face in groups where staff members learn from each other. If this happens it often involves a slide show or lecture and neither of these engage the learners in any discussion nor challenges them to process new information and ideas.

We develop board games to achieve these levels of engagement. A simple board game based on recognisable games such as Snakes & Ladders are very simple to play, widely recognised and have cross cultural and generational appeal. Our games don't require any structured facilitation and can be played by anyone anywhere. Within minutes players are laughing and joking while focussing intently on discussing the questions and scenarios presented within the game.

Independent university and NHS studies strongly suggest that our games are very effective for knowledge transfer, knowledge retention and developing the confidence players need to implement what they've learned during the game. There are also clear indications, from within the NHS and care homes, that playing games can have a measurable effect on patient safety and avoidable harm but this needs more investigation to confirm. 

Any reductions in avoidable harm and improvements in patient safety will have a significant benefit on finances across the system and of course the benefit to patients and carers is clear. Staff morale can also be improved.
Initial Review Rating
4.60 (1 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
As described earlier in this submission we have contractual and commercial relationships with several organisations in the West Midlands. The sale of our games generates revenue for these organisations that can be reinvested by them to improve the services that they deliver to the residents of the WM. We anticipate more of these commercial relationships as our company grows so our games would be creating wealth within the WM economy.

The direct benefits to patients and carers of less avoidable harm and improved patient safety is clear and the financial implications for the WM economy could also be significant.

The reputational benefits for service providers should not be ignored and the improvements in staff morale could also be a beneficial side-effect.
Current and planned activity: 
We have formal agreements and partnerships with a range of national and local NHS organisations including NHS England, Health Education England, NHS Improvement, NHS Scotland, and NHS Education for Scotland.

We have formal partnerships with a range of organisations in the West Midlands including City University Birmingham, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT, Health Education West Midlands, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

We also have relationships with a range of Royal Colleges, charities and patient groups including Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, The Patients Association, UK Sepsis Trust, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland and the British Dietetic Association.

We cannot develop our games without the support of subject matter experts from these organisations and we will continue to strengthen these relations and create new ones.
 
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
In most instances we entirely own the IP related to our games. In some instances the IP is owned, or partly owned, by our partners and we sell the games under licence from them. We recently had an IP Audit carried out on all of our games and associated commercial agreements and partnerships. When this report is finalised we would be willing to share it with the SME Innovation Fund.
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
medium
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
1 year
Ease of scalability: 
Simple
Regional Scalability:
In terms of scalability many thousands of existing games are already being used in hospitals, universities and care homes across the UK and overseas. The WM is well-represented in terms of games already in use. Funding from the SME Innovation Fund would be used to broaden the scope of existing activities and ensure that more games are sold and used in the WM and elsewhere.
Measures:
Because this submission is related to the promotion of a range of products success will be measured in numbers of additional games sold. However, individual games are assessed for their efficacy in knowledge transfer, knowledge retention and confidence levels of players to make changes to care delivery and behaviours. Independent studies carried out by universities and NHS employees all conclude that the games are effective. We assume that more games being used by frontline staff will translate into improved care delivery.
Adoption target:
The company is currently viable. The loan would help generate extra sales and this revenue will be used to further grow the business. Existing games cover almost the entire health and social care sector and so potential buyers and users in the WM could be any NHS trust, university, care home or other service-provider.
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
The Wonder Why Society is a fully moderated, collaborative online learning community for school children. It supports the mental health prevention agenda through access to information, signposting services and encouraging engagement.



 
Overview of Innovation:
The Wonder Why Society provides a safe online space allowing children, teachers and industry experts to learn together. By setting challenges and introducing new topics, the society connects children, schools and experts from all over the UK. It takes down the walls of the classroom to brings a whole new dimension to learning.
 
All the content is moderated by a team of educational experts, ensuring that the space is entirely safe for users. As a digital innovation, this offers the opportunity to support to schools to scale their ‘prevention agenda for mental ill health’ enabling earlier intervention(s) at relatively low cost.
 
The child-centred communities enable professionals to host preventative information, deliver solutions, gather opinion and hold conversations in a safe, moderated environment. This integrated, approach provides a one-stop community where any issue which may impact upon a child's mental health can be discussed and advised upon such as housing and finances.
 
The communities give children help and information and signpost to services. Importantly they also give children of all ages a voice and empowerment in an environment that informs, inspires and encourages aspiration to drive confidence and resilience in future generations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6Z-Ydq-hUg&t=16s



It can significantly widen the reach of NHS services impacting on cost-effectiveness. Our learning communities The Wonder Why Society (5-11) and Bridgr (11-18) allow the multiple stakeholders involved in the health and education of a child to work together in a variety of ways. The communities which operate separately in the primary and secondary sector offer opportunities to educate and inform users and provide long term preventative solutions.

