A physiotherapy platform, a device measuring vital signs and an app that uses machine learning to deliver personalised stroke physiotherapy, are amongst the innovations that joined Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network’s digital health accelerator programme, Propel@YH.
Ten innovator companies have now completed the 2021-22 programme that provided them with a six-month course of structured support and advice. The programme is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that already have a base in the Yorkshire and Humber region or would be willing to establish one.
This year, Propel@YH has helped generate £57,000 of investment for the Leeds City region helping participants to accelerate company growth, increase market presence and engage with NHS providers to support the spread and adoption of their innovations.
The companies that were selected for this year’s programme have innovations that can help NHS and social care organisations address health inequalities, support the workforce, and enable patients to manage their long-term conditions.
Dr Neville Young, director of enterprise and innovation at the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), said: “All the innovator companies that were chosen have solutions that can support the NHS post pandemic.
“Propel@YH offers SMEs an excellent opportunity to receive expert advice and guidance from the AHSN and our partners, so they can navigate the complexities of the NHS market, increase their presence in the region and spread their innovations for the benefit of those living and working in Yorkshire and the Humber.
“Our work with innovator companies is a central element of our role as we seek to encourage health innovation and stimulate growth in life sciences and industry across our region.”
As part of the accelerator, companies received support from several expert partners: Hill Dickinson (legal advice); Nexus, University of Leeds, (networking opportunities); Barclays Eagle Labs (funding guidance), Leeds City Council (networking contacts), and Thrive by Design curated and ran a programme of masterclasses. The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN also provided mentoring support consisting of 1-2-1 and group sessions.
Talking about the Propel@YH programme, Dr Raj Palmar, a junior doctor at Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust and founder of Rewire Stroke, said: “We are an early-stage start-up and gained a lot of value from the Propel@YH programme. Recently we have managed to secure £18,000 of Innovate UK funding which we used for user-testing sessions, rebranding, and legal work. We are preparing to launch our product into the NHS and are working to secure an evaluation pilot in the Yorkshire region.” Rewire Rehab is an app that uses machine learning to deliver personalised stroke physiotherapy.
The AHSN is one of 15 AHSNs set up by NHS England to operate as the key innovation arm of the NHS. It acts as a bridge between health care providers, commissioners, academia, and industry and accelerates the spread and adoption of proven innovations across the local healthcare system to improve the health and prosperity of our region.
The companies who joined this year cohort were:
- Chatterbug is a social enterprise that supports children and young people with Speech and Language difficulties.
- Genome is a digital health company, developing advanced quality assurance and improvement software solutions for health and social care organisations.
- BookYourGP by Hummingbird Medical is a tool designed for GPs to organise complex medical care for patients.
- Heyr is a mental health chatbot app designed to make you feel good.
- PhysioBuddie is an innovative online therapy service that provides its users with remote step-by-step progressive rehabilitation.
- SocialRx by Promatica is a complete digital management system for Social Prescribing
- Syrona Health’s app ‘SORA’ is a digital health platform supporting women with chronic gynaecological conditions.
- Vitacam is transforming routine clinical observations from manual contact-based methods to contactless measurements from video, in elderly care and beyond.
- YourMeds is a smart medication management system aimed at helping people take the right medication at the right time.
- Rewire Stroke uses data and clinical best practice to deliver personalised stroke therapy