Creative England £250k fund for digital healthcare innovation

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has partnered with Creative England to encourage innovation in how web, mobile phone or tablet applications address the region’s healthcare priorities.

The Yorkshire and Humber programme is the latest roll-out of an Interactive Healthcare Fund, set up by Creative England, using its Regional Growth Fund money to help SMEs outside London to develop digital health and well-being products and create jobs.

Investments of £50,000 to £200,000 per application are available for SMEs who are at an advanced stage of developing and commercialising digital products for the healthcare sector. Each investment must be matched 50/50 by funding from the applicant company.

The region’s scheme will be managed in association with the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN adding to similar initiatives already running in the North West and West Midlands. The top priorities for the initiative in Yorkshire and Humber are digital inventions which help healthcare providers and/or patients to;

  • Maintain their independence while living with long term medical conditions
  • Take the right doses of prescribed medicines at the right times
  • Tackle obesity, deal with alcohol abuse or quit smoking
  • Improve the safety of the elderly or infirm – e.g. by preventing falls
  • Improve their mental health and well-being.

Caroline Norbury, CEO Creative England, said: “The Interactive Healthcare Fund is designed to combine creativity and technology, to uncover new and exciting ideas and revolutionise healthcare as we know it. The successful projects from the last round of funding are proof of how powerful creative businesses can be when it comes to developing products that extend beyond the creative industries themselves, and we can’t wait to see what innovative projects emerge next.”

Richard Stubbs, Commercial Director of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: “In the very near future healthcare delivered digitally will undoubtedly be a major component of how the NHS continues to deliver outstanding care for all our patients. We are delighted to be supporting the Interactive Healthcare Fund and investing in the sustainable growth and development of the digital healthcare sector. “

He added: “The investment into the Yorkshire and Humber region will enable our most creative companies to design digital solutions that enable new models of service delivery and tackle some of our most pressing healthcare challenges and we’re excited about supporting these companies to improve the lives of as many patients as possible.”

The programme will remain open until the 30th of September 2016 or until funds have been exhausted.

Since its inception in 2013, the Interactive Healthcare programme has invested over £850,000 in 21 digital healthcare innovations. They include the Smart Ear app, by Braci, of Birmingham, which is helping deaf and partially hearing people to recognise and navigate their surroundings by converting sound waves into feel or see signals; and Citrus Suite, of Liverpool, now partnering Disney on the development of a healthy living app for children and families.