A programme launched in London today aims to bring together clinicians with healthcare providers, entrepreneurs and industry to speed up the the adoption and commercialisation of digital health technologies.
Launched by Life Sciences Minister George Freeman, DigitalHealth.London aims to give companies a clearer route to market based on the needs of patients and the NHS.
Its first major project is a Digital Health Accelerator programme to support emerging companies working in the digital healthcare sector.
The accelerator will work with 30 small digital health businesses each year over an initial three year period and will hold its first open day for SMEs on 7 March.
DigitalHealth.London is a collaboration between MedCity, the Mayor of London’s life sciences promotional agency for the greater south east, the Greater London Authority, and the capital’s three academic health science networks – the Health Innovation Network, Imperial College Health Partners, and UCLPartners.
The idea for such a programme was first proposed by Lord Darzi’s London Health Commission report in 2014.
A statement on the programme launch says: “The use of digital health technologies is being slowed by challenges including the lack of a clear procurement route in the NHS, and difficulty in gaining access to clinicians and patients who can help shape products and explain needs and constraints at an early stage."
DigitalHealth.London wants to grow a network of relationships between industry, entrepreneurs, clinicians, patients and healthcare professionals.
Also to clearly define the need from clinicians and patients to help shape the ideas and products being developed by companies and signpost clear routes to market for entrepreneurs.
Tara Donnelly, managing director of the Health Innovation Network, said: “Patients are the people who know their condition best and understand the day to day reality of living with it. Their perspective on the challenges and opportunities is crucial to businesses developing solutions, and facilitating access to patients will be a very important part of what DigitalHealth.London does.”
Dr Adrian Bull, managing director of Imperial College Health Partners, said: “We are acutely aware that the NHS is a large and complex organisation, and many entrepreneurs struggle to know how to engage with us.
“However there is huge enthusiasm amongst our staff to take advantage of the opportunities digital health offers and to work with innovative companies to develop the right new products.”
Applications are now open for digital health SMEs to apply before 25 April.
DigitalHealth.London is in no way connected to DigitalHealth.net