Calling all digital healthcare start up looking to make waves in the NHS – applications for Pitchfest 2022 are now open.

The annual competition held at Digital Health Rewired offers start-ups a unique opportunity to showcase their product to a panel of experts, as well as NHS IT leaders and the wider Rewired audience.

The competition will be taking place on Wednesday, March 16 on the second day of Rewired. Held at the Business Design Centre in London, Rewired 2022 will form the centrepiece of a week-long festival celebrating the best of digital, data and innovation in health and care that will include an exciting new virtual fringe.

Last year’s Pitchfest competition saw a record 120 startups put in their bid to be crowded the winner and take home the opportunity to work with one of the leading NHS trusts in the country.

Peppy Health took first place in last year’s competition and has since secured more than £6m funding to go towards scaling its existing technology, as well as introducing new services. The company has also launched a digital menopause resource to help employer better support their employees.

Peppy’s secure mobile app provides access to chats, webinars, vetted resources and video or phone consultations. It’s aim is to support users while decreasing pressure on health services.

Mridula Pore, founder of Peppy Health, said: “Pitchfest was a brilliant opportunity to showcase Peppy to so many senior stakeholders in the health tech space.

“Seeing the amazing work from other health tech companies also made me realise how much momentum there is in the health tech space and we’re part of an exciting ecosystem.

“Winning Pitchfest 2021 has introduced us into one of the top healthcare organisations in the country – Chelsea and Westminster Hospital- and really helped us to create momentum around the work we are doing to support NHS employees through the menopause.”

As the winner of Pitchfest Peppy Health was offered the opportunity to have their innovation tested and scaled at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust through the CW Innovation Programme – a collaboration between the trust and its charity CW+.

For the third year in a row CW+ have signed up to support the competition and will again be offering the winner the change to scale their idea at the hospital.

Chris Chaney, chief executive of CW+, said: “We are delighted to be providing a real-world test bed for this year’s Pitchfest winner again. The winner will join our flagship CW Innovation programme, which tests and scales new technologies and innovations to transform patient care and the way we run our hospitals.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has catalysed a surge in new thinking and innovation, which we’ve been able to realise with our partners, like Peppy and Digital Health Rewired Pitchfest.

“We have innovated at pace to harness digital healthcare; AI and machine learning; deliver patient-centred care; and create environments to improve care, recovery and wellbeing.

“The pandemic continues to put enormous pressure on the NHS. Now, more than ever, we need to embrace the power of technology to find new ways to treat patients as efficiently as possible. We are excited to meet this year’s PitchFest cohort of entrants and explore potential solutions to some of the unprecedented challenges healthcare organisations face today.”

Jon Hoeksma, CEO Digital Health, said: “Pitchfest is a fantastic opportunity for start-ups from the UK and internationally to showcase their ideas to NHS IT leaders from across the country.

“It’s a fast-paced, energetic competition that attracts some of the best and brightest in the health technology sector, and Digital Health is proud to host the competition now in its fourth year.

“With the Pitchfest final heats back live next March, we look forward to hosting and showcasing a wide range of start-ups developing new ways of using digital technologies and data to deliver health and care.”

The competition is also supported by DigitalHealth.London and University College London.

Entries close on December 10 at 5pm (BST) with the shortlisted finalists due to be announced the week beginning January 10, 2022.

The finalists will battle it out for first place on March 16, 2022 at the Business Design Centre in London.

Entrants should be start-ups or registered businesses that have been established for less than three years. And health and social care services, medical devices, consumer health and wellbeing or life sciences must be their primary focus of activity.

You can enter the competition here.