NHS looks to industry for healthcare innovations

Innovative engineering and manufacturing companies are being invited to take part in a new NHS programme aimed at improving the quality of healthcare.

Smart Solutions for Healthcare aims to help the NHS make significant improvements in quality, innovation, productivity and prevention for patients with cardiovascular problems or other long-term conditions. The programme is open to companies and other non-NHS organisations within any sector.

Products or services must address the priority areas of cardiovascular disease or long-term conditions, including respiratory conditions, cancer, diabetes, renal disease, hypothyroidism and epilepsy.

According to a statement, entries will be assessed by a panel of experts and between four and 10 products and services will be chosen to undergo evaluation.

Smart Solutions for Healthcare will offer successful applicants the opportunity to base their project team in the north west, making office space and facilities available in the Manchester Medical Technology Development Centre as part of the award funding.

Smart Solutions for Healthcare is being delivered by TrusTECH, the North West NHS Innovation Hub.

Programme director Dr Bryan Griffiths said: ‘The NHS faces a monumental challenge in the years ahead. We need to find smarter solutions and new ways of working, and we will be challenging industry and other innovation suppliers to help us do this.

‘In many cases new technologies, devices and services will be required to help change the way care is delivered. Smart Solutions for Healthcare will consider all of these, as well as disruptive system changes that offer entirely new approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

‘We are specifically interested in new technologies, products, services and the application of scientific advances that enable patients to have a greater role in managing their own health, or help healthcare providers improve staff productivity and eliminate waste.’

The closing date for applications is 6 April 2011.

More information and an application form can be found here: http://www.smartsolutionsforhc.co.uk