HealthManagement, Volume 7 - Issue 2, 2012 HIT


The UK government has announced £4 million of funding  for businesses to develop cutting-edge ideas to address  some of the biggest health problems of our time.  The Department of Health has opened two new competitions with up to £2 million of funding each to develop  technological and innovative solutions that can:  

  • Change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the  impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases; and  
  • Improve the number of patients taking their medication  as prescribed.  

Obesity and Alcohol related diseases and patients not taking  their medication as prescribed are major health challenges.  Alcohol and Obesity related diseases cost the  NHS over £7 billion each year and between 6-10 percent of  all hospital admissions could be preventable if prescription  medication was taken correctly. Businesses are invited to  come up with innovative solutions to these challenges.  This could be anything from a device which helps people  monitor what they eat or drink or a personalised care package  to help people take their medication as prescribed.  

Health Minister, Lord Howe said:  

“Technology and innovation have an important role to play  in helping to address the healthcare challenges facing the  NHS. That is why we are investing £20 million in new and  creative ideas and projects which can make a difference to  patients’ lives.  

“Today’s competitions provide an opportunity to develop  highly innovative solutions for some of the biggest health  problems of our time and we look forward to seeing the  results.”  

Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS commented:  

“Investing in innovation is vital for a modern and efficient  NHS- it will benefit the patient, the taxpayer and UK plc.  The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a key part  of the Innovation, Health and Wealth agenda, which aims  to spread innovation throughout the NHS.  

“These competitions provide vital funding for businesses  to explore, develop and test new technology before it becomes  commercially available. Organisations are invited  to submit their ideas, which could have a real impact on  patients and the NHS.”  

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy  Board remarked:  

“The SBRI process enables government to engage with  innovative ideas from industry, acting as a lead customer  to address intractable challenges. It is really positive to  see DH and the NHS, building on their experience of previous  successful SBRI competitions, using this approach to  address new areas and drive innovation.”

The competitions will be run through the SBRI process and  are open to all organisations, not just those in the health  sector. Recent competition winners include Eykona Technologies  Ltd. which has developed a novel 3D wound imaging  system, that allows healthcare professionals to monitor  chronic wounds more effectively and tailor treatment  accordingly. This system is currently being sold to the NHS.  

The competitions will be managed by NHS London and  NHS Midlands and East. Businesses can find out more  about the competitions by attending a briefing session,  which will be held in London on 12th April. More details  are available at the SBRI website.  

For more information, please visit:

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The UK government has announced £4 million of funding for businesses to develop cutting-edge ideas to address some of the biggest health problems of ou...

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