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Young people benefit from £3.1m SBRI Healthcare Funding

Five companies receive backing to develop innovations that help children with disability and long-term conditions live life to the full.

SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare has announced five companies that will receive further NHS England funding to develop innovations that aim to ensure that children living with disability and long-term conditions have every opportunity to live their lives to the full.

Sharing £3.1 million, the successful companies recognise the importance of encouraging independence and restoring function to the disabled, and providing support for self-care and remote monitoring.

With individual awards of between £300K and £850K, the innovations in development include:

  • the use of digital media to help physically disabled children explain to new carers and healthcare professionals the best way to address their physical challenges;
  • an app-based communication aid for children with severely impaired speech, incorporating word and voice recognition specific to that child, which ‘speak outs’ a clear version of the message and is easier, faster and more natural to use;
  • 3D-printed, multi-grip robotic prostheses for children and young people with upper limb deficiencies that are fun and affordable.

Professor Paul Dimitri, Professor in Child Health and a Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Clinical Director of a Technology Network for Children in England (TiTCH – Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health), said: “Young people want to be independent, to enjoy life and get the best education. For those that are unwell, managing their own care at home and beyond is vital to support this independence and improve their quality of life.

“The innovations we were able to support in this competition give us the opportunity to test new remote support tools and some very new technologies for physical support – such as alternative prostheses. The opportunity for innovation in this area is immense and this competition has provided a window for our specialist paediatricians to work with innovative companies to develop and test new ways of supporting young people.”

The five companies selected by SBRI Healthcare for the second tranche of investment were drawn from a shortlist of nine companies that received six months feasibility funding in January 2017.

The successful companies demonstrated best value and greatest technical feasibility to a panel of experts looking for game-changing technologies with the highest potential value to patients and the health service. The companies will be supported and fully funded to continue with product development and testing.

The companies and supporting Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) are:

  • Restoring Function: ADI Ltd (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN) and Open Bionics Ltd (West of England AHSN)
  • Self-Care and Remote Monitoring: Aseptika (Eastern AHSN), Innerstrength (Ireland) and Therapy Box Ltd (Health Innovation Network)

SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England funded programme that provides funding to innovative companies to solve healthcare problems. The SBRI Healthcare team works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff to identify key challenges from within the NHS, focusing on specific areas recognised as important by NHS England and the 15 AHSNs.

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN delivered the first stage of this competition in partnership with TITCH on behalf of SBRI Healthcare.

To find out more visit www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk