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£17m funding for 'revolutionary' NHS tech projects

Innovations include 3D printing to create tablets and phone apps to monitor wound healing

Mark Gould

Monday, 01 October 2018

The government has announced the winning projects that will share a £17m fund to develop new technologies which it says will "revolutionise healthcare across the UK". The projects include developing artificial intelligence for bed availability in hospitals, 3D printing to create tablets, smart phone applications to improve the treatment of complex wounds, and a GPS app to track where porters and available beds are in hospitals.

The projects that are collectively to receive over £17 million funding to develop their innovations are based throughout the UK. Business secretary Greg Clarke says they highlight the "breadth of strengths in addressing new and emerging issues in our world-leading healthcare industry".

Winners include Satalia, which is working with Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, to use AI to schedule operating theatre use linked to downstream bed availability on ICU and wards.

Medical Data Solutions and Services, working with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, will deliver a programme using smartphones apps to support healthcare professionals and patients to monitor and improve treatment of long-term complex wounds.

Navenio Ltd, working with the University of Oxford, will accelerate and enhance systems to track location of porters and equipment in a hospital, for maximum efficiency, which has been described as "an Uber for porters".

FABRX Ltd, in Ashford Kent, are developing a 3D printing process to manufacture tablets, allowing the desk-top production of medicines with their doses tailored to individual patients and potentially combining several medicines into a single pill.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "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.

"The funding, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund managed by UK Research and Innovation, will also support efforts to enable antibodies to be taken orally rather than through invasive injections and increasing the range of medicines that can be delivered through skin patches."

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