NHS Innovation Accelerator launches search for world’s top innovators

The South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) is working in partnership with NHS England and the AHSN Network to lead a new search for the world’s best health innovators to help improve patients’ lives. The NHS Innovation Accelerator 2016 was launched on 17 June, after 3 million people benefit from the first wave in just nine months.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) aims to improve lives through fast tracking cutting-edge, low cost innovations to the forefront of the NHS. In its first year, the NIA has supported 17 fellows to introduce their high impact, tried and tested innovations – ranging from apps, IT platforms, new models of care – into the NHS. This has resulted in a rapid roll out of innovations to 68 NHS organisations, benefitting over three million patients and delivering over £8m funding.

NIA 2016 aims to find eight of the world’s top innovators to be supported to spread their innovations further and faster across the NHS. We are seeking innovators with new products, services, solutions or new ways of delivering care that address: disease prevention, early detection and long-term conditions.

Run by NHS England and UCLPartners in collaboration with the country’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), the NHS Innovation Accelerator has enabled clinicians to deliver care more efficiently and has empowered patients to combat, manage and understand their own illnesses better.

Innovators who are interested can find out more and apply online via NHS England’s website. Applicants have until 01 August to submit their application and there will be opportunities for you to receive support in the application process during this time.

Innovations that are currently supported by the NIA include:

A social network 
HealthUnlocked – a social network that allows patients, caregivers and health advocates to connect to others living with similar conditions and having similar experiences, has grown to more than 500 user-generated specialised communities, and has over 3.5 million visits per month globally.

A 24-hour online self-management system
MyCOPD – an online system, available as an app, which allows patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) to self-manage their condition on any device, from any place, at any time. MyCOPD offers patients expert advice and education on how to use their medication properly and how to perform special exercises designed to improve lung function.

A whole hospital digital platform
Nervecentre – a digital platform that enables doctors and nurses to carry out patient observations, handovers and clinical assessments from their smartphones is now used in over 30 trusts in the UK. Independent research identified a 70% reduction in clinical incidents such as patients deteriorating because of a delay in finding the right doctor and a 100% reduction in avoidable deaths out-of-hours.

An electronic recruitment and research pairing service
Join Dementia Research – an online paring service covering the whole of the UK, which matches people interested in participating in dementia research with suitable studies. Join Dementia Research now has 17,433 people registered with more than 5000 people enrolled in clinical trials – a 900% increase since Piers Kotting joined the programme.

Professor Sir David Fish, Managing Director of UCLPartners said: “The success achieved in just the first months of the NHS Innovation Accelerator should inspire healthcare providers, commissioners and innovators to work together to solve current challenges for patient and population benefit.”

NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme Co-founder Dr Mahiben Maruthappu said: “The NHS Innovation Accelerator has seen record success, benefitting millions of patients in a matter of months. We in the NHS are opening the door to innovators across the world, to disrupt British healthcare.”

Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the AHSN Network and Chief Executive of The Innovation Agency said: “Health and industry innovators have an absolutely central role to play in helping the NHS respond to its challenges – coming up with great products, services, technologies and care models that can transform services for the benefit of patients and enable efficiencies. It’s well known to be difficult for entrepreneurs to access the support they need to roll out their great ideas, the support of AHSNs and the NHS Innovation Accelerator has shown that we can speed up innovation in the NHS.”

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