Health Hack rewards medical innovation

Medtech Accelerator Health Hack’s inaugural event offered innovators the chance to win up to £125,000 of funding to bring to market inventions that will help the NHS and patients alike.

Organised by the Medtech Accelerator in partnership with the Eastern AHSN and Health Enterprise East, Health Hack is a series of three free events designed to identify and support the development of new products and services that have the potential to meet clinical needs and generate commercial benefit.

Held at the Earlham Institute in Norwich on Oct 19-20th, the first event, supported by the University of East Anglia and IP21, focused on rehabilitation from injury and illness and was attended by more than 60 delegates from NHS organisations, academia and the healthcare and technology industries.

Participants included clinical stakeholders, subject-matter experts and other NHS staff, software/hardware developers, academics/researchers, regulatory experts/consultants and business/marketing/strategy consultants.

The event provided a platform for innovators to meet with other interested parties to help develop their ideas for innovative solutions in medical technology, including devices, diagnostics, software and eHealth. After an open call for innovations, seven individual ideas were shortlisted. Each team or innovator then shaped their idea with selected subject matter experts to refine it ahead of presenting to a panel of judges who then chose the winning pitch.

Shortlisted ideas focused on digital solutions including apps and platforms to support patients during rehabilitation. An idea for a new IT platform to improve patient rehabilitation after surgery created by Cristian Ilie, Consultant Urologist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust won the overall pitch of the event. The idea was chosen as the winner thanks to its strong process design, clear user needs, and concise benefits and ROI possibilities. 

The winning idea will now be pitched to the MedTech Accelerator Investment Panel, with a chance of winning up to £125,000 of funding to develop the idea. The remaining six projects will all be offered the opportunity of further mentoring and support from Health Enterprise East and the Eastern AHSN.

Commenting on the inaugural event, Dr Anne Blackwood, CEO of Health Enterprise East, said:

“The first Health Hack was a great success with up-and-coming innovators within the NHS gaining invaluable insight into how to assess the market, the best development approach, possible delivery partners, development costs, funding/investment needs when developing a sound commercialisation strategy.”

Karen Livingstone, Director of Partnerships and Industry, Eastern AHSN, added:

“Health Hack is a perfect example of how, by putting innovators side by side with clinicians we can help drive solutions for problems in the NHS and generate new ideas and innovations that will help to transform lives.”

The next Health Hack is provisionally scheduled for January 18-19th 2018 in Cambridge and will be focused on surgery.


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