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Brush DJ Ltd wins SBRI Healthcare competition

Posted: 21st February 2019

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN would like to congratulate Ben Underwood whose app, Brush DJ, has just been awarded funding from SBRI Healthcare for further development. As a fellow of the NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme, the AHSN has supported the development of Brush DJ. The funding from SBRI Healthcare will aid further research and development into the app to further assist with the prevention of tooth decay in children.

The competition was launched by NHS England in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and aims to identify and support innovative new products and services which have the potential to improve patient outcomes. It is the first competition to focus on oral health.

Despite tooth decay being preventable, the NHS spends £50.5 million extracting decayed teeth from children under general anaesthesia every year1, with a total annual dentistry spend of £3.4 billion. This figure does not include the loss of productivity for parents/carers attending appointments during working hours. The direct and indirect global economic impact of oral conditions in children and adults has been estimated to be over US$442 billion2.

The SBRI award, which in phase 1 includes funding of up to £100k, will be used to explore the scientific, technical feasibility and commercial viability of adding enhanced features to the existing Brush DJ app. All potential features will be co-designed with children at highest risk of tooth decay and their carers and developed in collaboration with key stakeholders. The team will then apply for phase 2 of the competition, and if successful will secure funding of up to £1 million.

Ben Underwood, CEO of Brush DJ Ltd said, “It is amazing to have not only this financial support and recognition, but, critically, access to the expertise of SBRI and its partners. Having been part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme, I understand that in order to scale an innovation and gain widespread adoption, we will need champions from within all areas of healthcare. This award will allow us to take Brush DJ to the next level by recruiting a team of experts so that we can reach and help more children at risk of tooth decay.”