England – DigitalHealth.London Health Ecosystem is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of the Month – November

23rd November 2021

This month it is great to showcase our DigitalHealth.London ECHAlliance Ecosystem as so much is currently happening in London and DigitalHealth.London are celebrating their 5th anniversary – An ideal opportunity to connect some dots!

1. What is the approximate stakeholder breakdown of your ecosystem?

DigitalHealth.London was launched in 2016 to create an active digital health market in London through removing some of the challenges that were holding innovators back. We connect NHS staff, digital health companies and academics, and equip them to improve the NHS and social care in London through digital technology. Through our founding partners, Health Innovation Network and UCLPartners (Academic Health Science Networks in London) and MedCity, we have links with healthcare providers, commissioners, policy makers and academics across London.  

We support innovators across clinical areas, sectors and technologies – explore our Innovation directory to see the range of products, projects and people we work with.

2. Who are the top champions from your Ecosystem?

Through our founding partners, Health Innovation Network and UCLPartners (Academic Health Science Networks in London) and MedCity, we have links with healthcare providers, commissioners, policy makers and academics across London.  

The DigitalHealth.London programmes are highly competitive which means that all companies and NHS staff who have taken part are championing digital health in London. However, three Accelerator companies and four Digital Pioneer Fellows recently won awards for their time on the respective programmes:

Accelerator 2020-21 award winners:

  • patientMpower was recognised as the SME generating the greatest NHS benefit. The app enables remote monitoring of patients with chronic or acute respiratory conditions so they can manage their illness from home and avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
  • Peppy Health was identified as the SME that had shown the most significant growth. Peppy provides health support through life’s big transitions, such as becoming a parent, going through the menopause or going through a fertility journey. They connect individuals with experienced practitioners via their mobile app to provide personalised support. Read about Peppy’s growth within the NHS here.
  • VUI Diagnostics was the SME that made the most of the Accelerator and is a company developing a technology to provide simple, affordable and accurate retinal imaging to help address avoidable blindness around the world.

Digital Pioneer Fellowship 2020-2021 award winners:

  • Ben Wanless, Consultant Physiotherapist at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, is scaling the getUBetter (an Accelerator company) platform across South-West London to enable effective self-management of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.
  • Ramandeep Kaur is leading the procurement and implementation of an electronic prescribing system for her organisation, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • Arron Thind, GP Trainee, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has built SimEPR, an educational electronic patient record system, and is working to integrate this into practical clinical training for medical students.
  • Marie Loizides, a Therapy Manager at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, is implementing an interactive clinical template for GP systems to ensure efficient and effective clinical triage.

3. What EU funding/collaboration are you involved with, or you would like to be part of?

DigitalHealth.London has benefited from European Regional Development Funding, which has allowed it to establish and grow its flagship Accelerator programme, the Launchpad programme for earlier stage companies, and the Generator supporting the development of evidence for digital health interventions. We are a partner in a current Horizon bid, and we would be interested in partnering in future bids.

4. What are the key priorities and themes for your ecosystem?

This year, to celebrate our fifth birthday, we started a five-week conversation with the NHS and social care staff, industry, patients and academics. The five key digital health opportunities identified for the next five years were:

  1. Joining up the system so solutions can scale – Getting the basics right first and connecting systems allows for digital delivery.
  2. Digital tools offer scope to tackle workforce challenges – There will be a focus on combating workforce challenges including through utilising AI.
  3. Digital tools that aid remote patient care have scope to improve outcomes, experience and safety – The remote digital offering must continue to grow to meet the needs of patients to manage their journey through the health system and better self-manage.
  4. Data saves lives – Data needs to be used to personalise care, predict health issues and to empower the patient to take ownership of their care.
  5. Go global – Now is the time to go global, both looking for solutions to the challenges of the health and care system, and for our innovators to target global opportunities.

You can read more on these opportunities and other findings from this conversation in our publication ‘Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem’.

5. What is your primary strength as an ecosystem?

London is a hub for digital health transformation and DigitalHealth.London sits in the centre of that hub. Through our partnerships and programmes, we have a unique view of the challenges facing the sector as well as the ground-breaking innovation taking place to address those challenges. This allows us to broker connections and provide expertise, delivering relevant, impactful programmes which enable innovators to improve the NHS and social care in London. Find out more about the impact DigitalHealth.London has had over the last five years here.

6. Who are your clinical champions either hospitals, clinicians, specialities

DigitalHealth.London works with NHS organisations and staff across London – incorporating specialists, hospital, primary, mental health and community care.

  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is an example of an NHS organisation leading the way on digital health implementation. DigitalHealth.London partners with the Trust to provide guidance on working with, and introductions to, digital health companies. James Varley, Finance Director at CW+ (the Trust’s charity), said it is “a fantastic partnership, built on our shared vision to accelerate the adoption of digital health innovation across the NHS. Together, we are implementing innovative initiatives that not only respond to the changing needs of patients and staff in a rapidly evolving digital landscape but are hugely successful in ensuring greater numbers of patients benefit from emerging new technologies faster.”
  • DigitalHealth.London’s Digital Pioneer Fellowship is a 12-month programme that supports NHS staff in London and the South East, to lead and deliver transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. The 97 Fellows supported so far have been from 45 different organisations, from all levels and from a range of NHS disciplines including doctors, nurses, Allied Health Professionals, projects managers and IT staff. All the Fellows are dedicated to designing and leading projects which improve experiences for patients and staff. Examples of project impacts include 550 Cystic Fibrosis patients benefiting from remote monitoring, 2000 patients benefiting from AI-delivered phone conversations for suspected head and neck cancer, and £1.5million three-year projected savings by creating a single point of access for three London borough musculoskeletal referrals. 22% of projects have accelerated their pace of adoption due to the Fellowship and 55 digital technologies have been adopted. Learn more about the Fellows and their projects here
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