With A&E pressures well reported and as waiting times reach their highest level in more than a decade, SBRI Healthcare today announced £4.3 million investment in new technologies that could reduce pressures in this vital area.
Five innovations that have the potential to reduce emergency admissions via A&E through wireless monitoring and the use of self-help apps, pioneering point of care diagnostic testing and a novel way to manage urgent care flow have been selected. Each successful company will receive up to £1 million in financial backing to take their products to the next stage in development.
Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the AHSN Network commented: “A&E waiting times have been increasing over time with recent figures showing more than one in ten patients are waiting at least four hours for a hospital bed after emergency admission, a near five-fold increase since 2010/11. The causes of the problems in A&E, and the solutions to address them, are complex and to a great extent dependent on processes and capacity in other hospital departments, as well as other parts of the health and care system.”
SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, led by the country’s 15 AHSNs, that co-develops innovative products to address unmet health needs.
The five companies selected by SBRI Healthcare for the second tranche of investment were drawn from a shortlist of companies that received six months feasibility funding in March 2016. The successful companies demonstrated best value and greatest technical feasibility to a panel of experts looking for game-changing technologies with the highest potential value to patients and the health service. The companies will be supported and fully funded to continue with product development and testing.
The successful companies (and supporting Academic Health Science Networks) are:
Richard Phillips, Chair of SBRI Board and Director of the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), said: “As demands and pressure on the urgent and emergency care system increase, we need to find new ways to bring high value innovation into the NHS. The announcement today will bring new and creative solutions into this space that will improve care for patients and efficiency for the NHS.”
Sarah Fatchett, Founder of 365Response, added: “SBRI Healthcare is great initiative where vibrant, creative and ambitious SMEs can secure support to develop an idea from prototype into action and into business. It can make a massive difference. We have created new product, delivered real value, employed local people and generally grown – not just in people but in skills, confidence and delivery.”