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NHS picks 17 pioneers for healthcare solutions



Technology to the fore in solutions to be spread under Innovation Accelerator programme

England’s NHS is planning to make a bunch of new healthcare solutions using IT more widely available to patients.

They are among 17 projects that will receive national support under the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) fellowship programme, which is aimed at speeding up the adoption of technological and other innovations throughout the NHS.

Under the programme, they will receive mentorship from experienced innovators such as Lord Ara Darzi, a bursary, and support through the Academic Health Science Networks to spread the new ways of working across the country.


The list includes an IT platform, Patients Know Best, to provide a single record of their medical information which they own. It was developed by clinical psychologist Lloyd Humphreys and allows the patient to invite anyone they wish to view their profile.

Patient role

Some solutions are focused on patients taking a more active role in their care. These include the OWise smartphone app, developed by PxHealthcare in the Netherlands, to which patients provide data in real time on their experiences while receiving treatment for cancer.

Among the others are Sleepio, a digital sleep improvement programme developed by Big Health, and HealthUnlocked, a peer-to-peer social support network for patients, carers and health advocates . Developed by ex-orthopaedic registrar Matthew Jameson Evans, it uses an intelligent database that signposts relevant content to users depending on their profile.

There are also clinical support solutions, such as a device to support arterial line sampling in operating theatres and Pneumonia Prevention System for use in hospitals.

Innovation critical

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, NHS England lead for the NIA, said: “Innovation is critical to enabling the NHS to achieve the ambitions set out in the Five Year Forward View: to ramp up the pace and scale of change, and deliver better outcomes for patients. The fellows bring a huge breadth of expertise to the programme and a passion for achieving better outcomes for patients through the adoption of innovation.”

The NHS Five Year Forward View strategy, published in October 2014, included commitments to expanding the availability of accredited healthcare apps and building fully interoperable electronic health records.

NHS England is working on the NIA with UCLPartners, the Health Foundation and Academic Health Science Networks.

Image by Daniel Sone (photographer), public domain via Wikimedia Commons



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