London digital health accelerator unveils first start-ups

The first group of digital health start-ups to take part in its accelerator programme in London has been revealed. 

The year-long DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme will foster a group of 32 promising small-to-medium businesses in the digital health space, providing knowledge of the NHS to aid in the innovation development process.

Among those selected for the programme is – a start-up that has created a virtual nurse by the name of ‘Molly’ which uses artificial intelligence to provide customised monitoring and follow-up care to people with chronic health conditions. The app provides support 24/7 and can recommend next steps to the patient, including to book an appointment with their GP or direct them to a 111 clinician.

Other selected start-ups include MumoActive – a tracking tool for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes to track specific health metrics, including sugar, medicine and insulin intake; DrDoctor, an appointment management tool that allows patient to schedule appointments and complete digital assessments to avoid unnecessary hospital visits; and InHealthcare, a technology platform provider that can connect patient data to clinical systems.

“We’re delighted to welcome our very first Accelerator cohort and look forward to working with them closely over the next year,” said Jenny Thomas, Accelerator Programme Director. “This is a completely new and innovative programme – the first of its kind in London – that works by engaging with businesses, the NHS and wider healthcare sector, to close the gap between product development and the uptake of new solutions within hospitals and other healthcare settings. We believe that our unique approach has the ability to help businesses engage with the NHS in the most efficient way.

Each start-up will have a team of dedicated ‘Digital Health NHS Navigators’ who will advise and aid in their engagement with healthcare experts as well as the development process.

“Digital innovation has the power to directly enhance patient care, improve the sustainability of our systems and transform the way people access NHS services and manage their own health,” said Professor Keith McNeil, chief clinical information officer at NHS England. “We are already seeing the benefits to patients and NHS staff as we harness the potential of smart technology and we are investing hundreds of millions to move faster in realising such benefits across the entire health and social care system.”

The digitisation of the NHS hit the headlines again last week with Jeremy Hunt’s announcement at this year’s Health and Care Innovation Expo. The UK health secretary unveiled the NHS’ new 12 centres of digital excellence trusts alongside plans for the upcoming relaunch of the NHS Choices website,

The plans were revealed a day after Professor Robert Wachter published his appraisal of the government’s current ‘paperless NHS’ target, which he said could not be achieved by the target date of 2020.

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