NHS picks 17 entrepreneurs to improve healthcare tech

Stethoscope next to keyboard and coffee cup

The NHS has selected 17 healthcare entrepreneurs for its brand new accelerator scheme, with the start-ups set to receive support to roll out technologies to patients and hospitals across England.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator is designed to speed up adoption of new "technologies, processes and models of care" throughout the NHS for "demonstrable patient and population benefit".

Hosted by UCLPartners and the Health Foundation in association with NHS England and Academic Health Science Networks, the project ties into NHS England's plans to plug a third of a projected 22 billion funding shortfall by using technology.

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, NHS England lead for the programme, said: "Innovation is critical to enabling the NHS to achieve the ambitions set out in the Five Year Forward View - to ramp up the pace and scale of change, and deliver better outcomes for patients.

"The fellows bring a huge breadth of expertise to the programme and a passion for achieving better outcomes for patients through the adoption of innovation."

More than 120 UK and foreign entrepreneurs applied, and the 17 chosen to become part of the programme cover areas including cancer, mental health, multiple sclerosis, maternity care, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, liver disease and dementia.

In March, IT Pro reported on the NHS' call for innovators across sectors, with the NHS Innovation Accelerator the most recent step in the Five Year Forward View scheme, designed to improve patient care as well as increase efficiency, also benefitting NHS staff and taxpayers.

"It's hugely exciting to see the potential of this programme and its likely longer-term impact on the experience of patients," said Jo Bibby, director of strategy at The Heath Foundation.

"We have seen, through a number of Health Foundation projects, how creating a critical mass of experts all with a common goal can yield excellent results for our health service, its delivery and future shape."

The 17 successful applicants are a mix of entrepreneurs and healthcare professionals, whose services range from smartphone apps and care models to devices.

A full list of the innovators can be found here.

NHS England's plans to use new data technology to save up to a third of the 20 billion budget hole predicted to exist by 2020 include the possibility of wearables being used to monitor patients in hospital.

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.