They also provide healthcare professionals a permanent place to offer support and advice to teachers and support staff who often don’t know where best to turn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0Ws--zv6eE&t=12s
 
As STEMs learning platforms (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) The Wonder Why Society and Bridgr can also help to tackle the upcoming skills gap in the health sector.
 
Taking a long-term approach, the NHS can attract the talent they will require to address the future clinical skills gap by developing a careers platform, engaging with children from when they start school to when they leave.
 
Developing a NHS skills pathway can create real social change and empower an effective future workforce.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Mental Health: recovery, crisis and prevention / Wellness and prevention of illness / Education, training and future workforce / Wealth creation / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
At least 10% of children and young people are thought to suffer from anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders or other mental health conditions. The numbers of under-18s seeking and receiving NHS care have soared over the last decade.
 
The government’s plans to tackle the mental health crisis among young people are based on three key elements: a teacher at every school and college becoming its designated lead for mental health; help for schools from new mental health support teams; and the guarantees of help within four weeks. Source: The Guardian
 
In a joint report, the Commons health and social care and education select committees criticise the plans as unambitious and inadequate given the fast-rising need for care and too reliant on already overworked teachers. Source: The Guardian
 
The Wonder Why Society and Bridgr offer opportunities to help to transform a failing mental health system. The projects and topics shared throughout the site encourage children to develop critical and higher order thinking skills. The space allows teachers to share best practice and save time.
 
In supporting the recommendations of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2015)
they enable a true joined up approach to support the future health of millions of children. It enables partnerships between schools, communities and employers. Overwhelmingly the flexibility of the portals underpins the reports’ findings - enabling promotion of resilience, prevention, early intervention, measure engagement and impact.
 
Free at entry point for state schools and home learners there is no barrier to entry.
 
In building a one-stop hub for children, we are creating an environment that empowers young people to participate, innovate and contribute to society. By empowering learners to be self-sufficient we can drive important messages and support directly to learners wherever they live. This allows the NHS to drive targeted information to this audience accessible at any time, in and out of school.

Education, voice and self-awareness lie at the core of our communities - joined up thinking, prevention and proactivity are central to our aims
Initial Review Rating
3.40 (2 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
Poor mental health costs the region £3,000 per person in the Midlands area. Mental health issues are impacted by poor housing, low socio-economic status. This is combined with Birmingham having the youngest population in Europe. (Eurostat 2018). The Wonder Why Society and Bridgr communities provide a pathway for the NHS to work directly with schools and children throughout compulsory schooling, developing a digital preventative care pathway.
 
The Wonder Why Society and Bridgr can be used to support and introduce online learning in any subject. It can be used to set homework, encourage debate, facilitate high level thinking and extend classroom learning. It enhances digital skills, teaches online safety and embeds technology in to the curriculum.
 
We have a partnership with a Prevent agency who provide specialist support via the platforms for children to ask questions about things they might feel are embarrassing, difficult or confusing. We also have resources for teachers to use in the classroom that cover mental health, resilience, spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) and British Values.
 
Online safety is our number one priority. In order to ensure a safe environment, we comply with all of the recommendations outlined by The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and support the Think U Know campaign.
 
Nothing is published on our site until it has been checked by one of our qualified education moderators.
 
Upon joining, children agree to follow our online safety rules. Just by using the site children are naturally learning digital skills, online safety and ‘netiquette’. Anything that is submitted that is against our online safety code or causes any concern will be reported back to the school DSL.
 
The Wonder Why Society moderating staff have been DBS checked and undertaken safeguarding training. We have a Safeguarding Policy and an appointed Safeguarding Lead.
 
“We found the speed with which a safeguarding issue was dealt with, exceptional. Professional and prompt liaison with the school, ensured that communication was made successfully with all relevant teachers and senior leaders, which came because of the speedy, rigorous moderation from Wonder Why.”
Head, Abbey Primary School
Current and planned activity: 
From a mental health perspective, The Wonder Why Society gives children a safe place, a voice and easy access to information that’s useful to them.
 
Currently our support service is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 4pm. To provide continuous support to children we wish to create a 24/7 support service and would like to work with regional health stakeholders to explore a potential referral pathway(s) / digital therapies that can be used out of school hours and during school holidays.
 
Funding is required to develop the 24/7 support service and we would welcome partners who could submit joint applications to bids / funding competitions.
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
Wonder Books Ltd . Trademark applied for. Copyright automatic. There is a licence betwen the 2 companies
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
6-12 mon
Ease of scalability: 
3
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