SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products and services that address unmet health needs, has awarded eight companies phase I development funding in the latest SBRI competition supporting Mental Health and End of Life Innovations.
Sharing a total of $8.1 million awarded over two phases of the competition, the projects have been selected on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients. The successful companies will be supported and fully funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept—the average award is $118,000 to each company for the six month development phase. Those businesses demonstrating best value and greatest technical feasibility in phase I will progress through to phase II to be further supported and funded to take their technologies through to commercialization.
Karen Livingstone, director of SBRI Healthcare, said, “The importance of new technologies in these key health areas cannot be underestimated. The successful companies will be developing products to support patients to manage pain, share family moments and prepare for their final days as part of the end of life competition. In mental health, we had some highly innovative games for young people experiencing mental health challenges and bespoke usable apps that will support people in the breadth of their lives to feel able to manage their conditions for themselves.”
The companies selected to receive phase I funding are Big White Wall, Dynamic Health Systems, University of Bristol, Dorset Mental Health Forum, St Joseph’s Hospice, Advanced Digital Institute, GreyMatters and Docobo.
Focused on people with mental health conditions and those approaching the end of their lives, the current competition winners are developing innovative solutions to improve the quality of care available and the overall experience for these patients as well as for their families and carers. An estimated 500,000 people a year in the U.K. are entering the terminal phase of illness and at least one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. The successful projects are expected to bring quality and cost benefits to the NHS through improved healthcare delivery, particularly in the most vulnerable patient groups.
Funding for the SBRI Healthcare has been secured from NHS England. The program is directed by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.