Call launched to find solutions to NHS unmet needs

*This call has now closed*

A search has been launched to find innovative technologies to address challenges faced by frontline clinicians within the NHS.

As part of its Innovation Exchange initiative that focuses upon unmet needs, the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) is calling on innovators to come up with solutions for two specific challenges highlighted by NHS staff.

Funding is available to support the development of these solutions.

The first unmet need is in relation to the measurement of renal function, specifically of serum potassium and creatinine, using a hand-held device capable of use by patients themselves, or their carers, at home.

Development of a device to enable patients to safely and accurately self-test their own kidney function at home would have huge benefits for both patients and the NHS. It would also align with the recently published NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out how the NHS will move towards a new service model in which patients get more options, better support, and properly joined-up care at the right time, and in optimal care settings.

The second unmet need call is for a device that has the ability to remotely monitor neonatal temperature. The solution must be safe, transportable, effective and efficient.

Maintaining normal body temperature in a newborn is an essential basic need in the first 24 hours of life. A solution which can monitor temperature remotely could transform care for newborn babies and could help prevent/detect hypothermia, which is a significant contributor to neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Innovators from all areas – whether businesses, individuals, universities, NHS teams or charities – who are interested in forming collaborations to develop these solutions are being encouraged to apply.

The unmet needs calls seek to facilitate swift progress on cross-sector collaborative projects that benefit patients by improving health outcomes and efficiencies, as well as accelerating the adoption of evidence-based innovation.

Dr Nicola Wesley, Deputy Chief Executive at the AHSN NENC, said: “These calls are addressing very real challenges faced by the NHS today. We’re hopeful that the solutions exist, whether they’re new innovations or existing technologies applied to different settings but with the potential to be modified and adapted into a healthcare setting. If the solutions don’t exist yet, we’re also open to supporting the co-creation of solutions between the NHS and partners.

“We’d like to hear from innovators across all sectors, in any location, if they have a device or an idea which can help provide a solution to either the renal or neonatal unmet needs.”

The Innovation Exchange initiative sees AHSNs act as a broker between businesses and the NHS to simply the often-complex process of accessing the NHS market.

The successful innovators from these calls will receive bespoke assistance from the AHSN NENC and will be guided through the Innovation Pathway to develop the solutions.

The deadline for applications for the neonatal call is Friday 22nd February 2019 and the renal call deadline is Friday 1st March 2019. Applications will be reviewed and those shortlisted will be invited to present to a panel of industry experts.



Notes to Editors:

The Academic Health Science Network for North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) is committed to improving both the health and economic prosperity of the region though innovation and through dissemination of best practice.

Key aims for the Network over the next five years will be to improve patient care and population health outcomes and to create wealth and stimulate engagement with industry to promote economic growth.

The Academic Health Science Network for North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) acts as the trusted intermediary between the NHS, academia and industry and is committed to:

  • Supporting Economic Growth
  • Improving Population Health
  • Transforming Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
  • Driving Digital Transformation

The AHSN NENC, is part of a national network of 15 AHSNs and receives funding from NHS England, NHS Improvement and The Office for Life Sciences to accelerate the spread and adoption of innovative devices, services and pathways through dissemination of best practice.

Over the last 5 years the AHSN NENC has:

  • Supported 596 companies
  • Leveraged £9.4m of investment
  • Trained 28,636 staff
  • Screened 595,760 patients

For further information, please contact:

Ruth Lawson, Communications Consultant at [email protected] or call 07952 980 545, AHSN NENC, Room 2.13, Biomedical Research Building, The Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Nuns’ Moor Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL.