New Funding to Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

January 20, 2023

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) has awarded a total of £3.3 million funding to support initiatives designed to tackle cardiovascular disease (CVD) in England. A portion of the national funding will be used to scale up initiatives in two projects to prevent CVD in south London: Healum patient management software and the CVD Prevention Decathlon.

CVD is the area where most lives can be saved by the NHS over the next decade. There are 7.6 million people living with CVD in the UK, and it is a leading cause of premature disability, mortality, and health inequalities, responsible for one in four deaths each year. The UK Health Security Agency estimates that the annual healthcare cost of CVD in England is around £7.4 billion, with an annual cost to the wider economy of £15.8 billion.

SBRI Healthcare, an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative in partnership with the AHSN Network, has awarded a total of £3.3 million to eight late-stage innovations that help detect, prevent and manage CVD.

Healum is a patient management system that connects to patient-facing digital services. It is designed to improve health outcomes and access to care for patients with long-term conditions, supporting them to make the best choices to live healthier, happier lives. The HIN will be supporting the adoption of Healum in primary care across south London.

The CVD Prevention Decathlon provides structured education for those at risk of CVD in order to minimise the risk of developing it. It uses structured learning and physical activity delivered by Xyla; gamification via the Sweatcoin app; and personalised behaviour change videos created by Citizen Communications. Funding has been allocated to support rollout in South West London ICS and evaluate the return on investment from using it. This builds on the successful Diabetes Prevention Decathlon – winner of a 2019 HIN innovation grant – which saw 92 per cent completion rates and an average 45 per cent increase in activity levels among participants.

Ambra Caruso, Senior Programme Manager at the HIN, said: “We are delighted that new funding has been allocated to help tackle CVD in south London. We are looking forward to continuing and expanding our support for Healum and Decathlon to minimise the risk posed by CVD for as many people as possible”.

Chris Gumble, Project Manager for Long Term Conditions and Prevention at the South West London Health and Care Partnership, said: “We are immensely proud to have the ability to deliver the CVD Prevention Decathlon to our local population, and want to thank SBRI Healthcare for awarding us the funding to do so. Having seen the success of the Diabetes Prevention Decathlon over the last few years, we have an amazing new opportunity to expand the offer to those at risk of CVD. In collaboration with the Health Innovation network, the Prevention Decathlon has grown into something special: 700 people this year will have the opportunity to attend the programme over the coming year”

SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England – and is delivered in partnership with the AHSN Network.

Matt Whitty, CEO of the AAC, said: “The SBRI Healthcare awards help the NHS to develop new technologies and solutions to address some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society. We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to patients. By supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients’ needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

Find out more about the new funding announcement from SBRI.