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SBRI Healthcare Invests £2.1m in Innovation to Build General Practice of the Future

10 April 2017

10 April 2017: The NHS is backing the co-development of novel technologies for primary care as part of its SBRI Healthcare programme.  Innovations that could revolutionise GP Services have been funded to address the challenges of an aging population.

Today SBRI Healthcare announced the latest awards in the NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products that address unmet health needs. Recognising the current pressures in primary care and a need to advance the future of general practice, 22 companies share in a £2.1 million investment to develop and commercialise novel technologies with the potential to revolutionise GP services.

Technologies were sought in three main challenge areas for general practice and winning innovations include; a device that measures novel biomarkers in a patient’s breath to immediately distinguish a viral from a bacterial respiratory tract infection allowing the GP to prescribe antibiotics quickly and appropriately; and a technology that allows for automatic vital sign measurement - heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation - whilst booking in with the receptionist, optimising the patient’s visit and maximising time with the GP.

With awards of up to £100,000 each, the successful companies (and supporting Academic Health Science Network) are:

  • Self-care: Anglia Ruskin Enterprise (Eastern AHSN); Cambridge Respiratory Innovations (Eastern AHSN); Covolution (UCLPartners); Digital Algorithms (West of England AHSN); Healum (UCLPartners); Helicon Health (UCLPartners); MSKnote (Kent, Surrey & Sussex AHSN); MyDiabetesMyWay (Scotland); Orsus Medical (West of England AHSN); Ulsys (Yorkshire and Humber AHSN); uMotif (Health Innovation Network, South London)
  • Diagnostics and earlier triage: Applied Nanodetectors (UCLPartners); Fraunhofer UK Research (Scotland); Manus Neurodynamica (Scotland); Medtechtomarket Consulting (Innovation Agency, North West Coast); Saccade Diagnostics (Scotland)
  • Workload and demand management: Advanced Therapeutic Materials (West Midlands AHSN); Doc Abode (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN); iPLATO Healthcare (Imperial College Health Partners); nquiringminds (Wessex AHSN); xim (Wessex AHSN); Xytal Technology (South West AHSN)

Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the AHSN Network, commented: “There are few areas of our daily lives that remain untouched by technological advancement. Through the SBRI Healthcare programme, the AHSN Network is working with industry partners to develop solutions that will help deliver high quality GP services to a growing and aging population, and ensure patients across the country benefit from new and innovative technologies.”


Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “General practice has always been a trail blazer for adopting new innovations in our daily practice. At a time when our profession is under intense resource and workforce pressures, it is important that we continue to encourage and support new ideas that can benefit the care we deliver to patients, and make life that little bit easier for healthcare professionals right across the NHS.”

Dr Peter Brindle, Commissioning Evidence Informed Care Lead for the West of England AHSN, who was involved in shaping the call’s brief and a member of the reviewing panel commented: “90% of patient contacts happen in General Practice, so improvements to the quality and efficiency in primary care can have a massive effect on the rest of the system. Innovation in General Practice is not new, but the SBRI GP of the Future award has matched the major issues of diagnostics, patient self-care and practice workload with the very best of business solutions. The West of England AHSN is looking forward to working with the winners of this highly competitive competition to help them achieve the impact that the NHS needs.”

SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, led by the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), that co-develops innovative products to address unmet health needs.

The programme works with leading healthcare players to identify areas where technology can be applied to address major healthcare challenges. The 22 successful projects have been selected on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients. The companies will be supported and fully funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept for a six month development phase. Those businesses demonstrating best value and greatest technical feasibility at this stage (phase 1) will progress through (phase 2) to be further supported and funded to take their technologies through to commercialisation.