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Innovate for Impact: backing Macmillan's Innovation Challenge

Posted: 27th September 2023

We are proud to work in partnership with cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support on the ‘Innovation Challenge’, a programme aimed at identifying future collaborations and pioneering solutions that have the potential to transform the way people with cancer receive care. In particular, the focus of the Innovation Challenge 2023 is on virtual care, virtual wards, and remote monitoring – all aimed at providing high-quality healthcare services to cancer patients outside of the traditional hospital setting.

We are collaborating with Macmillan Cancer Support alongside other two AHSNs including Eastern AHSN and Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN. This exciting initiative serves as a platform for innovators to pitch their ideas and solutions for improving cancer care to Macmillan, with the goal of forming partnerships to further develop and implement their ground-breaking initiatives.

Talking about the Innovation Challenge, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN CEO Richard Stubbs, said: “Collaborative working is fundamental to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care, precisely when and where they need it. Working across sectors with organisations like Macmillan is a good example of what can be achieved when sharing resources and expertise, identifying and scaling health innovations to improve patient care outcomes and service delivery”.

The Selection Process

To identify the most promising innovations, the AHSNs played a pivotal role in identifying innovators with solutions relevant to the Challenge. This year’s shortlisted innovators are:

  • Definition Health: a platform to support people with cancer from the first clinic visit to virtual ward follow up.
  • Doccla: a virtual ward platform designed to facilitate remote patient monitoring and communication between people with cancer and healthcare professionals.
  • Feebris: a virtual care platform powered by artificial intelligence.
  • Huma DBm-Health: a mobile communication system designed to support people who need their blood glucose level monitored remotely.
  • Huma SACT Digital Checklist_Virtual Ward: a platform designed to allow clinicians to monitor the health of people with cancer remotely and pre-assess their readiness for treatment before they attend the clinic.
  • Vinehealth Oncology Platform: a platform designed to help empower people with cancer to improve their quality of life through supported self-management.

The judging panel for this event comprises experts from diverse backgrounds, including clinical professionals, commercial experts, and individuals who have experienced cancer first hand. The panel will base their decisions on the availability of evidence demonstrating measurable benefits for people with cancer.

Support for Innovators

Macmillan Cancer Support, in collaboration with the AHSNs, is committed to providing tailored support to the chosen innovators as they work towards implementing their solutions. The support offered to these innovators includes:

  • Opportunities for further evaluation: Innovators will have the chance to gather additional evidence and evaluate the effectiveness of their innovations. This process ensures that only the most impactful solutions move forward.
  • Involvement of cancer patients: Macmillan’s Innovation Community will facilitate direct involvement of people living with cancer to help test and refine the innovations. Their feedback and insights are invaluable in ensuring patient-centric care.
  • Funding and financial support: Macmillan may provide financial support, either in the form of grants or equity investments, to help innovators bring their solutions to fruition. This financial backing can be pivotal in advancing these initiatives.
  • Roundtable discussions: Innovators will have the opportunity to participate in roundtable events with Cancer Alliances. These discussions will address challenges, opportunities, and barriers related to implementing their solutions, fostering collaboration and shared insights.

Find out more about the shortlisted companies