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Tech companies awarded £17m for healthcare innovation


By Valeria Fiore
1 October 2018

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A total of £17m has been awarded to eight businesses that will develop technologies for the healthcare sector, the Government has announced.

The winners of the Digital Health Catalyst competition and the Medicine Manufacturing challenge will receive the money to work on technologies that could revolutionise healthcare.

Among the projects are the use of AI to monitor bed availability in hospitals, 3D printing to manufacture pills and the development of apps to monitor and treat long-term complex wounds.

The funding will also allow one of the winners to test a new technology to administer antibodies orally rather than through injections.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: ‘By pooling the expertise of the public and private sectors, we are making every opportunity to reach our full potential in finding new discoveries and technologies to diagnose illnesses earlier that could lead to more lives being saved.’

Each of the winners of the Digital Health Catalyst competition and the Medicine Manufacturing challenge will receive a share of the £17m through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund managed by UK Research and Innovation.

Digital Health Catalyst fund

This £35m fund, which is being run over four years, is inviting businesses to apply for its third wave.

The winners of round two are:

  • Satalia, will use AI to schedule operating theatre use according to downstream bed availability on intensity care units and wards
  • Medical Data Solutions and Services, will develop a programme using smartphones app to allow clinicians to care for and monitor long-term complex wounds
  • Kinosis, will use AI to improve surgical support and performance
  • Navenio, will enhance systems to track the location of porters and equipment in a hospital
  • Cadscan, will provide a virtual reality headset to help people recover from a stroke

Medicine Manufacturing challenge fund

The £15m fund was launched to encourage the manufacture of technologies that will improve the manufacture of new medicines.

The winners are:

  • Fabrx, who is working on a 3D printing process to manufacture tablets
  • Intract Pharma, testing a technologies that will allow antibodies to be taken orally rather than being injected
  • Medherant, working on a technology to broaden the range of medicines that can be delivered by skin patches

‘The most technologically advanced healthcare system’

Commenting on the announcement secretary of state of health and social care Matt Hancock said: ‘Innovative technology has the potential to truly transform healthcare for patients and staff.

‘We are determined to make the NHS the most technologically advanced healthcare system in the world and today’s prizes will help progress towards that goal.’

Mr Hancock had already pledged to make the NHS the most advanced healthcare system when it comes to technology during a speech he delivered at the NHS Expo in Manchester last month and recently attended the World Economic Forum in China to start discussions on how the two countries can join forces on healthcare innovation.

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