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20 New digital health care innovators set to transform the NHS

Today the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator announce the 20 new digital health care innovators to be supported by the 2019-20 Accelerator programme at a launch event in central London.  Now in its fourth year, the Accelerator supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accelerate the adoption of digital health innovations into the NHS each year. The programme gives innovators improved access to the wealth of world-class research, medical technology, and resources London has to offer and supports NHS providers and commissioners find, and adopt, the new technologies.

Each of the 20 innovators selected for this year’s programme directly support the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan published earlier this year. The programme will support these SMEs to develop and deploy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the NHS.

The exciting innovations include a technology that helps clinicians plan and rehearse heart surgery by using patient scans and mechanics to predict the behaviour of a device once inside a patient (Oxford Heartbeat).  Another is a mobile app that tracks the number of steps walked by an individual and incentivises them to walk more through reward points that can be redeemed for products, goods and services (Sweatcoin). Cutting edge technology such as sensors, machine learning and home devices have been brought together in a digital solution to help carers monitor the health and well-being of elderly patients better at home (Birdie).

Anna King, Commercial Director of the Health Innovation Network said: “The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) have a unique role helping companies navigating the health system and supporting the NHS in the adoption of value-enhancing innovations. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme helps deliver both improved patient care through the use of digital innovations, but also economic growth through the supporting the best innovative companies. The track record of previous participants in the programme has been fantastic, and we are excited about introducing these new innovations to the NHS.”

Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “I feel really proud of the Accelerator and its achievements over the last three years. Today is another step forward and represents how both sides – innovators and the NHS – are coming together more and more to solve the very real challenges NHS organisations face every day. Digital technologies are not only creating new opportunities to change things for patients, they are also creating new opportunities to make things better for staff, and the wider system. We all share the ultimate objective of making our NHS sustainable and I am looking forward to helping the next set of digital innovators make this a reality.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “I am delighted to support the Accelerator and this latest intake of digital health companies looking to bring their innovations to Londoners. The programme’s work ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation and is vital to building a future where its citizens benefit from the latest technologies to support their health.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a long- overdue digital revolution in the NHS. We must create a system whereby healthtech innovators are supported and can really feel our commitment to them and their ground-breaking work. This programme does just that, plus it supports the NHS and social care to make the most of the digital opportunity.”

Success stories the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator in previous years include; a product from MIRA Rehab that turns physiotherapy exercises into video games that can be customised to individual patients’ needs. This has been particularly useful for children and orthopaedic patients who often do not achieve their rehabilitative potential because they do not complete their exercises. As a result of its engagement with the Accelerator, MIRA Rehab is now working with Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal National Orthopaedic NHS Trust. It is now available in 10 NHS organisations across the country.

Infinity Health developed an app to improve patient flow in hospitals. It provides clinical staff with an improved experience from the traditional paper-based processes for requesting, tracking, and prioritising porter requests. The app is now used in Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the country. It has helped save over 10,000 hours of staff time.

The work of DigitalHealth.London Accelerator companies has resulted in almost £76 million in savings for the NHS, with just over a third of this (£24.8 million) credited to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator’s support – based on information self-reported by companies involved. Some of these savings are made in efficiency gains, for example finding more efficient ways of supporting patients to manage their own health conditions, whilst others may help reduce inappropriate urgent care attendances by providing easier access to GP services.

There have been an estimated 22.2 million opportunities for patients to benefit from new technologies supported by the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator.