NHS calls for innovators as part of new healthcare scheme

healthcare IT

The NHS has launched a worldwide programme that calls for innovators across sectors to develop new technologies for use with local healthcare services.

The NHS Test Bed programme, in association with the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), is looking for firms to partner with existing healthcare systems. The best ideas will be tested in a real clinical environment and supported at a national level.

The test beds can include GPs, hospitals, community health teams, social care and the voluntary sector, according to the NHS. Some example ideas include wearable technology for real patients or figuring out new ways of working for clinical and nursing staff.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: "The NHS' ambition is to become the best place on the planet to test new combinations of innovations that produce clear payoffs for patients and taxpayers. We'll never be the system that pays the highest prices, we could be the health service most open to new and better ways of providing care."

This announcement forms the latest step in the NHS Five Year Forward View, which is working on implementing the best new innovations in the UK's healthcare sector. The scheme, if successful, will directly benefit patients as well as improve efficiency for NHS staff and taxpayers.

Sir Mark Walport, the government's chief scientific adviser, said: "The digital revolution is transforming our lives in many sectors but the health sector is lagging in reaping the potential rewards.

"The test bed initiative is a hugely important opportunity to bring together the needs of healthcare and the creative energy of industry to speed the implementation of digital technologies for patient benefit and to promote economic growth."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.