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DigitalHealth.London launches accelerator programme to improve health tech

The digital health accelerator aims to help SMEs develop technologies and innovations for the NHS

DigitalHealth.London has launched an accelerator programme to help small and medium-sized enterprices (SMEs) develop digital healthcare systems.

Over the next three years, the accelerator programme aims to help 30 companies develop and innovate in the digital health sector.

The programme will help companies get in front of clinicians to tailor the products to what the healthcare sector needs and navigate the complicated healthcare system. This includes opportunities to showcase their technology to NHS trusts and learning how to deal with sensitive patient data.

The accelerator is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme is being delivered by a range of partners, including Digital Catapult, the Health Innovation Network and Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Other partners include MedCity, Imperial College Healthcare Partners and UCL Partners.

Neil Crockett, CEO at the Digital Catapult, said the programme is about “facilitating open innovation, collaboration and creating breakthroughs to help solve some of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry”.

DigitalHealth.London was launched by life sciences minister George Freeman in February 2016, hoping to bring together industry, researchers, clinicians and healthcare providers to improve the uptake of digital technology in the NHS.

Read more about a digital NHS

Tony Newman-Sanders, a radiologist and chief clinical information officer at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said clinicians need to recognise that they have a lot to learn from digital professionals.

However, he added that “innovators need to be aware that it is all very well developing a product to solve a system, but is that problem big enough to get the attention of the person you are trying to sell it to.”

The NHS has set a target to become paperless at the point of care by 2020, which includes being interoperable across health and social care and giving patients access to their own records.

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