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20 innovators to address pressing challenges facing the NHS

17 September 2019

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator has announced 20 new digital health care innovators to be supported by the 2019-20 programme 

Now in its fourth year, the Accelerator supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accelerate the adoption of digital health innovations into the NHS each year. The programme gives innovators improved access to the wealth of world-class research, medical technology, and resources London has to offer and supports NHS providers and commissioners find, and adopt, the new technologies.

Each of the 20 innovators selected for this year’s programme directly support the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan published earlier this year. The programme will support these SMEs to develop and deploy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the NHS.

The exciting innovations include a technology that helps clinicians plan and rehearse heart surgery by using patient scans and mechanics to predict the behaviour of a device once inside a patient (Oxford Heartbeat).  Another is a mobile app that tracks the number of steps walked by an individual and incentivises them to walk more through reward points that can be redeemed for products, goods and services (Sweatcoin). Cutting edge technology such as sensors, machine learning and home devices have been brought together in a digital solution to help carers monitor the health and well-being of elderly patients better at home (Birdie).

Speaking at the programme launch event, Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “I feel really proud of the Accelerator and its achievements over the last three years. Today is another step forward and represents how both sides – innovators and the NHS – are coming together more and more to solve the very real challenges NHS organisations face every day. Digital technologies are not only creating new opportunities to change things for patients, they are also creating new opportunities to make things better for staff, and the wider system. We all share the ultimate objective of making our NHS sustainable and I am looking forward to helping the next set of digital innovators make this a reality.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “I am delighted to support the Accelerator and this latest intake of digital health companies looking to bring their innovations to Londoners. The programme’s work ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation and is vital to building a future where its citizens benefit from the latest technologies to support their health.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a long- overdue digital revolution in the NHS. We must create a system whereby healthtech innovators are supported and can really feel our commitment to them and their ground-breaking work. This programme does just that, plus it supports the NHS and social care to make the most of the digital opportunity.”

Success stories the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator in previous years include a product from MIRA Rehab that turns physiotherapy exercises into video games that can be customised to individual patients’ needs. This has been particularly useful for children and orthopaedic patients who often do not achieve their rehabilitative potential because they do not complete their exercises. As a result of its engagement with the Accelerator, MIRA Rehab is now working with Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal National Orthopaedic NHS Trust. It is now available in 10 NHS organisations across the country.

Infinity Health developed an app to improve patient flow in hospitals. It provides clinical staff with an improved experience from the traditional paper-based processes for requesting, tracking, and prioritising porter requests. The app is now used in Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the country. It has helped save over 10,000 hours of staff time.

The work of DigitalHealth.London Accelerator companies has resulted in almost £76 million in savings for the NHS, with just over a third of this (£24.8 million) credited to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator’s support – based on information self-reported by companies involved. Some of these savings are made in efficiency gains, for example finding more efficient ways of supporting patients to manage their own health conditions, whilst others may help reduce inappropriate urgent care attendances by providing easier access to GP services.

There have been an estimated 22.2 million opportunities for patients to benefit from new technologies supported by the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator.

More information: 

  • The 2019-2020 cohort of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator companies and their innovations announced at the Launch Event in London on Monday 9 September are:
    • Ampersand Health – Developing the first scientifically validated digital therapeutic for people with long term inflammatory conditions.
    • Birdie – Digital products, home connected devices, and machine learning to deliver better preventative care for older people.
    • Diabetes Digital Media – Evidence-based, personalised apps proven to improve the health of patients with diabetes.
    • Edge Health – Helps NHS organisations use data more effectively to increase theatre utilisation and reduce cancellations.
    • EQL Limited – Digitises physiotherapy: musculoskeletal AI-triage tool, accessible 24/7 and in any language.
    • Ibex Medical Analytics – AI-based decision support tool to to reduce cancer diagnosis error rates and improve efficiency.
    • LifeBox Health – LifeBox digitises patient assessment for surgery.
    • Lifelight (Xim) – Contactless measurement of patients’ vital signs using a phone or tablet’s built-in camera.
    • Macusoft – Personalised treatment plans for people with Macular Degeneration using existing diagnostic imaging and clinical data.
    • Medicspot Limited – Remote examination by a GP in remote clinic “pods” using patient operated diagnostic tools and video
    • Motilent – Assesses digestive diseases using medical image analysis.
    • Ortus i-Health – Virtual outpatient clinic platform, combining appointment management, video consultations, and remote monitoring.
    • Oxford Heartbeat – Simulates realistic stent placement inside patients, helping clinicians plan their operations.
    • Patchwork – Connects trusts to a growing number of flexible bank workers, and grows existing staff banks.
    • Push Doctor – Online consultation platform for use in GP surgeries.
    • SkinVision – Skin cancer diagnosis as accurate as a dermatologist, using only a smartphone.
    • Sweatcoin – Incentivises physical activity by converting steps walked into points that can be exchanged for actual rewards.
    • Digital Health Passport (Tiny Medical Apps) – Personal Health Record app to help patients improve their management of long-term conditions.
    • Vine Health – Uses behavioural science and AI to help increase the quality of life and survival of cancer patients.
    • White Swan – Uses data science to accelerates the path to diagnosis for undiagnosed people with symptoms.
  • The DigitalHealth.London Impact Report published in August 2019 is available here.
  • The Accelerator is a programme of DigitalHealth.London, and a partnership between London’s three AHSNs (Health Innovation Network, UCLPartners, Imperial College Health Partners), MedCity, CW+, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. It is supported by the Mayor of London.
  • The Accelerator is receiving up to £1.7 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit gov.uk/european-growth-funding
  • Contact: Rose de Mendonca, Communications Manager, rose.demendonca@nhs.net