SBRI Healthcare awards £4 Million to support older people with complex health needs

SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products that address unmet health needs, today announced five companies that have successfully reached the next phase (Phase 2) of the clinically-led competition. Improved management of continence, monitoring and support in the home, and a dynamic new powered wheel chair have been selected with each successful company receiving financial backing of up to £1 million to develop products that focus on addressing the challenges faced by older people suffering with complex health conditions.

People are living longer than ever before with the number of people in the UK aged 60 or over expected to pass the 20 million mark by 2031 and those over 75, to double in the next 30 years. As people age they are more likely to live with complex long term health conditions, disability and frailty.

The five companies selected by SBRI Healthcare for the second tranche of investment were drawn from a shortlist of 11 companies that received six months development funding (Phase 1) in December 2015. The successful companies demonstrated best value and greatest technical feasibility to a panel of experts looking for game-changing technologies with the highest potential value to patients and the health service. The companies will be supported and fully funded to continue with prototype development and product testing.

With awards of up to £1 million each, the successful companies (and supporting Academic Health Science Networks) are:

  • Incontinence: Lucid Group Ltd (Greater Manchester AHSN) and JVS Products Ltd (Wessex AHSN)
  • Functional Ability: Ally Labs Ltd (Imperial College AHSN), Inclusiviti Ltd (Imperial College AHSN) and 11 Health & Technologies Ltd (Oxford AHSN)

SBRI Healthcare is run by England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

Steve Feast, Managing Director at Eastern AHSN, commented: “It is abundantly clear that technology isn’t something for just the young to embrace – it is instead transforming how those of all ages lead their lives. Older frail people want to be supported to remain independent and where possible be cared for in their own homes. SBRI Healthcare has identified technological solutions which will meet the needs of people who will benefit from it the most. This will transform the lives of older frail people.”

Alistair Williamson, Managing Director, Lucid Group said: “SBRI Healthcare has been essential in the development of An-i-sys, our diagnostic device for the causes of faecal incontinence. The programme is resourcing thorough research into patient and clinician needs, development and testing our product.  The resulting credibility has helped Lucid leverage essential validation from senior stakeholders in the NHS, continence specialists and clinical physiologists.

“We have been able to better resource our team, attract other investment and generate interest from potential customers. Phase 2 project funding is providing the opportunity to significantly improve healthcare outcomes for people, by reducing the impact of frailty, with real cost benefits to the NHS.”

In the last year, SBRI Healthcare has launched 11 new clinically-led competitions and awarded £19.5 million to 67 companies to develop products focused on specific NHS unmet need. The programme has seen an economic impact of £33 million through job creation and £45 million of additional private sector investment as well as offering the £1 billion savings opportunity for the NHS.

The opening of the autumn SBRI Healthcare competition has recently been announced with entrepreneurs invited to apply for up to £1.1 million investment to develop and commercialise innovations with a focus on building general practice of the future. The deadline for applications is 24 November 2016 with briefing events taking place in Cambridge on 25 October and Bristol on 27 October 2016.

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