DigitalHealth.London unveils accelerator to boost digital health in the NHS

DigitalHealth.London has revealed an accelerator programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop digital healthcare systems for the NHS.

The accelerator will work with 30 small digital health businesses over an initial three-year period. It will provide help with getting in front of healthcare experts and clinician, so companies can tailor products and gain advice such as navigating the minutiae of the NHS. It will also help out with understanding how to work with sensitive data and opportunities to showcase new technologies in hospitals.

The Accelerator is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Guy’s & St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust operating through the Health Innovation Network, UCLPartners, Imperial College Healthcare Partners, CW+, MedCity and Digital Catapult. Digital Catapult is an Innovate UK-backed centre to promote and support UK SMEs develop digital products for public bodies and other organisations. (Innovate UK being the operational name of the Technology Strategy Board – which in turn is an agency of the Department for Businesses, Innovation and Skills).

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Neil Crockett, CEO at the Digital Catapult, said the programme is about “facilitating open innovation, collaboration and creating breakthroughs to help solve some of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry”.

DigitalHealth.London was unveiled by life sciences minister George Freeman in February 2016 with the aim of speeding up the use of new digital health technologies by bringing together clinicians, healthcare providers, research institutes, entrepreneurs and industry to give companies a clearer route to market based on the needs of patients, the NHS and wider health sector.

Dr Tony Newman-Sanders, consultant radiologist and chief clinical information officer, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said that clinicians “need to recognise that they have as much to learn from digital professionals as vice versa”.

He added that innovators “need to be aware that it is all very well developing a product to solve a solution, but is that problem big enough to get the attention of the person you are trying to sell it to?”

Colin Marrs

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