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Two North West health innovations selected for national NHS Innovation Accelerator

Two innovative health products developed in Merseyside and Cheshire are among 11 selected to join the prestigious NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA).

The Accelerator is run by NHS England in partnership with Academic Health Science Networks – including the Health Innovation Exchange programme partner, the Innovation Agency, the AHSN for the North West Coast. The programme accelerates the uptake of high impact products throughout the NHS, providing a vital boost for innovators. 

New to the Accelerator is Liverpool-based Damibu with their app CATCH - (Common Approach To Children’s Health). This has recieved support from the Health Innovation Exchange partner, The Innovation Agency, who are funding its use in maternity and children’s services in Cheshire and Merseyside. 

The CATCH app gives parents appropriate and understandable information when they need it, via smartphone or tablet. Avoiding the inappropriate use of NHS services when self-care would be more appropriate. Through the Health Innovation Exchange programme, the Innovation Agency, has been working with Damibu to implement the app across the Liverpool City Region and wider North West, as well as providing commercial advice and guidance while connecting the company to a number of NHS organisations.

Damibu Chief Executive and member of Liverpool City Region's Health and Life Science Board, Dave Burrows,  said: “The Damibu team are really excited about the possibilities that joining the NIA family has to offer.  Damibu is already known within the North West for its health innovations, as shown by the NHS North West Excellence in Supply Award we won last month. 

“Being selected for the NIA gives us a springboard to spread our innovations nationally.  We intend to make the most of this unique opportunity.” 

Also selected was ORCHA, which provides a health app finder platform for health organisations and individuals, allowing easy and clear access to verified apps. The company began in Liverpool and recently moved to Sci-Tech Daresbury, near Warrington.

ORCHA Chief Executive Liz Ashall-Payne said: “We are delighted to be part of the National Innovation Accelerator and are excited to be able to scale up our work to deliver more health benefits across England.”

The Innovation Agency has supported both Damibu and Orcha to spread their innovations in the North West Coast. Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear said: “I am absolutely delighted that two innovators in our region have been selected for this prestigious NHS programme. We have been supporting their teams for some time and I’m proud that we’ve been able to help them reach this stage; I’m sure they will now experience a boost in the spread of their innovations.”

Since it launched in July 2015, the NIA has supported the uptake and spread of 25 high-impact, evidence-based innovations across 799 NHS organisations.

Each of the new innovations joining the NIA in 2017 offer solutions to key challenges in primary care, urgent and emergency care and mental health. Their selection follows an international and robust selection process, including review by a collegiate of over 100 assessors and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive said: "Modern medicine is on the cusp of a huge shift in how care is delivered, and practical innovations like these show how NHS patients will now directly benefit. More tests and patient monitoring will be done at home or on the move, without the need to pitch up to a doctor’s appointment or hospital outpatients."

Ian Dodge, National Director for Strategy and Innovation at NHS England, said: “Since it started, the NHS Innovation Accelerator has continued to deliver for patients and the taxpayer. It's just one of the ways that the NHS is getting its act together to provide practical help for innovators with the best ideas. From a small investment, we are already seeing very big benefits - safer care for patients, better value for taxpayers, new jobs created and export wins."

The 11 innovations selected to join the NIA in 2017 are:

  • CATCH - Common Approach To Children’s Health: Addressing the inappropriate use of NHS services when self-care would be more appropriate, the CATCH app gives parents appropriate and understandable information when they need and want it, via smartphone or tablet.
  • ORCHA: ORCHA or Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications, works with CCGs and providers to develop health app portals, allowing professionals easy and clear access to a verified resource. This enables them to enhance services and outcomes by finding and recommending the best apps to patients
  • Dip.io: App which turns a smartphone into a clinical device, providing patients with clinically accurate urine analysis from home in a matter of minutes
  • ESCAPE-pain: ‘Enabling Self-management and Coping of Arthritic Pain through Exercise’ or ESCAPE-pain, is a six-week group programme delivered to people aged 45+ with Osteoarthritis (OA).
  • FREED: The FREED ‘first episode rapid early intervention service for eating disorders’ model of care provides a rapid early response intervention for young people aged 16 to 25 years with short (three years or less) first episode illness duration.
  • Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy (HaMpton): New care pathway involving the use of an app for monitoring high blood pressure at home, empowering expectant mothers to be involved in their own care.
  • Lantum: A cloud-based tool built to help NHS Providers fill empty shifts in clinical rotas.
  • My Diabetes My Way: Low-cost, scalable, comprehensive online self-management platform for people with diabetes.
  • Oviva Diabetes Support: A fully remote, technology-enabled programme of type 2 diabetes structured education, combining 1-to-1 support from a registered dietitian with evidence-based online educational materials and use of the Oviva app to support behaviour change. 
  • RespiraSense: The world’s first continuous respiratory rate monitor, enabling medical teams the ability to detect signs of patient deterioration 12 hours earlier than the standard of care.
  • WaitLess: Free, patient-facing app which shows patients the fastest place to access urgent care services for minor conditions.

For more information about the NIA, visit www.nhsaccelerator.com.