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NHS invests £2.1m to drive new tech developments in primary care

The NHS has today given its backing to a programme led by SBRI Healthcare that will see £2.1m invested into innovative technologies to improve general practice.

A total of 22 companies have been given awards of up to £100,000 to develop and commercialise novel technologies that will improve GP services and primary care.

The awards cover three key areas of GP practice, self-care, diagnostics and earlier triage and workload and demand management. The successful companies have been named as:

  • Self-care: Anglia Ruskin Enterprise (Eastern AHSN); Cambridge Respiratory Innovations (Eastern AHSN); Covolution (UCLPartners); Digital Algorithms (West of England AHSN); Healum (UCLPartners); Helicon Health (UCLPartners); MSKnote (Kent, Surrey & Sussex AHSN); MyDiabetesMyWay (Scotland); Orsus Medical (West of England AHSN); Ulsys (Yorkshire and Humber AHSN); uMotif (Health Innovation Network, South London)
  • Diagnostics and earlier triage: Applied Nanodetectors (UCLPartners); Fraunhofer UK Research (Scotland); Manus Neurodynamica (Scotland); Medtechtomarket Consulting (Innovation Agency, North West Coast); Saccade Diagnostics (Scotland)
  • Workload and demand management: Advanced Therapeutic Materials (West Midlands AHSN); Doc Abode (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN); iPLATO Healthcare (Imperial College Health Partners); nquiringminds (Wessex AHSN); xim (Wessex AHSN); Xytal Technology (South West AHSN)

Dr Liz Mear, chair of the AHSN Network, said: “There are few areas of our daily lives that remain untouched by technological advancement.

“Through the SBRI Healthcare programme, the AHSN Network is working with industry partners to develop solutions that will help deliver high quality GP services to a growing and aging population, and ensure patients across the country benefit from new and innovative technologies.”

And Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, stated that general practice had always been a “trailblazer” for innovations, and that the new scheme was an exciting way of addressing increasing pressures on GPs.

“At a time when our profession is under intense resource and workforce pressures, it is important that we continue to encourage and support new ideas that can benefit the care we deliver to patients, and make life that little bit easier for healthcare professionals right across the NHS,” she said.

Dr Peter Brindle, Commissioning Evidence Informed Care Lead for the West of England AHSN, who was involved in shaping the call’s brief and a member of the reviewing panel, also said that making primary care services more efficient through technology could be the key to easing pressure and improving patient outcomes.

“Innovation in General Practice is not new, but the SBRI GP of the Future award has matched the major issues of diagnostics, patient self-care and practice workload with the very best of business solutions,” Dr Brindle said. “The West of England AHSN is looking forward to working with the winners of this highly competitive competition to help them achieve the impact that the NHS needs.”

SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, led by the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), that co-develops innovative products to address unmet health needs.

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