News story

£4 million for technological solutions to tackle healthcare problems

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Department of Health opened two new competitions with up to £2 million of funding each to develop technological and innovative solutions

The Department of Health has opened two new competitions with up to £2 million of funding each to develop technological and innovative solutions to tackle two major health challenges.

The challenge is to:

  • change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases
  • improve the number of patients taking their medication as prescribed

Alcohol and obesity related diseases cost the NHS over £7 billion each year and between 6-10 % of all hospital admissions could be preventable if prescription medication was taken correctly.

Businesses are invited to come up with innovative solutions to these challenges. This could be anything from a device which helps people monitor what they eat or drink or a personalised care package to help people take their medication as prescribed.

Health Minister, Lord Howe said:

“Technology and innovation have an important role to play in helping to address the healthcare challenges facing the NHS. That is why we are investing £20 million in new and creative ideas and projects which can make a difference to patients’ lives.

“Today’s competitions provide an opportunity to develop highly innovative solutions for some of the biggest health problems of our time and we look forward to seeing the results.”

Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS said:

“Investing in innovation is vital for a modern and efficient NHS _- it will benefit the patient, the taxpayer and UK plc. The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a key part of the Innovation, Health and Wealth agenda, which aims to spread innovation throughout the NHS._

“These competitions provide vital funding for businesses to explore, develop and test new technology before it becomes commercially available. Organisations are invited to submit their ideas which could have a real impact on patients and the NHS.”

The competitions will be run through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) process and are open to all organisations not just those in the health sector.

Recent competition winners include Eykona Technologies Ltd, which developed a novel 3D wound imaging system that allows healthcare professionals to monitor chronic wounds more effectively and tailor treatment accordingly. This system is currently being sold to the NHS.

The competitions will be managed by NHS London and NHS Midlands and East.

Businesses can find out more about the competitions by attending a briefing session, which will be held in London on 12 April. More information is available on the SBRI website.

NHS London will manage the process for the competition ‘changing behaviour to reduce the impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases’. NHS Midlands and East will manage the process for the competition ‘improve the number of patients taking their prescribed medication’ in partnership with London Health Programmes

Competition details

The application process for this competition is being run through NHS London. All applications should be made using the application form.

The deadline for applications is1 June 2012.

Improve the number of patients taking their prescribed medication

The application process for this competition is run through Health Enterprise East, the NHS Innovation Hub for the East of England. All applications should be made using the application forms.

The deadline for applications is 18 May 2012.