Meet the team: The experts behind Health Matters

Jul 28, 2022News, Uncategorised

Our programme ensures that we are putting businesses that are improving health outcomes, at the heart of health and care.  

To achieve our overall goal, we must ensure that businesses with innovative solutions are supported through our programme and given access to health and care markets.  

Our expert team, through bespoke one-to-one assistance, support businesses in demonstrating their product’s practical and commercial benefits through real-world validation. 

Find out who they are. 

Andy Cairns 

Andy is Health Matters’ commercial programme manager. Passionate about helping businesses create innovative healthcare solutions, he works with partners at Liverpool John Moores University and Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region’s Growth Company to support SMEs in the region to bring marketable, practical, and commercial products to the NHS and social care market. 

Having worked in the public and private sectors, he’s be involved in delivering multi-million-pound projects ranging from a Carbon Management programme; the Building Schools for the Future programme and overseeing the Greater Manchester PACS Picture Archiving and Communications System. As a result, he is well equipped to support businesses in overcoming the challenges they may face when moving through the product development process.  

Dr Rafaela Ganga 

Dr Rafaela Ganga is a Senior Research Fellow for Health Matters and is the lead researcher on the real-world validation of health innovations. As an expert on multi-site ethnography, mix-methods and policy analysis, she is interested in helping businesses apply a range of research methods to understand the real health and commercial benefits of their innovations.  

She led close to 1 million worth of research and consultancy for academia, health, private sector, and from central to local governments across the UK, Europe, Brazil, and China.   

Her experience has previously seen her as the lead researcher on the ‘Crossing Boundaries’ project, exploring the value and impact of a museum-led dementia awareness programme, in collaboration with National Museums Liverpool. She was awarded a Global Challenge Research Fund (The Value of Museums in Meeting the Global Dementia Challenge), and a Newton Fund Visiting Researcher UK-China. She was the Co-Investigator of the EPSRC-funded NewMind Network Plus ‘Developing an Artificial Intelligence Empathy Agent’. Furthermore, she is Newton Prize Reviewer, UNESCO UK National Expert, European Commission Expert in Digital Cultural Heritage, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.  

Dr Rafaela works closely with businesses to validate the claimed benefits of innovation and optimise their evidence-driven journey.   

Dr Grahame Smith 

Dr Grahame Smith is the Project Manager for Health Matters, a mental health nursing academic, founder and director of the Centre for Collaborative Innovation in Dementia, an accredited health Living Lab – European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).  

Since 2012, Dr Smith has worked in partnership with both national and international partners on a number of multi-million-pound funded research-to-innovation projects. The focus of these projects has moved the centre from working exclusively within the dementia space to embracing the wider challenges of health and social care. The cornerstone of this partnership work has been the use of the Living Lab, which has co-created and supported businesses to bring products to the health and social care market.  

As a methodological pragmatist, Dr Smith has used various research methodologies within a Living Lab context. The approaches used within this context are always flexible to the needs of business and of course, always driven by the needs of the product user. 

Dr Mustafa Ali 

Mustafa Ali is currently working as a health economist for the Health Matters project at Liverpool John Moores University.  

He aims to use his expertise in helping businesses maximize their efficiencies by appraising and forecasting cost effectiveness vis a vis traditional scenarios. His skills and experience involve the use of a host of instruments and methodologies which can now be applied to meet the unique demands of each individual company. Mustafa has a wide consultancy experience in the industry where he first worked as technical sales and marketing lead and later as an economist and a strategist. For his research, he received funding worth USD 60,000 from the prestigious National Science Foundation of China (NSFC). After completing his PhD in 2016 he went to work on at-least four different multidisciplinary projects in South Asia, China and Europe which have led to over 25 publications in peer-reviewed journals.  

His future research interests include machine learning and deep learning applications for health policy optimization and sustainability transitions. 

Dr Grant Stanley 

DR Grant Stanley isa Research Fellow in the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) Faculty of Health Living Lab. He previously supported small-medium size enterprises (SMEs) to co-create health innovations as part of the European Research Development Fund (ERDF) Health Innovation Exchange (HIE).  

Presently for the EDRF Liverpool City Region (LCR) Health Matters project, Dr Stanley is the Evaluation Co-ordinator facilitating the real-world validation of regional SMEs’ innovative health and social care products by the Living Labs experienced evaluation team.  

He has a keen personal interest in health and well-being and volunteers to disseminate emerging research for a support group for the SDH-RA SDH-Deficient Cancers Research Advocates (GISTs, Pheos/Paras, RCC, Rare tumours).   

His professional and academic background in special educational needs (SEN) underpins his approach to life and professional modus operandi. 

Deborah Fitzsimmons

Deborah has over 25 years experience in health care management and health informatics. She has worked  with community, acute and provincial organizations in the UK and Canada as an information systems developer, policy analyst and consultant for agencies of the Ontario Ministry of Health, and as Director of Decision Support for the Ontario cancer agency where she was responsible for the development of web-enabled multi-dimensional cubes to facilitate data analysis and reporting. To date she has secured over £1.5 million in funding as PI or Co-PI for technology-enabled care delivery research. She has worked with clinical and industry partners to develop, implement and evaluate a wide variety of health and social care solutions. For example, she lead the eShift programme of research in the UK that resulted in the implementation of an innovative technology-enabled model for community-based palliative care across the Sheffield region.

Her current programme of research focuses on innovative care delivery models, including technology-enabled capacity building and smart workforce deployment. Her research examines how interventions, including information and communications technology, can be used as an enabler and ‘force multiplier’ within models of care delivery, leveraging increasingly scarce specialist care resources and facilitating expanded and improved care capability.

Dr Daz Greenop

Dr Daz Greenop is programme leader for the social work MA at Liverpool John Moores University. He is interested in the broad fields of health psychology, medical sociology and critical disability studies with a special focus on self-care, embodiment and personalisation particularly in relation to disability and illness. Throughout his career Dr Greenop has been keen to develop qualitative and participatory methods in both research and practice with marginalised groups. This is evidenced in a number of externally funded projects covering issues of BAME under-representation in Further Education, youth mentoring in deprived communities, equality schemes, workforce development (bullying and disability) and health promotion in primary schools, dementia reablement and whistleblowing in the NHS.

More recently Dr Greenop has worked with Dr Grahame Smith on a number of research-to-innovation projects using Living Lab methods.

To speak to one of our team, click here. 

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