Bridging the Gap between innovators and the NHS

Posted on 6 February 2020 (Permalink)

Last week (30 January 2020) we hosted the AHSN Network’s fifth Bridging the Gap event, alongside our partners at East Midlands AHSN.

The event, which took place at Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel, saw over 150 delegates come together to learn more about accessing the NHS marketplace.

Innovators heard from expert keynote speakers including Lisa Hollins, Director of Innovation Delivery, NHSX, speaking about scaling innovations within the NHS, Anna Dijkstra, Deputy Director of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), speaking to our innovators about the value that the AAC can bring and Luella Trickett, Director of Value and Access at the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), who spoke about the support that ABHI can offer HealthTech organisations.

Lisa Hollins, along with other themes, spoke about the importance NHSX place on listening to digital health innovators, emphasised in their recent report. Anna Dijkstra talked about the need for the NHS to have a more cohesive and consistent view on what’s coming and what innovative solutions are out there and how the AAC plans to combat this.

Giving delegates an example of how AHSNs have supported a local innovator, Jimmy Endicott from ChatHealth – a secure and confidential text messaging service for young people – spoke about his experiences of AHSN support and achieving spread across the NHS. In his talk, Jimmy told delegates “AHSNs are searching at grassroots level to find innovations that will benefit patients…Getting involved with my local AHSN, then the Network and subsequently becoming part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator has given me the chance to reach the ‘top of the top’ in terms of mental health policy and thought leadership”.

Innovators also attended a series of skills labs hosted by AHSN-supported innovators including NuVision, DrDoctor and Heartflow and experts such as Medilink, CHEATA and NHSX. Topics included export and overseas trade, developing a business case, gathering real world evidence, adoption and spread and regulations. There were lively discussions in these skills labs and delegates took away practical tips and advice relevant for their innovations and businesses.

AHSNs are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between healthcare and industry. Our remit is to cross traditional sector boundaries and strengthen partnerships between industry and healthcare organisations so that more patients benefit from innovative technologies. This event is a showcase of the type of support AHSNs can offer to innovators to help them navigate the NHS. Innovators can find contact details for each of the 15 AHSNs on the national digital Innovation Exchange gateway.

To find out more about our work in this area, take a look at our Bridging the Gap Midlands brochure.