Innovation, News

Yorkshire and Humber AHSN selects innovations for green accelerator programme

Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has selected the innovations and companies it will support for its inaugural green accelerator programme, intended to help tackle the NHS’s carbon footprint.

A sustainable 3D printer, a digital personal health record and an integrated care platform connecting patients and healthcare professionals are the chosen products that will be the focus of the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, as part of their Propel@YH Net Zero pilot programme.

The initiative, commissioned by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and delivered by Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, will provide companies Automedi, Patients Know Best and Dignio with access to a “structured course of bespoke support” and “advice around the environmental sustainability of their products”.

All of the organisations selected have sustainable or ‘green’ innovations or have existing products that can support the NHS’ commitment to reduce its carbon impact – the ambition of having ‘net zero’ emissions by 2040, as is set out in its report ‘Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service’.

The chosen companies include:

  • Automedi  – a 3D printer which makes healthcare products from sustainable plastics. Likened to a vending machine, users can choose equipment from an on-screen catalogue, and what they select is then made in front of them. It removes delivery costs, delays and reduces climate impact.
  • Patients Know Best (PKB) – a digital personal health record platform that allows both patients and healthcare professionals to access healthcare records anytime, anywhere. It also allows patients to access tailored resources, created by their healthcare teams, to enable self-management of their condition.
  • Dignio – a digital integrated care platform that connects patients and healthcare professionals, providing virtual remote care. A patient-focused product, it empowers the user to self-manage their condition with support.

The new green accelerator programme was launched in April 2021, with the applications deadline in May, and called for local SMEs to apply for support for the next steps of their innovation journey.

Kathy Scott, Deputy Chief Executive at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: “Innovation is all about change and if we are going to address this massive issue, we need to bring about change in the way we think and operate. The AHSN is perfectly positioned to support the drive for environmental sustainability at every stage and every level and support the development and uptake of innovations that support this crucial agenda.

“All three of the selected companies offer innovative green solutions to help the NHS achieve its target of reaching net zero by 2040 and we will work closely with them to enable them to bring their innovative green solutions to the region.”

Frank Swinton, Climate Change Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership added: “Climate change and health are intricately linked in that they both affect one another in a circular fashion. It is therefore imperative that we work to break the cycle and ensure that our health and social care services are as environmentally friendly as possible going forwards.

“This scheme is a great way to help innovators bring their green med solutions closer to being everyday tech that is used across the sector and we’re delighted to be able to offer this programme in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, where we aspire to being global leaders in our response to climate change.”