Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has opened applications for its second Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London programme, which seeks to invest in start-up companies working in the health tech space.

Budding organisations that have developed a product or service ready for use by the public or healthcare professionals and can show evidence of benefits to patients or clinicians, can compete for a share of a £50,000 grant as well as on year of business support.

The winners will be able to tap Pfizer’s network of partners, which includes NHS organisations, and will be given the opportunity to meet the people who help develop their products and bring them to commercialisation.

Pfizer is particularly interested in seeking out start-up companies that are “innovating at the cross-section between health and technology”.

Dr Hamish Graham, manager of Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London, said: “Digital maturity is coming to the NHS and other UK health services in 2018. Technology is being used to explore innovation at every level of the NHS, to help address some of the serious health challenges patient providers face”.

“Taking incredible innovations and turning them into practical applications will be vital to help improve the delivery of healthcare for patients while generating efficiencies so health systems can meet the demands for the people they support.”

The Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London was established in 2017 and is a part of a global network of Pfizer innovation hubs located in Berlin, Stockholm, Sydney, North America and Tel Aviv.

Previous winners include Echo, a free app that allows users to order NHS prescriptions and have medication delivered to their home.

Echo was named the Best British Mobile Start-up at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and secured a £7 million funding boost in October 2017 to help it extend collaboration with UK healthcare providers.

Dr Graham said he had been “blown away” by the UK’s health tech start-up scene.

Erik Nordkamp, managing director of Pfizer UK, added: “We’re seeing remarkable innovation in healthcare here in the UK, with technology rapidly maturing to meet the needs of patients and clinicians.

“Analytics, telemedicine and consumer facing apps which accommodate multiple conditions are just some of the technological trends impacting health. Pfizer is committed to continuing to support health tech start-ups in the quest to improve health”.

Last week, Digital Health News covered the launch of a new UK health tech accelerator called HS, which counts computer vision and regenerative medicine start-ups amongst its first cohort.