NHSX opens funding to accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies

NHSX has now opened applications for The Digital Health Partnership Award, a scheme created to help NHS organisations in England bid for funding to accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies that support patients with long-term conditions.

The award, which opens to bids from 1 July 2021, will run across two phases, and focuses on scaling digital products and services that can enable people to remotely monitor their health, either at home or in the community.

The three categories of funding available will be for projects requiring support of up to £100,000, £250,000, or £500,000.

Those bidding for the financial support will need to demonstrate how the technology will be used, implemented and adopted by patients, as well as what value each supporting partner will bring and how they can help accelerate the delivery.

NHSX says that organisations will be able to bid for funding to accelerate digital health technologies that are proven and ready to scale ‘at pace’, and that offer ‘clear and sustainable outcomes’. The minimum eligibility criteria involves: being able to demonstrate productivity impact, effectiveness and sustainability of investment; whether the project has had previous, similar national funding; a clear and coherent delivery plan; local digital capability and sponsorship; financial sustainability to continue the work post 2021 to 2022.

Applicants are also required to ensure proposals will be ‘objectively assessed against an application criteria, based upon the value of the project, organisation capability and project readiness’, as well as being ‘succinct, evidence based’ and ‘ready to demonstrate implementation’ within three months of award funding being confirmed.

NHSX welcomes organisations to demonstrate how their bid can work across one or multiple areas, with examples including:

  • Optimisation of care pathways – scaling existing services that support patients at home or in care homes with digital tools to enable them to support more people
  • Patient-centred data exchange – data connectivity challenges to improve interoperability and improve the long-term sustainable exchange of patient data for safe clinical care
  • Self-management and prevention advice – integration of devices to improve the time in therapeutic range and the user experience for patients managing long-term conditions
  • System efficiencies – digital solutions to support workforce management resources and capacity in remote care.

The award is currently only available to NHS organisations in England, and the deadline for completing and submitting the application form is 31 July 2021. Feedback on applications will take place in August, with the shortlist also announced that month, while presentations for shortlisted candidates will be scheduled in September before award confirmation. Phase two of the programme will launch in late 2021.

All winning bids will be required to meet and adhere to standards such as the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC) and deliver evidence of success.