Innovators look to improve young lives

Three Yorkshire and Humber companies have received funding to help them develop innovations that support self-care and independence in children with long-term conditions.  The companies – ADI Ltd of Leeds, Elaros Ltd in Sheffield and Viamed Ltd based in Keighley are among nine chosen to share a total of £900,000 funding as a result of the latest Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) competition.

This competition was delivered in partnership by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health (TITCH) Network on behalf of SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England initiative led by the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks.

With six percent of children in the UK living with disability, ingenious life changing solutions can ensure they have the best start in life.  The successful technologies recognise the importance of encouraging independence and focus on restoring function and providing appropriate support for self-care and remote monitoring.  The innovations also address a key challenge in developing technology for children and young people associated with growth and development. They have been judged to be age specific, versatile and adaptable to meet rapid physiological and anatomical changes.

Philippa Hedley-Takhar, Head of Investment & Partnerships for Yorkshire & Humber AHSN commented: “Children and young people with long term conditions spend much of their childhood in healthcare environments. This competition was designed to stimulate development of solutions to improve quality of life, promote independence and individual empowerment identified as a much- needed area of focus from families, young people and clinicians.”

Professor Paul Dimitri, Clinical Lead at TITCH said: “TITCH is a national network that has developed an approach to paediatric innovation to address the problems associated with the niche and often neglected market for technology in this field. The number, diversity and quality of applications received demonstrate the level of commitment to ensuring the best healthcare for children and give them the best opportunities in the future.”

Prof Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive of Elaros, commented: “The Board and staff of Elaros are delighted to have won this prestigious competition, which comes as the company starts to develop other products to address unmet clinical needs in areas that have not yet seen the application of the power of digital health.

“We are excited to be embarking upon this important project with our partners at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the Children’s Sleep Charity and Dr Michael Boyle and believe that our proposed solution will make a significant difference to the lives of families blighted by sleep difficulties. Through the empowerment of families, the Sleep Diary Partnership, led by Elaros, believes that significant saving will be achieved for the NHS through the deployment of our digital solution that will be free at the point of use.”

SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, led by the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), that co-develops innovative products to address unmet health needs.

The programme works with leading healthcare players to identify areas where technology can be applied to address major healthcare challenges. The nine successful projects have been selected on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients.

The companies will be supported and fully funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept for a six month development phase. Those businesses demonstrating best value and greatest technical feasibility at this stage (phase 1) will progress through (phase 2) to be further supported and funded to take their technologies through to commercialisation.