Patients' lives to be improved by technology revolutions in healthcare

Winners announced to receive funding that could change the face of healthcare

  • Winners announced to receive funding that could revolutionise healthcare
  • Projects include developing artificial intelligence for bed availability in hospitals, 3D printing to create tablets, and smart phone applications to improve the treatment of complex wounds
  • Technology can transform health and social care, improving treatment and deliver better care for patients

Breakthrough technologies which will revolutionise UK healthcare are a step closer to becoming reality following a government competition.

A GPS app to track where porters and available beds are in hospitals; 3D printing technology for tablets; and smartphone apps to monitor and improve treatment of long-term complex wounds are just some of the innovations being developed by the businesses and academics across the country.

We are determined to make the NHS the most-technologically-advanced healthcare system in the world and today’s prizes will help progress towards that goal

The projects, based throughout the UK, including in Devon, Cumbria, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge and London, will collectively receive over £17m funding towards further development.

Government Business Secretary, Greg Clark, said: “Technology is revolutionising industries across our economy, and new innovations play a key role in advancing our healthcare sector to make sure people are living longer, healthier and happier lives.

“By pooling the expertise of the public and private sectors, as highlighted through the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the modern Industrial Strategy; we are making every opportunity to reach our full potential in finding new discoveries and technologies to diagnose illnesses earlier that could lead to more lives being saved.”

The funding, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund managed by UK Research and Innovation, will also support efforts to enable antibodies to be taken orally rather than through invasive injections and increasing the range of medicines that can be delivered through skin patches.

Ian Campbell, executive chairman of Innovate UK, for UK Research and Innovation, said: “The projects we have funded today aim to make a real difference for patients and clinicians.

“They represent the very best of British innovation, focusing on improved patient outcomes and driving efficiency.”

He added: “The UK health sector is thriving, with SMEs playing a crucial role.

“By supporting this sector, as part of the Government’s modern industrial strategy, we can ensure we remain global leaders in health innovation and create the jobs of tomorrow.”

And Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “Innovative technology has the potential to truly transform healthcare for patients and staff.

“From artificial intelligence to VR, to live tracking of hospital beds and equipment, there are so many ways in which the NHS is embracing tech.

By pooling the expertise of the public and private sectors, as highlighted through the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the modern Industrial Strategy; we are making every opportunity to reach our full potential in finding new discoveries and technologies to diagnose illnesses earlier that could lead to more lives being saved

“We are determined to make the NHS the most-technologically-advanced healthcare system in the world and today’s prizes will help progress towards that goal.”

A full list of competition winners follows:

The Digital Health Catalyst competition

Satalia, working with Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, will use AI to schedule operating theatre use linked to downstream bed availability on ICU and wards

Medical Data Solutions and Services, working with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, will deliver a programme using smartphones apps to support healthcare professionals and patients to monitor and improve treatment of long-term complex wounds

Kinosis, working with UCL Hospitals NHS Trust, London, will use AI and digital visualisation technologies to improve surgical support and performance while assisting the standardisation of surgical procedures through better management of real-time information – the ‘Intelligent Operating Room’

Navenio, working with the University of Oxford, will accelerate and enhance systems to track location of porters and equipment in a hospital, for maximum efficiency – ‘an Uber for porters’

Cadscan, working with The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, will deliver a virtual reality platform using VR headsets to help people recover after a stroke

The Medicine Manufacturing round 2 challenge fund competition

FABRX, in Ashford Kent, is developing a 3-D printing process to manufacture tablets, allowing the desktop production of medicines with their doses tailored to individual patients and potentially combining several medicines into a single pill

Intract Pharma, in Cambridge, is testing a new technology that will allow antibodies to be taken orally, rather than through invasive injections

Medherant, in Coventry, is applying a new technology that should greatly increase the range of medicines that can be delivered by skin patches. This may be particularly suitable for patients where traditional tablets are difficult to administer – such as for very small children or the frail elderly

Companies