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NHS chief Simon Stevens launches $1M prize fund for innovation

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, has launched a $1 million prize pot to reward innovation in the NHS. The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize encourages, celebrates and rewards innovation driven by the frontline doctors, nurses and NHS staff who deliver care every day. 

Stevens said, “We have a strong track record in developing and using new medical technologies to revolutionize the way we care for and treat patients—diagnostic ultrasound, the MRI scan, the ophthalmoscope used to examine our eyes—to name but a few. We need to find new ways of working if our health service is going to be fit to face the challenges ahead and we know that those ideas come from the brilliant people working in frontline caring and research roles.”

Now in its fourth year, this year’s program will offer prizes across seven categories including for recognizing innovations that support patient safety, enhancing care for those with diabetes and preventing people from dying prematurely through the innovative use of technology to speed up diagnosis or improve care.

Previous winners include Dr. Neil Guha and professor Guruprasad Aithal from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust who were awarded $161,000 after developing a new way of detecting early stage liver disease in the community.

The pathway uses a test first developed to detect the ripeness of cheese, to identify early stage liver disease, and has proven its potential to save lives and increase detection rates for cirrhosis. If rolled out nationally, this project could save the NHS as much $120.5 million in the first year.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize is open to all NHS organizations in England and deadline for entry is Nov. 7. 

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