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NHS Innovation Accelerator announces first company participants

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) has announced the twelve new companies that will be joining the programme in 2021. This new set of ‘Fellows’ (innovators) will be addressing some of the most critical needs faced by patients and clinicians in the NHS. Their products will be scaled up and implemented into the NHS system over the next three years with the help of the collaborative effort. Three key priorities were flagged by the NIA when it invited new applications for this year: supporting the workforce, mental health and the COVID-19 response.

A robust, multi-stage assessment process was followed in order to evaluate the innovations (and its representative Fellow). A college of expert clinicians, patients and commercial leads were involved from a range of organisations including NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHSX, the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and NICE to carry out the assessment and adjudication. This is the sixth cohort to join the NIA programme, which is an NHS England and NHS Improvement initiative delivered in partnership with England’s 15 AHSNs (Academic Health Science Networks).

A range of products were selected from varying clinical areas, including diagnostics, remote patient monitoring, rehabilitation tools and virtual clinical training. Products included in the NIA this year include: a wearable medical device that diagnoses sleep apnoea at home and a mobile-based software platform powered by AI that helps users (clinical or non-clinical) to detect and triage respiratory deterioration remotely.

Professor Stephen Powis, chair of the NIA and national medical director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “…innovation has proven critical to ensuring we remain able to care for NHS patients and staff effectively and efficiently … the 12 innovations joining the NHS Innovation Accelerator in 2021 meet the needs of the NHS at this critical time and will be supported to scale across England for even greater patient benefit.”


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