Digital innovation challenge to North East and North Cumbria businesses

Working with health and care partners from across the region the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) is launching a new innovation challenge for local businesses.

The digital challenge

The challenge is to find innovative digital solutions to support people receiving care in their own homes to help them to remain independent.

It was identified by North Tyneside Council that there is little technology in place and the council want to explore ways in which digital solutions could support care.

The demands on adult social care are increasing and ADASS (the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) carry out regular surveys which consistently show this increase.

In North Tyneside for example, the list of people awaiting services is growing. If there were ways of providing support remotely for some of these people it would help alleviate this pressure.

This may include virtual visits where basic checks such as whether the person has eaten, taken their medication and how they are feeling. Other ideas may include using medication prompts or support to arrange online shopping rather than carers spending time collecting groceries.

The council has approached providers but have not been able to find a suitable solution so far.

The answer to this challenge could be an idea, something that’s currently being developed, something that’s worked in another sector and could be applied to domiciliary care, or a fully developed product or service which is ready to market.

Alison Tombs, Associate Director of Wellbeing and Assessment at North Tyneside Council, said: “We have spoken to a company that did virtual visits, but they only provided the technology. We have spoken to some of our providers, but to date none have been confident to trial this different way of working. We have been using Alexa devices, but this tends to be just with family members at present. We need a combination of technology with a person who can then speak with the individual in their own home using a video conference type device to see them and check they are ok.”

Promoting innovation

The AHSN NENC provides a range of services to harness innovations and can access specialised, bespoke support in addition to expert guidance on how to access health and social care markets – wherever the product or service is in its lifecycle.

The role of the AHSN network

The AHSN NENC works closely with its membership organisations of NHS organisations and universities to help identify, evaluate and adopt innovations. We provide tailored services to support businesses wherever they might be in the development of an innovation. This includes access to a range of services to commercialise your idea, product or service such as intellectual property experts, access to funding or marketing. The AHSN NENC is there to drive innovation which can improve outcomes for people living in our region, in addition to supporting our local economy.

The AHSN NENC is one of 15 regional partners covering the whole of England who support the adoption and spread of innovation across the health and care sector. We work with our regional partners to spread and adopt good ideas across the country.

Are you ready for the challenge?

If you have an innovative digital solution either as an idea or ready to market – or anything in between – complete this form by 14 October 2022.

All submissions will be considered by a shortlisting panel and those shortlisted will be invited to present to industry experts.

All submissions will receive one hour of free support from our expert team, and we can assist businesses in finding funding.

To find out more, or if you have any queries email [email protected]