£4 million awarded to innovations to support backlog and workforce pressures

SBRI Healthcare has awarded £4 million to nine pioneering medical technology and digital innovations to support the NHS in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The focus of the innovations will be on finding new and efficient ways to support treatment backlogs and workforce pressures.

The competition was launched in partnership with the Innovation Agency and the Accelerated Access Collaborative, and attracted 46 applications from a range of organisations, including NHS trusts, small businesses and technology start-ups.

The newly-funded projects will run for nine months and aim to implement their technology in a real-world environment, building evidence for their future use and scale-up. It is hoped that the technologies will be adopted for use in the NHS so that they can benefit patients and the overall community.

Funding was awarded to:

  • Sapien Health for their surgical optimisiation multi-site randomised control trial, a complete at-home digital clinic supporting people before, during and after surgery to make sustainable lifestyle changes.
  • Medishout for a digital platform to improve operational efficiencies and elective recovery in NHS hospitals, providing healthcare’s only “one-stop app” for staff to resolve operational tasks.
  • Dr Julian Medical Group, for the Dr Julian Online Mental Health Platform as a technology in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), providing an end-to-end platform for booking, matching and choosing clinicians.
  • Mastercall Healthcare, for integrated, technology-enhanced care homes with a 24/7 monitoring service, through which bluetooth-enabled reporting medical devices are connected to a remote access monitoring portal.
  • RUMI Medtech Limited, for their digital transformation of clinical pathways with Remcare, which sees an algorithm analyse the data and risk stratify of patients to preset clinical thresholds, allowing accurate prioritisation of waiting lists.
  • Concentric Health Ltd, for evidence generation for the use of concentric digital consent; by using technology to enable digital and remote consent, Concentric Health seek to increase form quality, decrease error rates and enhance shared decision-making.
  • Ufonia Ltd, for the roll-out of Dora, an automated clinical assistant, to the cataract pathway, to ensure that patients receive a more convenient experience and increase care capacity.
  • Cyted Ltd, for Project CYTOPRIME; piloting the use of Cytosponge in the community, a non-endoscopic test for the earlier detection of oesophageal conditions.
  • Definition Health Ltd, for the use of a Total Digital Surgery Tool to improve prehabilitation of patients and increase effectiveness of surgery pathways within hospitals.

“All the projects we assessed were of high quality and will improve the lives of our service users and/ or our staff as they are rolled out. They will make a positive difference to improving young people’s mental health and/or to supporting the reset and recovery of health and care services,” said Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the SBRI Phase 3 Panel. “I look forward to seeing the achievements from these SBRI-funded schemes as they are implemented.”

Matt Whitty, CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, added: “The SBRI Healthcare awards are vital in enabling the NHS to foster and introduce high impact innovations to address key NHS priorities. The pioneering technologies we’re welcoming today which introduce new ways of working to support elective recovery and increase workforce efficiency are great examples of the NHS spearheading the most forward-thinking solutions in the healthcare landscape.”