Funding awarded to develop innovative solutions that improve the experience of people with mental health illnesses and people at the end of their lives.
Cambridge, UK, October 21 2013: SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products and services that address unmet health needs, today announced the eight companies awarded phase 1 development funding in the latest SBRI competition supporting Mental Health and End of Life Innovations.
Sharing a total of £5m awarded over two phases of the competition, the projects have been selected on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients. The successful companies will be supported and fully funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept – the average award is £73,000 to each company for the 6 month development phase. Those businesses demonstrating best value and greatest technical feasibility in phase 1 will progress through to phase 2 to be further supported and funded to take their technologies through to commercialisation.
Karen Livingstone, Director of SBRI Healthcare commented: “The importance of new technologies in these key health areas cannot be underestimated. The successful companies will be developing products to support patients to manage pain, share family moments and prepare for their final days as part of the end of life competition. In the area of mental health, we had some highly innovative games for young people experiencing mental health challenges and bespoke usable apps that will support people in the breadth of their lives to feel able to manage their conditions for themselves. SBRI is a great means to accelerate the development of these products and we look forward to working with the successful companies.”
The companies selected to receive phase 1 funding are: Big White Wall (London), Dynamic Health Systems (Bradford), University of Bristol (Bristol), Dorset Mental Health Forum (Dorchester), St Joseph’s Hospice (London), Advanced Digital Institute (Shipley), GreyMatters (Newcastle)and Docobo (Bookham).
Focused on people with mental health conditions and those approaching the end of their lives, the current competition winners are developing innovative solutions to improve the quality of care available and the overall experience for these patients as well as for their families and carers. An estimated 500,000 people a year in the UK are entering the terminal phase of illness and at least one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. The successful projects are expected to bring quality and cost benefits to the NHS through improved healthcare delivery, particularly in the most vulnerable patient groups.
Funding for the SBRI Healthcare has been secured from NHS England. The programme is directed by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.
About the winners
Big White Wall (London) – developing a digital mental health and wellbeing service which delivers personalised pathways to recovery through a choice of safe therapeutic services, available from home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Dynamic Health Systems (Bradford, West Yorkshire) – developing VitruCare™ in association with Sue Ryder, an Internet delivered supported self-care service for people with long-term conditions which offers substantial improvement in the quality and efficiency of care, together with an improved sense of personal control at the end of life.
University of Bristol (Bristol) – developing a therapeutic computer game that integrates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to support evidence-based intervention for young adolescents experiencing depression and anxiety.
Dorset Mental Health Forum (Dorchester, Dorset) – developing Moodbase, an app that uses colour as an expression of wellbeing and allows the user to self-monitor their mood in a non-stigmatising and personalised way.
St Joseph’s Hospice (London) – developing Care Compass, the UK’s first website that provides patient-led support to those facing a life-limiting diagnosis. As a hub for useful information, advice and support, the site helps navigate the available services as well as providing peer support across a range of conditions for patients, carers, families, friends and professionals.
Advanced Digital Institute (Shipley, West Yorkshire) – developing state-of-the-art Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) -based interventions for those living with chronic pain via a software agent running on smartphones, either as a substitute for, or complement to, face-to-face sessions with a trained therapist.
GreyMatters (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) – developing a care pathway tool to personalise the provision of care for those near the end of life. Designed to capture and share preferences of care, the pathway tool will improve care quality, while many unnecessary admissions and readmissions will be avoided and thus reducing cost.
Docobo (Bookham, Surrey) – in association with Aintree University Hospital, developing remote respiration management for patients prescribed with Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV). Using technology to help clinicians deliver more frequent assessment and reviews of NIV for patients, the project is focused on patients with Motor Neurone Disease with the objective of making their lives, and the lives of those around them, more comfortable.