Barcelona Health Hub and Hospital de Sant Pau create a centre to accelerate technology transfer in the field of health

Barcelona Health Hub and Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau have signed a collaboration agreement to promote the Center of Clinical Validation of Digital Solutions. The aim of this centre, which reports to the Sant Pau Digital Health Unit, is to become an agile and efficient tool for assessing the viability, safety and clinical effectiveness of digital solutions and new healthcare processes. It will also facilitate the adoption of innovative healthcare technologies proposed by startups, companies and public entities in the healthcare sector by accelerating their validation processes and facilitating the transfer of technology to the healthcare environment. In addition, the Centre will have the support of the Institut de Recerca Sant Pau to carry out clinical trials with quality and safety guarantees.

According to Dr. Adrià Comella, Managing Director of Sant Pau , “We want to be a gateway to innovation and an international benchmark in the transfer of innovation, and this agreement is a very important boost in this regard. Above all, for Barcelona Health Hub, located at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site and within the framework of a knowledge ecosystem made up of very important institutions in health, education, research and sustainability, among others.”

It will also make it possible to “learn about trends and new digital solutions in health, transform Sant Pau’s healthcare processes, co-create with Barcelona Health Hub and have a return on all the work in the form of publications, intellectual property… and, above all, have an impact on the quality of care for users, patients and professionals“. In short, “the aim is to respond effectively to the new health needs of the population, with the best services and health outcomes as a highly complex centre,” concludes Dr. Adrià Comella.

For his part, Dr. Oscar García-Esquirol, Medical Director of Barcelona Health Hub, points out that “creating this centre with a benchmark hospital like Sant Pau allows us not only to increase our reputational value as an international digital health hub, but also to offer a differential service to our members and promote technology transfer of digital solutions.” For potential collaborators, “this will mean having a clinical validation of their project in a short period of time with the Sant Pau quality standard, access to a sufficient sample of users in agile work processes and, with support, when communicating the clinical validation and its results and a translation of the technology to clinical practice.

According to the Centre‘s director, Dr. Mar Gomis-Pastor, “this will be of great benefit to users and patients, allowing them to access quality and safe healthcare technologies and to receive a validated healthcare technology prescription in controlled environments. It will also translate into a higher degree of satisfaction with the care received thanks to improved care pathways and, ultimately, greater confidence in a modernised and innovative healthcare environment.


A structure with various actors and entities involved

The Center of Clinical Validation of Digital Solutions is committed to cutting-edge technology, digital transformation and the development of technological solutions applied to healthcare. For this reason, in addition to being coordinated by the Digital Health Unit of the Hospital de Sant Pau and located in one of the 10 most influential hubs in Europe in digital health, Barcelona Health Hub, it has:

  • A team of professionals from the Digital Health Unit to carry out the coordination, including experts in informatics, epidemiology and statistics, innovation and bioengineering technicians, among others.
  • A Clinical and Technological Research Ethics Subcommittee (CEICT), attached to and reporting to the Hospital de Sant Pau’s Research Ethics Committee (CEIm), under the direction of the new chairman, Dr. Robert Belvís, from the centre’s Neurology Department. This subcommittee, a national benchmark, will be made up of members who are experts in innovation and digital solutions, with the main function of evaluating and ensuring the quality of the studies carried out.
  • An international Scientific Advisory Committee to design the validation study for each technology evaluated. It will be made up of a group of professionals from different fields (health, ethical-legal, innovation transfer, information systems, epidemiology and others) who will be joined, in each case, by professionals with expertise in the pathology and specialised in the clinical area of validation. Some of the members are Dr. Oscar García-Esquirol, Medical Director of Barcelona Health Hub; Dr. Josep Estadella, gynaecologist of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Service; Dr. Iluminada Corripio, psychiatrist of the Psychiatry Service and member of the Steering Committee of the Network of Innovation and Research in Mental Health and Technologies (TECSAM); Dr. Rosa Antonijoan, Director of the Clinical Pharmacology Service at Sant Pau and the Centre for Medicines Research (CIM) at the Sant Pau Research Institute; and Míriam Ors, Head of the Transfer and Innovation Unit and Deputy Director of the Sant Pau-IIB Sant Pau Research Institute.
  • The Hospital’s Research Institute, led by Dr. Jordi Surrallés, which provides expertise in clinical trial management, study design and intellectual property protection.
  • An international network of hospitals and validation agents, which will participate in the clinical pilot studies of the technology in coordination with the Sant Pau Digital Health Unit and Barcelona Health Hub, through its ecosystem of companies and hospital and pharmaceutical groups. This network will allow the technology to be tested in different clinical, cultural or social contexts and, at the same time, to reach a sufficient sample of patients for the validation study.

The Fundació Privada del Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau promotes and finances the creation of the Center of Clinical Validation of Digital Solutions.

A clinical validation process with five phases

The Center of Clinical Validation of Digital Solutions created by the Hospital de Sant Pau and Barcelona Health Hub is aimed at a wide range of potential collaborators: from hospitals to startups, public and private entities, among other organisations that want to access a packaged clinical validation product for healthcare technology that consists of a total of five different phases.

The first stage consists of a feasibility study that includes a technical, medical, statistical, ethical-legal and economic assessment, and is then completed with the four phases of development. In the second phase, the clinical study is conceptualised, i.e. it is designed, evaluated by CEIT, presented to the working teams, and the servers and permits are managed. In the third phase, the study is monitored, with follow-up of procedures and data collection. In the fourth phase, the study is closed, with statistical analysis, evaluation and publication of the results. And finally, in the fifth phase, work is done to facilitate the adoption of the innovation.

More information about the Center of Clinical Validation of Digital Solutions here.