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SBRI Healthcare awards £4 million to pioneering innovations that will support the NHS to reset and recover from the pandemic, establishing new ways of working

14 April 2022

Nine pioneering medtech and digital innovations have been funded to support the NHS recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic, focussing on new and efficient ways of working to support the treatment backlog and workforce pressure.

The Phase 3 funding call is the first of its kind, designed for proven, late-stage solutions seeking the necessary evidence in real-world settings for widespread implementation across the NHS. The competition, launched in partnership with the Innovation Agency and the Accelerated Access Collaborative, attracted 46 applications from a range of organisations, including small businesses, technology start-ups and NHS Trusts.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest disruptive force of the 21st century to date. It has changed the NHS and social care, precipitating rapid transformation at a time of immense personal and professional challenge. The pandemic has impacted on all aspects of its care and delivery, with elective and diagnostic activities among those services that have been significantly disrupted. Whilst service suspension or reconfiguration was a critically needed procedure to meet the demand associated with COVID-19, it has led to a considerable backlog of people waiting for NHS treatment.

Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the SBRI Phase 3 Panel commented:

‘All the projects we assessed were of high quality and will improve the lives of our service users and/ or our staff as they are rolled out. They will make a positive difference to improving young people’s mental health and/or to supporting the reset and recovery of health and care services. I look forward to seeing the achievements from these SBRI-funded schemes as they are implemented.’

Matt Whitty, CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative said: “The SBRI Healthcare awards are vital in enabling the NHS to foster and introduce high impact innovations to address key NHS priorities. The pioneering technologies we’re welcoming today which introduce new ways of working to support elective recovery and increase workforce efficiency are great examples of the NHS spearheading the most forward-thinking solutions in the healthcare landscape. I look forward to seeing these innovations develop and impact patients for the better.”

The newly funded projects aim to bring benefits to patients and care service users with a particular focus on services’ effectiveness and a reduction of workforce pressures. Innovations range from peri-operative tools, remote management tools, an AI-clinical assistant, non-endoscopic tests, and a one-stop App for NHS staff to resolve operational issues.

The projects will run for nine months, with the aim to implement their technology in a real-world environment, building evidence for future uptake and scale up. The aim is for these technologies to be adopted for use in the NHS, where they can provide benefits for patients and the overall community.

Funding was awarded to the following projects:

Sapien Health - awarded £368,292 - Surgical Optimisation Multi Site Randomised Control Trial

Sapien Health is a complete, at-home digital clinic supporting people before, during and after surgery to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Specialising in human care, superpowered by technology, the company combines evidence-based, personalised education programmes with remote health coaching. Their clinically-led approach brings together all aspects of physical and psychological health, including exercise, diet, mental wellbeing and numerous lifestyle factors, for better surgical outcomes and a healthier future.

Sapien is working with East Midlands AHSN.

Medishout - awarded £478,111 - A Digital Platform To Improve Operational Efficiencies And Elective Recovery In NHS Hospitals

MediShout transforms hospitals into digitally-smart environments, saving time for staff and improving operational efficiency. They provide healthcare’s only “one-stop” App for staff to instantly resolve any operational task. AI algorithms predict issues in advance. The company is on the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), and is working with many NHS Trusts and also equipment suppliers.

Medishout is working with Eastern AHSN.

Dr Julian Medical Group - awarded £445,599 - Assessment of the use of the Dr Julian Online Mental Health Platform as a technology in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services to provide structure, organisation and enhanced patient care

Set up by an NHS GP who was frustrated by mental health waiting times, the Dr Julian Platform improves efficiency and access to mental health services. They provide an end-to-end platform for the booking, matching and choice of clinician, assessments, and having the appointment.All case management, as well as tailored self-help tools and resources for patients are integrated on their own dashboard, providing the right support where and when they need it.

They integrate the admin, therapist and patient sides to provide an all encompassing and more efficient way of working.

Dr Julian is working with Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN.

Mastercall Healthcare - awarded £497,572 - Integrated Technology Enhanced Care Homes 24/7 Remote Monitoring Service

Dignio (Software expert) and Mastercall (healthcare provider expert) have partnered to provide a Technological Enhanced Care Homes, Chronic Disease Management & Remote Monitoring Service. Bluetooth enabled reporting medical devices are connected to a 24/7 remote access monitoring portal, managed by a Multidisciplinary Clinical Hub who triage automatic alerts within 20 minutes, arranging urgent visits within two hours.

Mastercall Healthcare is also working with Health Innovation Manchester, the Greater Manchester AHSN,to supplement the service further with 24/7 CurrentHealth wearables for high acuity patients.

RUMI Medtech Limited - awarded £404,572 - Digital transformation of clinical pathways with Remcare

REMCARE allows healthcare organisations to collect real time health status information from patients. The algorithms analyse the data and risk stratify patients to preset clinical thresholds. This allows accurate prioritisation of waiting lists and enables outpatient transformation. The automated risk stratification sits at the centre of clinical pathway redesign. By intelligent allocation of resources according to the risk profile of patients, they have shown that productivity can be increased by up to 40% while improving patient care.

RUMI Medtech is working with East Midlands AHSN.

Concentric Health Ltd - awarded £404,600 - Evidence generation for the use of Concentric digital consent – assessment of theatre pathway efficiency, ease of implementation and quality of process

Concentric Health is transforming the way healthcare professionals share treatment decisions and consent of their patients. It uses industry leading technology to enable digital and remote consent, informed by patient outcomes. It significantly improves on the paper-based process by increasing form quality, decreasing error rates, and using multimedia information to enhance the shared decision making for patients and clinicians alike. The project aims are to evaluate the efficiency gains in theatre, ease of implementation and quality of the process at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

Concentric Health is working with Wessex AHSN.

Ufonia Ltd - awarded £496,425 - Roll out of Dora, the automated clinical assistant, to the cataract pathway

Ufonia has developed Dora - an automated clinical assistant that can conduct routine clinical conversations with patients over the phone. This project will expand the use of Dora to help manage the care of patients undergoing cataract surgery across the Thames Valley. Dora has been conducting follow-up after cataract surgery, and patients are reporting they are highly likely to recommend it to others. This project will use Dora to conduct three other routine conversations with patients across the cataract pathway at four NHS hospital trusts. Ufonia aims to ensure that patients will receive a more convenient experience, whilst increasing the capacity for care by reducing the amount of clinical staff time conducting routine appointments.

Working with the Oxford AHSN.

Cyted Ltd - awarded £499,780 - Project CYTOPRIME - Cytosponge in Primary and Community Care

Cytosponge is a non-endoscopic test for the earlier detection of oesophageal conditions, transforming the care pathway for people living with chronic reflux and Barrett’s Oesophagus. Project CYTOPRIME will pilot the Cytosponge test in the community to support recovery of endoscopy services across the North West Coast.

Cyted is working with the Innovation Agency, North West Coast AHSN.

Definition Health Ltd - awarded £387,294 - The use of a Total Digital Surgery Tool to improve prehabilitation of patients and increase effectiveness of surgery pathways within hospitals.

Definition Health will launch the first digital tool that covers the entire patient journey for all patients undergoing surgery. It will enable clinicians to deliver prehabilitation care, perioperative assessments, outcome scores as well as monitoring patients whilst integrating with a major Electronic Medical Records (EMR) provider to allow remote delivery of information.

Definition Health is working with Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN.


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