Seven new NHS Test Beds are being launched to tackle some of the biggest health and care challenges by testing combinations of innovations in real-world clinical settings.
Projects include the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver a more accurate and efficient breast cancer screening service and a new digital platform to help people to manage diabetes.
The new Test Beds are being provided with more than £7 million of Government funding, alongside match funding from industry partners.
Local people will have the opportunity to test innovations in real-world settings and successful combinations of innovations will be spread across the rest of the NHS. It is the second wave of NHS Test Beds and once again the AHSNs will provide support in their regions.
Products for ‘rapid uptake’: Accelerated Access Collaborative
Through the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) £2 million is being provided to give more patients access to proven innovations.
The AAC identified seven innovative technology areas that improve patients’ lives but are not currently available to everyone who could benefit. This first batch of ‘rapid uptake’ products was selected by leaders in the health and care system, and includes a range of treatments for conditions such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
Supporting the ‘rapid uptake’ products will not only help 500,000 patients to access new treatments, they will also provide cost savings to the NHS of £30 million, while helping to reinforce the UK’s position as a global leader in health innovation.
The products will be spread through the AHSN Network’s Innovation Exchanges, which match solutions to the needs of their local health and care systems.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP said: “The UK is a world leader in medical and health research and we want to make sure patients are the first to benefit from the tech revolution happening across the NHS. Every day, innovative new treatments are demonstrating the power technology has to save lives – and I want to make these opportunities available across the whole NHS.
“These programmes will fast track innovations from lab bench to patient bedside and help ensure that NHS patients continue to be the first to benefit from the life-changing treatments developed in this country.”
AHSN Network Chair Professor Mike Hannay said: “This is a fantastic boost to the pace of innovating in the NHS. Our 15 AHSNs are ready to help spread the newly identified ‘rapid uptake’ AAC products and we will continue to support the exciting programme of Test Beds, providing advice on the development and delivery of innovations, and helping to spread those that prove beneficial across the health system.”
Interim Executive Chair for Innovate UK, Ian Campbell said: “For every new set of health and care challenges, innovation needs to lead the way in finding great solutions that work for all. Innovate UK is delighted to be supporting this important collaboration between NHS organisations and industry – testing, learning and improving in a real-world environment.”
This second wave of NHS Test Beds involves more than 30 collaborators from across the country, with £5 million provided by the Government through the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and over £2 million from NHS England.
The four sites together receiving £5 million in funding from OLS are:
- Care City in London, which brings together market-ready diagnostics, smartphone applications and management tools to support patients with long-term conditions;
- East Midlands Radiology Consortium (EMRAD), which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve breast cancer screening;
- Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, which will provide patients with access to their digital health records with the aim of reducing missed appointments and duplication of clinical activity;
- Royal Stoke University Hospital, which will use new market-ready digital technologies to coordinate community-based clinical interventions for patients with heart failure, to reduce hospital re-admissions.
Three sites focused on self-management of diabetes are together receiving £2 million in funding from NHS England:
- Greater Manchester Strategic Clinical Networks will test a one-stop digital platform (MyDiabetesMyWay) designed to help people self-manage their condition more effectively;
- South West London Health and Care Partnership will use a combination of new technologies to empower patients to take control of managing their condition;
- North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will provide digital solutions embedded within existing diabetes pathways in primary care to provide structured, ongoing self-management support for lifestyle change.
The NHS Test Beds Programme, funded by NHS England, Department of Health and Social Care and the OLS, brings together NHS organisations and industry partners to test combinations of digital technologies with pathway redesign in real-world settings. The goal is to use the potential of digital technologies to positively transform the way in which healthcare is delivered for patients and carers.
Delivery of the Wave 2 Test Beds begins in autumn 2018, with local AHSNs and the AHSN Network providing guidance and practical delivery support as needed, particularly around communication and commercialisation. For more information please contact the AHSN Network Test Bed Programme Director Helen Oliver firstname.lastname@example.org