NHS Innovation Accelerator Summit highlights digital pioneers

Digital and Social Media

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme has led to  over 300 NHS providers offering innovative healthcare solutions in the past year, and recent summit highlighted its progress.

The NIA programme aims to foster the latest technological innovations in healthcare and fast-track their availability across the NHS.

This is part of the digital transformation plan set out in NHS England's  Five Year Forward View, which aims to create real benefit for patients through technology adoption.

Established in 2015, the programme has seen a diverse range of companies take place in the programme, ranging from IT platform providers, app designers and medical device producers.

The news comes following the recent NIA Summit which honoured four of its programme members for their progress.

Out of the current 17 NIA Fellows, Matt Jameson Evans of healthcare social network HealthUnlocked and Anna Moore of youth gaming developer iThrive, both received an award for best overall progress in terms of product scaling, measured by uptake, population impact and engagement.

Piers Kotting of Join Dementia Research won the best peer and best pitch awards along with Maryanne Mariyaselvam, whose innovative non-injectable arterial connector device aims to improve safety and care for all arterial line patients, took home the prize for best programme participant.

“The progress we have seen in accelerating innovations over the last 12 months is something the NHS should be really proud of,” said Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s Medical Director and summit host. “I want to thank all those who have helped make the NIA so successful – including the mentors, colleagues at NHS England, the Academic Health Science Networks, the Health Foundation, and the many other individuals and organisations who have supported the programme.”

Other NIA Fellows include Andrea Haworth, head of clinical services at Congenica which developed the NHS innovation award-winning, gold standard of NHS clinical genome analytics software, Sapientia; Simon Bourne, developer of patient self-management system myCOPD; and Francis White of US company AliveCor, the developer of real-time heart monitoring device AliveCor Mobile ECG.

In June, NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens  announced that a dedicated payment tariff is to be created to help fast-track medical technology and innovation across the service.

This is aimed at providing a clear route to market for devices and apps and other new technology.

NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme Co-founder Dr Mahiben Maruthappu commented on the programme:  “The NHS Innovation Accelerator has seen record success, with millions of patients now having access to these innovations. This is just the beginning, with a national tariff round the corner that will boost innovation across the service.”

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Marco Ricci