Next generation of high-growth health SMEs unveiled as digital health accelerators launch across the country

10 October 2018

Five NHS digital health accelerators were launched across England on 12th September 2018, as part of the largest push yet to rapidly increase the speed of digital health products take up in the NHS.

Following a highly competitive process, 34 companies have been selected as some of the highest potential and best-placed to help England’s NHS meet the challenges of an ageing population and scarce resources.

The schemes are run by the innovation arm of the NHS, Academic Health Science Networks, and partners, and launched yesterday in London, Manchester, the South West, East Midlands, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It is the first time it has operated beyond London, where a successful accelerator has been running for two years, saving in excess of £50 million for the NHS and working with 60 companies.

The 34 successful SMEs will receive:

• One-to-one support from a designated “NHS Navigator”: someone with strong clinical or NHS provider experience, who really know the NHS, and can help companies approach it
• Specialist training
• Support with product development
• Opportunities to meet experts from business, clinical, and government backgrounds
• Regular opportunities to showcase their products with NHS decision-makers and influencers.

Mike Hannay, Chair of England’s Academic Health Science Networks, which run the Accelerator schemes with partners, said: “Despite the array of talent and resources available, there is room for much better collaboration between SMEs and the health system to increase England’s competitiveness in digital innovation. Connections between entrepreneurial innovation and health are essential for England to realise its potential and become a world leader in digital health innovation. With Brexit on the horizon, this scheme is more important than ever before. We have seen rapid growth in the companies supported by our existing London accelerator and look forward to building on this with the next generation of start-ups.”

The successful companies include: an app turning smartphones into regulatory approved clinical devices for urine testing.
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