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Improving young lives through investment in innovation

16 January 2017

£900K awarded to develop innovations that support self-care and independence in children with long term conditions

With six percent of children in the UK living with disability, ingenious life changing solutions can ensure they have the best start in life. SBRI Healthcare has announced its funding of nine companies developing innovations that aim to provide children living with disability and long term conditions with the potential to live life to the full. The successful technologies recognise the importance of encouraging independence and focus on restoring function to the disabled and providing appropriate support for self-care and remote monitoring.

The innovations also address a key challenge in developing technology for children and young people associated with growth and development. They have been judged to be age specific, versatile and adaptable to meet rapid physiological and anatomical changes.

Philippa Hedley-Takhar, Head of Investment & Partnerships for Yorkshire & Humber AHSN commented: “Children and young people with long term conditions spend much of their childhood in healthcare environments. This competition was designed to stimulate development of solutions to improve quality of life, promote independence and individual empowerment identified as a much needed areas of focus from families, young people and clinicians.”

Professor Paul Dimitri, Clinical Lead at the Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health (TITCH) network said: “TITCH is a national network that has developed an approach to pediatric innovation to address the problems associated with the niche and often neglected market for technology in this field. The number, diversity and quality of applications received demonstrate the level of commitment to ensuring the best healthcare for children and give them the best opportunities in the future.”

With awards of up to £100,000 each, the successful companies (and supporting Academic Health Science Network) are:

  • Restoring Function: ADI Ltd (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN), Open Bionics Ltd (West of England AHSN) and Project Andiamo Ltd (UCLPartners)
  • Self-Care and Remote Monitoring: Spirit Healthcare (Eastern AHSN), Elaros Ltd (Yorkshire &Humber AHSN), Innerstrength (Ireland), Therapy Box Ltd (Health Innovation Network), Viamed Ltd (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN) and XIM Ltd (Wessex AHSN)

Dr Amanda Begley, UCLPartners Director of Innovation and Implementation, said: “We are delighted to see this funding awarded to companies with products that will make life-changing improvements to children and young people.  We are working with our partners to support the implementation of technology solutions and this funding will help ensure children have access to the latest and best innovations in healthcare.”

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. This competition is led by Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and the TITCH network.

The programme works with leading healthcare players to identify areas where technology can be applied to address major healthcare challenges. The nine successful projects have been selected on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients. The companies will be supported and fully funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept for a six month development phase. Those businesses demonstrating best value and greatest technical feasibility at this stage (phase 1) will progress through (phase 2) to be further supported and funded to take their technologies through to commercialisation.

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About Project Andiamo Ltd

Spinal deformities are very common in children and young people with cerebral palsy which can lead to the torso requiring support. Traditional manufacturing is slow and can be distressing, often resulting in poorly fitting supports. Andiamo provide 3D-printed orthotic services and is adapting its innovative technology to create a back brace service-pathway for children with spinal deformities to assist and restore function. The service will be the first of its kind and has potential to revolutionise quality of life for children and young people by reducing the need for surgery, increasing mobility, independence and restoring function.