New technologies that ease pressure on urgent and emergency care services receive renewed financial backing from NHS England.
With Accident and Emergency (A&E) pressures widely reported and wait times reaching their highest level in more than a decade, SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative of Healthcare) today announced £4.3 million (nearly $6 million USD) investment in new technologies that could reduce pressure.
Five innovations that have the potential to reduce emergency admissions to A&E include wireless monitoring and the use of self-help apps, pioneering point of care diagnostic testing, and a novel way of 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 1 in 10 patients are waiting at least four hours for a hospital bed after emergency admission, a near five-fold increase since 2010/2011. 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 capacities 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 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), that co-develops innovative products to address unmet health needs.
The five companies selected by SBRI Healthcare for the second round of investment were drawn from a shortlist of 14 companies that received six-month 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:
• Preventing & Reducing Admissions: Healthera (Eastern AHSN) and Microbiosensor (Greater Manchester AHSN)
• Coordinating & Managing Resources: Biovici (Wales)
• Planning for Flow & Discharge: 365Response (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN) and snap40 (Scotland)
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 365 Response 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.”
SBRI Healthcare has invested £57 million (nearly $72 million USD) over the past four years, supporting over 150 companies to develop products focused on areas of need that the NHS currently cannot resolve. The program has seen an economic impact of over £33 million through job creation and £55 million of additional private sector investment as well as offering the £1 billion in savings opportunity for the NHS.