A&E to benefit from £4.3 million SBRI Healthcare funding
New technologies that ease pressure on urgent and emergency care services receive further financial backing from NHS England. Cambridge-based Healthera, a digital health management company, is one of the five organisations which will be supported and funded to continue with product development and testing.
With Accident and Emergency 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 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 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 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 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 tranche of investment were drawn from a shortlist of 14 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:
- 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 over the past four years, supporting over 150 companies to develop products focused on areas of need that the NHS currently cannot resolve. The programme 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 savings opportunity for the NHS.
To find out more visit www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk
About the winners
Biovici Ltd. www.biovici.com
Biovici is developing an affordable, portable, point of care test to detect the presence of biomarkers linked with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The device will identify biomarkers present in blood from a pinprick test, and the company is also looking to develop a saliva-based test.
The device has the potential to reduce the number of people attending A&E through screening at point of incident as well as effectively triaging patients helping to reduce the burden on the overstretched resources of emergency departments and major trauma centres.
Healthera Ltd. www.healthera.co.uk
Healthera is an early stage technology company that is developing a simple and effective health management app and web platforms for clinicians. In Phase 1, the company expanded its pharmacy-integrated medicine reminder app into an adherence record portal, the Smart Health, which empowers patients to inform GP's and carers about their medicine taking.
In Phase 2, Healthera plans to integrate its core medicine management service with primary care record and further improve the Smart Health, making it a compelling service that has potential to save millions for the NHS.
Microbiosensor Ltd. www.microbiosensor.co.uk
Urinary tract infections in the elderly are a frequent cause of non-specific confusion and one of the most common, preventable, reasons for emergency admissions to hospital. Microbiosensor is developing a test to show the sensitivity of infecting bacteria to antibiotics. It will be used in primary care, e.g. GP surgeries and elderly residential homes, to aid the rapid, and accurate, prescription of antibiotics to patients with suspected urinary tract infection.
During this Phase 2 contract, the device will be developed from a laboratory prototype to a manufacturable product prototype, tested with many patient samples, and ready for final clinical validation.
365Response Ltd. www.365response.org
Healthcab Smart Platform provides a totally new way of managing urgent care flow. Specifically designed by clinicians for clinicians, Healthcab connects GPs and community staff to dedicated urgent care and primary care transport enabling patients to be treated and responded to faster, safely and at lower cost.
Bringing the technologies more commonly seen in 999 dispatch, Healthcab is a cloud-based connectivity platform delivering quality logistics technology to primary and community care. Healthcab solves the problem of A&E exit block and Ambulance bunching by supporting a new model of care for GP home visits.
SNAP40 Ltd. www.snap40.com
snap40’s stand-alone product continuously monitors patients using a single medical wearable device worn on the upper arm. The wearable monitors heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, relative change in systolic blood pressure, temperature and movement. Sense data is transmitted over WiFi and algorithms are then used to automatically identify patients at high risk of deterioration. Pre-emptive alerts to clinicians and nurses allow earlier intervention.
The expected outcome from SBRI Phase 2 is a complete commercially and clinically validated product to automate risk analysis using continuous medical wearable vital signs monitoring that has been successfully commercially implemented NHS hospitals in UK.
About SBRI Healthcare www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk
The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, led by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), whose role is to promote UK economic growth by spreading innovation and best practice across the NHS. Winners receive fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and NHS England to meet known healthcare need.
Generally taking a three-phased development approach, projects start with a 6 month feasibility phase and can then move on to more detailed product development. Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million over one year. Phase 3 contracts are intended to accelerate product adoption, with up to a further £1 million over 12 months, providing the opportunity for validation in NHS settings. While the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology, its intellectual property (IP) remains with the company, thereby enabling successful businesses to grow.
SBRI Healthcare supported companies are already making an impact; Owlstone Medical was recently awarded Invention of the Year in Top 50 Digital Health Awards for its breathalyzer for disease and PolyPhotonix named in Top 50 North East Tech companies as it tackles the causes of diabetes-related sight-loss with an LED sleep mask.
Funding for SBRI Healthcare has been secured from NHS England. The programme is directed by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England and the other regional AHSNs. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.
About Academic Health Science Networks www.ahsnnetwork.com
There are 15 AHSNs across England. They connect academics, NHS, researchers and industry to accelerate the process of innovation and facilitate the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations. They are driven by two imperatives: improving health and generating economic growth in their regions. SBRI Healthcare competitions are designed, supported and promoted in partnership with the AHSNs.