Seventeen ‘healthcare pioneers’ have been chosen by NHS England to receive national support to roll out their technologies across England.

NHS England’s medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has today announced the successful applicants to become fellows of the Innovation Accelerator Programme: to make the best healthcare innovations more widely available to patients. 

The 17 fellows from the UK and abroad will receive funding, coaching from mentors such as Lord Ara Darzi, and delivery support through the academic health science networks to spread their new ways of working to patients, hospitals and GP practices throughout England.

More than 120 people from the UK and internationally applied to join the programme. Each fellow will have access to a £50,000 bursary.

The winning innovations comprise a range of apps, IT platforms, devices and processes designed to help prevent disease, speed up diagnosis, improve safety and efficiency of services and increase patient participation. 

They include; a smartphone heart monitor; a dental health app; a telehealth service; and a genome analytics software.

Also, patient-controlled medical records system Patients Know Best; a peer-to-peer social support network for health called HealthUnlocked; Nervecentre Software to improve hospital communication; and a digital sleep improvement programme called Sleepio.

At a launch event today, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said he expected the 17 “exceptional individuals” identified to be part of the programme to become “leaders of the world-changing innovation in health care”.

He said many people working in the health service have good ideas for how to improve it, but get bogged down in a “sticky sludge” when trying to disseminate them.  He encouraged the fellows to feedback on the barriers stopping the spread of innovation and how these can be removed.

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, NHS England lead for the Innovation Accelerator programme, said: “innovation is critical to enabling the NHS to achieve the ambitions set out in the Five Year Forward View: to ramp up the pace and scale of change, and deliver better outcomes for patients. 

“The fellows bring a huge breadth of expertise to the programme and a passion for achieving better outcomes for patients through the adoption of innovation.”

Dr Lloyd Humphreys, from Patients Know Best, will be a fellow of the programme and said closer ties between NHS England and suppliers like PKB can help reduce costs and burden upon the health system whilst enhancing patient care.

“We want every patient in the UK to have control of their medical records and we want to embed a patient-centric approach to patient records management in the ethos and culture of the NHS,” he said.