SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products and services that address unmet health needs, has announced the launch of the latest SBRI Healthcare competition, where up to 12 small businesses could each benefit from £100,000 Phase 1 product development funding. In this latest round, SBRI Healthcare will look to award a total of £1 million for ideas from companies focused on addressing challenges in older people with multiple-morbidities and specifically in the problem areas of falls, incontinence and decline in functional ability.
The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) works with Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to identify priority areas where technology can be applied to address major clinical challenges. The programme focuses on clearly identified NHS needs, bringing clinicians and business together at an early stage to harness the expertise of SMEs to develop effective solutions. Companies successful in the six month feasibility stage (Phase 1) are eligible to move on to more detailed product development and NHS validation where up to £2 million in further funding support can be secured across two additional phases.
Defined as having two or more chronic conditions, multi-morbidity affects patients of all ages but prevalence increases markedly with age, being present in most people aged 65 years and older. The types of chronic conditions included are multiple and varied, and it is widely recognised that the number of patients with multi-morbidity is increasing – particularly as the population ages - and that those patients are likely to have complex needs for healthcare.
“With people living longer and patients’ needs changing as a result, the NHS faces particular challenges in supporting frail older patients living with a range of chronic conditions. The latest SBRI Healthcare competition recognises the increased burden being put on primary care services and challenges companies to come forward with enabling ideas,” commented Karen Livingstone, Director of SBRI Healthcare. “We are always excited to see innovative technologies at an early stage in their development and in this case, to support companies in realising the potential of their products to extend patients’ lives and maximise NHS resources.”
The competition theme areas have been chosen in partnership with the AHSNs across England and specifically for this programme: falls and care planning - Health Innovation Network (South London AHSN); decline in functional ability - Eastern AHSN; and urinary and faecal incontinence - West of England, UCL Partners and North West Coast AHSNs.
The competition closes on 11 August 2015, with winners announced in December. To find out more visit the SBRI Healthcare website or take a look at the slide deck or videos from the recent launch events.