NHS on the hunt for tech innovators

Two innovation schemes open for bids

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

NHS England is seeking innovators to apply for two schemes designed to allow the health service to better take advantage of new technologies.

The Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme will see NHS England “directly fund a small group of proven innovations to help spread them at scale across the NHS”. The programme will seek to identify “medical devices, digital platforms and technologies” that could offer providers cost-effective and innovative new ways of delivering care.

The aim of the scheme is to strip away some of the procurement or financial obstacles that might prevent innovative technology from being used in the NHS. Previous recipients of ITP backing include HeartFlow, a software program for creating and analysing 3D models of patients’ coronary arteries, and Endocuff Vision, a device that aims to improve colorectal examination.

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The NHS Innovation Accelerator scheme, meanwhile, offers individual technologists a bespoke programme of support to help them develop innovative ideas and bring them to fruition across the NHS. Since its launch three years ago, the accelerator has given 36 people the chance to implement their innovations across a total of 1,423 NHS sites.

Applications for the 2019/20 iteration of both schemes are now open – until 3 October for the Innovation and Technology Payment, and 24 October for the NHS Innovation Accelerator.

Dr Sam Roberts, director of innovation and life sciences at NHS England, said: “Thousands of patients have already benefited from access to new and exciting innovations because NHS England is committed to spreading innovation across the NHS. We are now calling on the best innovators from across the world to apply to join either of these two projects so even more NHS patients can benefit from the very best new tools and technologies available.”

Sam Trendall

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