Turbo-charging NHS market access for international HealthTech innovators

The Propel@YH Boot Camp is a week-long accelerator programme for international companies who want to bring their products to the UK healthcare market.

The Propel@YH digital health accelerator is owned and organised by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and welcomed its first cohort of innovators in 2019. Propel@YH provides a six-month course of structured support and advice to UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them navigate the complex NHS landscape, increase market presence and accelerate their growth. Since its inception Propel@YH has supported more than 45 companies.

Our Boot Camp for innovators outside the UK builds on the success of Propel@YH and has been developed with international healthtech SMEs in mind. The five-day programme of intensive support and masterclass content provided by our expert partners gives them a crash course on the UK healthcare market, access to subject matter experts and the opportunity to engage directly with local NHS stakeholders as well as the wider HealthTech ecosystem in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

We are ideally placed to support HealthTech companies from around the world who are interested in expanding into the UK.  Our insight and expertise in accessing the NHS market can support innovators on every step of their journey to help establish their business and understand the UK healthcare ecosystem. We have incredible HealthTech and life sciences assets in the UK and brands like the NHS and NICE are globally recognised. The NHS is the world’s largest single payer for healthcare and provides a substantial market for any international healthcare company.

Programme of learning and networking

We adapt the content for each Boot Camp programme to fit the needs of the innovators who will be attending but this usually includes content from ourselves and our partners who provide a series of masterclasses:

  • An overview of the regional support international companies can expect from Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
  • Barclays Eagle Labs give a masterclass covering investment, funding and networking opportunities.
  • Hill Dickinson provide masterclass content covering UK legal subjects including forming a company, intellectual property and medical device considerations.
  • Nexus at the University of Leeds give a briefing on the University’s research capabilities and networks and Nexus’s business services.
  • West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership provide guidance and advice to help innovator in improve their environmental sustainability impact.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN also work with a range of supporter organisations who provide guidance and expert advice as part of the programme of activity which can include:

  • Orcha deliver masterclasses on digital standards and assurance
    covering digital compliance, digital technology assurance criteria (DTAC) and technical documentation.
  • HMA provide advice and guidance on marketing and communications
    including brand, identity and positioning, website development and social media management.
  • Thrive by Design give masterclasses on how the NHS works, understanding and managing complexity, clinical safety by design, building the evidence base for innovations and inclusive digital design.
  • 6B Digital provide masterclasses on interfaces and interoperability covering NHS interoperability options, HealthTech interfaces and system integration.
  • York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) give masterclasses on the importance of real-world evaluation and health economics.

Alongside the classroom content we also organise opportunities for participants to pitch, engage and network with representatives from local and regional health care organisations including clinicians and digital stakeholders as well as colleagues from the AHSN and our partners.

Find out what our international innovators have to say about the programme:

  • SingFit – a revolutionary award-winning digital health platform and music app designed to improve wellbeing.
  • Behavidence – an innovative HealthTech company developing machine learning based tools to detect and assist with remote monitoring and management of mental health conditions through passive digital biomarkers.

If you would like to find out more about our Propel@YH Boot Camp programme please email

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The Propel programme was a definitive shift of focus. As a US-based company, we didn’t know that much about the NHS and the UK health system. The programme provided a soft landing, helping us to understand the different components and opportunities of the UK health system. We also got a lot of introductions to NHS trusts to help with real-world evaluation of our technology. Another life-changing event was that we’d originally planned to set up in London, but the programme helped us to seek out other opportunities and helped us to realised there’s a lot to do and even more opportunities in the North of England, rather than taking the classic route of settling in London.

Roy Cohen , Co-founder and CEO of Behavidence

The speed of our UK launch was really fuelled by the information that we gathered at the Yorkshire AHSN International Boot Camp. The AHSN brought together the players with the knowledge that allowed our team to very quickly assess how long it would take to launch SingFit solutions in the UK and the resources it would take to do so. This knowledge, along with the introductions they made significantly compressed the amount of time and energy it took to assess that the SingFit platform and UK health system are highly aligned in terms of product market fit. After the Bootcamp, the AHSN has continued, help us, strategically and tactically, to bring SingFit’s therapeutic music solutions to UK.

Rachel Francine, CEO and Co-founder of Musical Health Technologies

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