The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) is offering support for transformative digital health projects as part of Wave 2 of the national Test Beds Programme. This initiative aims to tackle health and care challenges by supporting collaborations between digital innovators and NHS organisations to test new products and services at scale in the real-world setting of the NHS.
Organised by NHS England, the Office for Life Sciences and the national AHSN Network, the Test Beds Programme provides funding and support to NHS organisations and industry to test combinations of technology and pathway innovation to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the health service. Up to £4.5 million will be available from the Office for Life Sciences for the second wave of Test Beds, with individual projects receiving between £500,000 and £1.5 million. There will also be a separate stream offering up to £1.5 million from NHS England for projects that focus on learning and self-management support for people with Type 2 diabetes.
So far, 19 ‘expressions of interest’ to establish test beds in the region have been submitted by 12 different NHS organisations, spanning both disease areas (e.g. mental health, diabetes and cardiology) and settings (home, primary, community and acute care). WMAHSN is currently supporting these sites to develop links with innovators and to prepare full proposals for the deadline in June. The successful Wave 2 Test Beds will be announced in August and will commence operations in October for a period of 18 months.