Technologies allowing doctors to better care for patients suffering with drug and alcohol addiction and an app which empowers patients to manage chronic disease are among some of the companies chosen to join a ground-breaking initiative to modernise NHS care. An accelerator scheme, the first of its kind, which is being launched by DigitalHealth.London will today welcome the first 32 innovative companies onto a programme designed to help digital health firms better engage with the NHS.

With ever-increasing pressures on health and care services, the Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of innovations at scale, ensuring that greater numbers of patients benefit from emerging new technology, more rapidly. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt supports better use of health tech and said at last week’s NHS Expo that the NHS must reflect the age of the smartphone and give patients the opportunity to access care in a way that works for them. He has also repeatedly stated that improving digital services could help close a multi-billion black hole in NHS finances.

DigitalHealth.London was launched earlier this year, following a recommendation by Lord Darzi and the London Health Commission. It is a collaboration between MedCity, the Mayor of London, and the capital’s three Academic Health Science Networks.1

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is home to some of the greatest scientific minds on the planet and a beacon for world-class research and development. However, there is no doubt that some of our most entrepreneurial science and tech companies need some support in order to transform their ideas into products that can help to tackle disease and in turn save the NHS valuable resources.

“I am delighted that we can now welcome the first set of companies on board this fantastic scheme which will improve patient care by developing all manner of new digital tools.

“It proves that London is open to cutting-edge medical innovation as we look to use the city’s world-class scientific and technological prowess to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare.”

Sarah Haywood, CEO of MedCity added: “New technologies have changed the way we interact with companies and organisations. It has empowered and democratised the way in which we consume services from retail to banking. There’s no reason why health care services should be left out of this process. So it’s exciting to be part of a programme which will help health care services modernise for the 21st century – and empower individuals in the doctor-patient relationship.”

The pioneering, year-long Accelerator programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is the first major programme of DigitalHealth.London.2 It will marry a dedicated team of skilled Digital Health (NHS) Navigators with 32 SMEs, helping them engage with healthcare experts, to understand and respond to the needs of the market and gain first-hand advice on products in development.

Jenny Thomas, Accelerator Programme Director, said: “This is a completely new and innovative programme – the first of its kind in London – that works by engaging with businesses, the NHS and wider healthcare sector, to close the gap between product development and the uptake of new solutions within hospitals and other healthcare settings. We believe that our unique approach has the ability to help businesses engage with the NHS in the most efficient way.

“The companies we will support frequently talk about how complicated it can be to navigate and engage with the NHS, particularly finding the ‘right person to talk to’. We believe – and lots of the companies have told us – that the Accelerator has the ability to change this, and we are delighted to be giving our first cohort the chance to work with the NHS in a completely new way.”

119 companies initially competed for a place on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. Over 60 senior NHS, commercial and technical experts assessed each company’s business credibility and the likely benefit their innovations could deliver at a pan-London level.

The 32 companies that make up the 2016 – 17 Accelerator programme cohort are: 11 Health & Technologies Ltd, Affigo, Breaking Free Online Limited, Circular Wave Limited, Cinapsis, Club Soda Limited, Cupris Health, DefinitiveDX, DrDoctor, Healthlogistics Limited, Helicon Health Limited, Inhealthcare, iPlato Healthcare Ltd, LiveSmart UK Ltd, Lumeon, MedicaliQ, Medopad, Meedoc, MedShr, Molecular Warehouse, mumoActive, myrecovery, Now Healthcare Group, OurPath, Oviva, Perfect Ward, Physitrack, Propeller (part of Selfless), Revere Care, Sense.ly UK, SIME Diagnostics and Written Medicine.

Notes to Editors:

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Kim Watson, Communications Manager Life Sciences, at MedCity on kimwatson@medcityhq.com or call +44 (0)20 7234 5718.

1 The three networks are Health Innovation NetworkImperial College Health Partners and UCLPartners.

2 The project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for 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 https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

About DigitalHealth.London

DigitalHealth.London was set up in response to the London Health Commission’s recommendation for the creation of a digital health hub; a marketplace where digital solutions could be brought and sold – one where industry wanted to come and do business, and where patients and the public would benefit.

The programme is a collaboration between the three London Academic Health Science Networks (ASHNs); Imperial College Health Partners, UCLPartners and the Health Innovation Network, plus the Mayor of London and Academic Science Centres (AHSCs).  It draws upon leading NHS experts with world-class insight to pioneer the development, commercialisation and adoption of digital technologies in health and social care to improve health outcomes.