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NHS hope for digital health SMEs

Posted: 6th August 2020

Propel@YH, the AHSN’s highly successful programme for digital health start-ups who want to work with the NHS in the Yorkshire and Humber region, opens today for ideas developed as a response to COVID-19.

There are just 10 places available: successful applicants from the March 2020 process, which was suspended due to lockdown, are asked to resubmit in line with the new eligibility criteria.

The programme, applications for which run until 24 September, is open to digital health SMEs demonstrating innovative digital health solutions with a direct link to supporting the healthcare sector during the pandemic – from tackling the spread of the virus to assisting the most vulnerable, targeting health inequalities, or enabling effective home-based care.

To be eligible, applicants should have either an existing presence in the Yorkshire and Humber region or be willing to establish one. The programme’s content will be tailored to individual members to enable global organisations to bring innovative solutions to the region’s population and wider health economy.

The AHSN will run the six-month programme, with key partners delivering the majority of the masterclass content. Partners this year include the University of Leeds’ innovation hub, Nexus, which supports the programme through research and innovation expertise and membership to its community of high growth tech start-ups and SMEs.

Barclays Eagle Labs will provide business support through its national incubator network and leading health law firm Hill Dickinson returns as legal partner. Leeds City Council is also supporting the programme. The new partners significantly bolster the Propel@YH programme, bringing greater benefits to digital health innovators selected to take part.

The 2019 cohort saw several positive outcomes from the programme, including raising significant investment, creating jobs, numerous research collaborations, and the creation of several new digital services.

Previous cohorts include Digibete, a multi-award-winning video platform to improve the lives of those living with Type 1 Diabetes, AI solution Scaled Insights, and SmartER, which revolutionises the delivery of front-line emergency medicine.

Neville Young, Director of Enterprise and Innovation for the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said: “COVID has changed, and will continue to change, our health and care system completely, and it is important that the NHS and other health providers have the tools in place to allow them to adapt to the new ways of working. Because of this, we have decided this year’s programme should support solutions which focus in particular on COVID and the wider implications of the virus.

“This is the second time we’ve been able to offer this great opportunity for innovative digital and data- driven health companies to access a raft of support specifically tailored to their needs and equip them with the knowledge and contacts to drive their businesses forward. Key to the success of this programme are the great digital assets we have in the Yorkshire and Humber region in terms of infrastructure, skills and data itself.”

SMEs in the digital health sphere can apply for a place on Propel@YH via until applications close on 24th September. For applicants who have questions about the programme or the application process, a Q&A webinar will be held with the Propel@YH team and members of the previous cohort. Questions should be submitted on the @propelyh Twitter channel or via the Contact Us page on the website. Interested candidates should sign up via the Eventbrite page ahead of the webinar on 2nd September.

Propel@YH is Yorkshire and Humber’s only regional digital health accelerator and supports organisations from across the world to bring their innovative digital health solutions to the region’s patients and the wider health economy.

Propel@YH provides a unique and tailored set of advisory, guidance and support services, enabling digital health solutions to flourish within the region in 2020 and beyond.

Recognising that the sales cycle within healthcare can be challenging and often lengthy, Propel@YH will provide a structured programme of support and advice that will enable organisations to accelerate their growth and market presence in the longer term.

Propel@YH Partners: 

Nexus:    Twitter: @nexusunileeds

Barclays Eagle Labs   Twitter : @Eagle_Labs_Hlth

Hill Dickinson  Twitter: @HD_Health

LinkedIn: Hill Dickinson Health

Leeds City Council