Digital health innovators get boost in Yorkshire and Humber

A new NHS-backed scheme is to turbo-charge digital health innovation across England’s Yorkshire and Humber and region.

The new accelerator programme, Propel@YH, is part of a nationwide network of schemes to encourage development of digital health tech.

It follows the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan at the beginning of the month, which re-established the importance of using the latest technological advances to improve patient care.

The hope is that digital innovation will help the NHS meet patient need in the future, as it faces rising demand due to an ageing population and ongoing pressure on finances.

Propel@YH is based in Leeds and has been set up by the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and provides digital innovators with access to a structured course of support and advice to help their companies grow faster and increase their market presence.

The scheme is open to all SMEs that can demonstrate innovative digital and patient solutions and have either an existing presence in the region or are willing to establish one.

It provides tailored advice, guidance and support services and aims to allow global organisations to establish digital health technology in the region.

To kick things off the accelerator will choose six organisations to take part in a six-month programme of masterclasses, digital innovator surgeries and events focused on human-related design.

They will also attend sessions on clinical safety by design, and understanding NHS procurement.

Expert partners including NHS providers and commissioners, academic organisations and primary care representatives will give mentorship and one-to-one support on topics including marketing, law and finance.

Another six organisations will receive an associate support package, including access to selected courses and sessions.

The programme will be delivered by mHabitat, an NHS-owned co-design specialist and expert in the application of digital technology in health and care.

Neville Young, director of enterprise and innovation for the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, said: “This is a great opportunity for innovative companies to access a raft of support specifically tailored to their needs, and equip them with the knowledge and contacts to drive their businesses forward.”

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