SBRI Healthcare has awarded £1.25 million to help fund the development of 13 separate innovations relating to musculoskeletal disorder and dentistry, oral health and oral cancers.
The pioneering projects were discovered through a nationwide call by SBRI Healthcare earlier this year for innovations to tackle healthcare problems in these fields.
SBRI Healthcare works with businesses to identify, co-create and develop innovative health tech solutions for the NHS by launching a series of competitions geared around solving specific healthcare challenges. The most recent competition in July 2018 called for innovations to tackle musculoskeletal disorders and improve oral health.
Innovations that came to the fore as part of this competition call and that can now benefit from the £1.25 m funding range from AI-based smartphone apps and virtual reality programmes, to technologies designed to improve the diagnosis, surgical outcomes and pain relief related to oral cancers.
In addition to this initial investment, SBRI Healthcare will support the projects by providing consultancy services, including support with the development of prototypes and access to clinical trials, to help ensure these innovations are swiftly adopted by the NHS.
Karen Livingstone, national director of SBRI Healthcare, said: “Approximately 9.6 million adults and 12,000 children in the UK are affected by musculoskeletal disorders, which can cause chronic disability. Meanwhile recent reports estimate that poor oral hygiene and preventable tooth decay could be costing the NHS as much as £50 million a year. The range and calibre of responses we received to our competition highlight the significant role that technology can play in delivering cutting edge prevention and treatment services in these fields.
“We are excited to support these companies through the early stages of product development and to help ensure that their innovations find their way into our hospitals as quickly as possible. All of these projects have the potential to have a significant impact on patient outcomes and to alleviate cost and time pressures on the NHS. Fast-tracking their development should therefore be welcome news for both patients and clinicians alike.”
Sami Stagnell, specialist oral surgeon, commented: “Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, and is currently one of the leading causes of childhood hospital admissions for five to nine-year olds.
"The latest competition uncovered a variety of transformative innovations and technologies that have the potential to augment existing NHS initiatives and bring much needed benefits to young people’s oral health. The SBRI Healthcare programme aims to target significant areas of need within the NHS, with a view to fast-track these new revolutionary innovations into hospitals and other healthcare services.”