£10m funding from DHSC to support health tech companies in bringing innovations to UK market

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced the launch of £10 million in funding to be used in part to support eight selected health tech companies in bringing innovative solutions to market, including a device to identify liver cancer tumours; a portable blood test to identify stroke patients; and an AI solution to predict patient risk of hospitalisation for COPD.

The funding comes as part of The Innovative Devices Access Pathway, designed to accelerate development of medical devices and technologies that “meet an unmet clinical need in the NHS”, as well as supporting their integration into the UK market.

Innovations receiving funding include artificial intelligence used to predict risk of patients requiring hospitalisation for COPD, collecting and monitoring data from wearables, apps and more (Lenus Health); a device measuring oxygen levels from the inner ear canal (EarSwitch); an app to deliver exercises and cognitive behaviour therapy in a personalised format for MS patients; a finger-prick blood test for neutropenic sepsis for chemotherapy patients; and a test and algorithm to predict infection status “up to three days before conventional diagnosis” for systemic inflammatory response syndrome.

Vin Diwakar, interim national director of transformation at NHS England, calls the funding “an important milestone in our work to ensure the NHS continues to get the best new technologies and treatments to patients faster, having already rolled out more than 100 new treatments through the cancer drug fund and setting up a dedicated programme to prepare for new Alzheimer’s treatments once they are approved.

“We will be working closely with our partners to support those companies selected for the pilot so that more game-changing, life-saving technologies are introduced quickly and safely on the NHS.”

The new programme will be run by MHRA, NICE, NHS England, Health Technology Wales, and Scottish Health Technology Group; who will provide “tailored, intensive advice on regulatory approval, health tech assessments and access to the NHS”.

To learn more about the programme and the eight companies selected, please click here.

Also on innovation, NHS Supply Chain has announced the launch of its new Medical Technology Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for innovative products, intended to support public sector organisations in accessing goods and services from SMEs who may face barriers when tendering to supply NHS trusts.

Elsewhere, NHS England has announced that around £1 million in funding has been awarded to seven trusts as part of NHSE’s Wireless Trials programme, designed to support organisations in introducing “new opportunities for wireless technologies that could help transform patient care”.