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Catalyst provides £9 million for digital health projects


A collection of new healthcare technology projects have received a £9 million funding boost through the Government’s Digital Health Technology Catalyst.

They include efforts to develop AI, machine learning and handheld devices to support new approaches to healthcare.

Run by UK Research and Innovation, the four-year programme is aimed at accelerating the development of digital health innovation under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The funding is targeted at SMEs working on new solutions for the sector.

The projects to receive funding include:

  • eObs, developed by OpusVL, which allows clinicians to observe patients digitally through hand-held devices. The device can then send an automatic alert to specialists or consultants if patients are identified as ‘at risk’.

  • An effort led by Red Star Consulting to apply machine learning in analysing clinical notes recorded in the electronic health record of diabetes patients. The model is aimed at predicting the risk of different clinical endpoints such as heart attack or death.

  • A trial of a low cost and portable brain imaging technology, led by Mind over Matter MedTech working with Wessex Academic Health Science Network. It could help to detect the approach of dementia in patients.

  • The deployment of an AI driven voice technology to call patients for a conversation to assess their health status against specified criteria. It is being led by Ufonia and the University of Oxford.

  • The development by Snoozeal and the University of Loughborough of a device to treat obstructive sleep apnoea. It is connected to an intelligent platform to collect biosensor data of tongue tone, which will be classified by machine learning and AI based to deliver personalised treatment.

Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore (pictured) said: “From using AI driven voice technology to assess patient’s health before seeing a doctor, to handheld devices which observe health status and alert clinicians to treat high risk patients, we are taking steps to ensure people are healthier for longer while saving the NHS money.

“These advances in technology, across the UK, demonstrate our modern Industrial Strategy in action by harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society, and creating the high skilled jobs of the future.”

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