NHS backs 17 healthcare pioneer projects

Seventeen healthcare pioneers have been chosen to get financial and advice from the NHS to roll out their offerings to patients, hospitals and GP practices across England.

The successful applicants, chosen from 120 people from the UK and abroad, will receive mentorship from “seasoned innovators” such as Lord Ara Darzi, a bursary and support through the Academic Health Science Networks through the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme “to spread these new ways of working across the country”.

The successful projects include Sapientia – an IT platform to speed up diagnosis of rare genetic diseases, Brush DJ (an app for children to encourage teeth cleaning), a smartphone heart monitor and a scheme to match dementia patients to suitable clinical studies.

Another project is a nurse-led telehealth service for multiple sclerosis patients, called NeuroResponse, which was developed and spearheaded by Bernadette Porter, who became the NHS’ first MS nurse consultant in 2003. The service includes a telephone triage/advice line staffed by MS specialist nurses, email advice for GPs wishing to contact a neurologist and a video clinic linking specialist teams with patients and community nurses.

NHS England’s national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said the service “stands on the cusp of a revolution innovation”, which involves the will to “find solutions for existing needs or new problems through more effective products, processes, technology or even the way we deliver services”.


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