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Winning tech projects to revolutionise healthcare

Breakthrough technologies to revolutionise UK healthcare are now a step closer to becoming reality following a government competition that challenged businesses and academics to develop innovative ideas and concepts. 


Winners of the Digital Health Catalyst competition include a GPS app to track the location of porters and equipment within the hospital - described as an 'uber' for porters - 3D printing technology for tablets and developing artificial intelligence to schedule operating theatre use linked to downstream bed availability on ICU and wards. 


The projects will collectively receive over £17 million funding to develop their innovations. The funding will be provided through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, managed by UK Research and Innovation.


Business Secretary Greg Clark says: "Technology is revolutionising industries across our economy, and new innovations play a key role in advancing our healthcare sector to make sure people are living longer, healthier and happier lives.


"By pooling the expertise of the public and private sectors, as highlighted through the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the modern Industrial Strategy, we are making every opportunity to reach our full potential in finding new discoveries and technologies to diagnose illnesses earlier that could lead to more lives being saved.


Ian Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK, for UK Research and Innovation says: "The projects we have funded today aim to make a real difference for patients and clinicians. They represent the very best of British innovation, focusing on improved patient outcomes and driving efficiency. The UK health sector is thriving, with SMEs playing a crucial role. By supporting this sector, as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy, we can ensure we remain global leaders in health innovation and create the jobs of tomorrow.


"The development of new and innovative technologies is changing the economy. Through the modern Industrial Strategy the government is committed to embracing emerging technology to transform industries and increase productivity, create new highly skilled jobs and improve living standards."


Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State of Health and Social Care, says: "Innovative technology has the potential to truly transform healthcare for patients and staff. From artificial intelligence to VR to live tracking of hospital beds and equipment, there are so many ways in which the NHS is embracing tech. We are determined to make the NHS the most technologically advanced healthcare system in the world and today’s prizes will help progress towards that goal."


Round 3 of the Digital Health Technology Catalyst competition is now open. Businesses can apply for a share of £1 million for feasibility studies allowing SMEs to develop new digital technology solutions to healthcare challenges, and a share of £8 million in collaborative industrial research and experimental development projects that develop new digital technology solutions to healthcare challenges.