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New funding for veterans’ healthcare tech projects


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A collection of digital initiatives are among those to receive funding from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) to develop new technologies for armed forces veterans’ healthcare.

They are among 22 projects allocated shares of £5 million from the Health Innovation Fund, which is delivered in collaboration with the Defence and Security Accelerator.

OVA said the funding will help to promote innovation and ensure that treatments are informed by the latest research and developments in clinical care.

Recipients of funding, some of which are subject to contract signing, include the following:

  • Cardiff University to develop online, military focused cognitive behavioural therapy to support veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Radii Devices, working with the Universities of Bath and Southampton, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, Blesma and Unai on an app for prosthesis users to record discomfort to help prosthetists deliver the right socket fitting.
  • University of Leicester for an online test to maximise the accessibility of assessments carried out in medical practices or at home relevant to diagnosis of PTSD.
  • St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service, NHS Lanarkshire and the University of the West of Scotland to look at how welfare support technology can benefit isolated veterans.
  • University of Exeter and IonaMind to develop an AI supported intervention to treat depression and anxiety in female veterans.
  • Kings College London and Combat Stress, which are enhancing a digital application to support female veterans with drinking problems.
  • Umio, working with Cognuse on a veteran peer support and self-learning management platform for living with long term pain.
  • Swansea University to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a smartphone app to reduce harmful gambling and PTSD symptoms.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer MP said: “I’m delighted that we’re providing funding to these projects today. Utilising the latest developments in research and clinical care, these initiatives will spur innovation and new techniques to treat veterans – both with physical and mental health conditions – who have been injured in the line of duty.”

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