Back to list page

Winner of the Macmillan Innovation Challenge announced

Posted: 21st June 2024

The winner of this year’s Macmillan Cancer Support Innovation Challenge is HUMA. As part of this initiative, HUMA secured a £75,000 investment to further develop its systemic anti-cancer therapy Digital Checklist app, aimed to help improve the experience of cancer patients across the UK.

The Innovation Challenge is a programme aimed at identifying future collaborations and pioneering solutions that have the potential to transform the way people with cancer receive care. We have supported the Innovation Challenge by working in partnership with Health Innovation East and Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex to identify and shortlist innovators with ideas and solutions to improve cancer care. This year’s challenge focused on virtual care, virtual wards, and remote monitoring.

HUMA’s SACT digital checklist allows patients to share health information via a mobile app which in turn allows clinicians to monitor their health remotely. The app enables patients to answer a digital pre-screening checklist and share information such as vital signs and symptoms with clinicians from the comfort of their home. Clinicians can then review patient checklist answers and health data remotely to understand if they are ready to receive SACT and what they may need for their recovery. Currently, when cancer patients are pre-screened to check their health before receiving SACT, this is usually done over the telephone or in a physical appointment. This can be inconvenient for some patients and can add to the workload for clinicians.

The innovation from HUMA is designed to increase clinical capacity for the delivery of treatment, improve the patient experience and reduce stress for cancer patients. Virtual care has the potential to deliver a quality healthcare service for cancer patients, with the aim of making their experience more convenient, more streamlined, and more closely aligned to their needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of virtual wards and care, as well as remote monitoring, was accelerated. Early evidence suggests feedback from patients and staff has been positive.

Alongside Health Innovation East and Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex, we will facilitate introductions within the NHS and provide expertise to deliver a service evaluation gathering real-world evidence.

Dr Young Neville, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber, commented: “It was a real privilege to support Macmillan Cancer Support and work with our colleagues at Health Innovation East and Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex to identify technologies that can make a real difference to patient care and experience.

Partnerships like this are essential to help spread and adopt the best solutions, ensuring patients receive high-quality care where and when they need it most. Our role as health innovation networks is to connect people and organisations to support the development and delivery of new technologies, services and ways of working to benefit our diverse communities and reduce the pressure on our healthcare system.”

Anthony Cunliffe, National Lead Medical Adviser at Macmillan Cancer Support says “We’re delighted to announce HUMA as the winner of the Macmillan Health Innovation Challenge 2023. By using pioneering technology, HUMA’s SACT Digital Checklist app could have a transformational effect on cancer care across the UK by increasing clinical capacity and ultimately improving the experience for many cancer patients, by supporting them to have their health monitored in the comfort of their own home. This could reduce the need for them to travel to and from hospital, thus minimising their risk of infection.”

Karanjit Aujla, VP, Partnerships (HUMA): “We are thrilled that HUMA has won the Macmillan Innovation Challenge and are excited to collaborate with Macmillan to scale our digital SACT platform across the NHS. Our digital SACT checklist already shows a promise for increasing capacity and enhancing both patient and clinician experiences. SACT centers are under unsustainable pressure, and we hope that our solution can help the NHS manage the growing demand more effectively, by streamlining the assessment process and reducing unnecessary burdens on patients. Partnering with Macmillan presents an incredibly exciting opportunity, and together we will work towards improving the experience for many cancer patients and increasing SACT capacity at a critical time for the NHS.”