Covid-19 funding for SMEs – Wednesday 27th May, 09.30 – 10.30 AM

Join Sci-Tech Daresbury and STFC by Zoom for a live panel session with Innovate UK, UK Space Agency, National Institute for Health Research and RTC North to discuss the Covid-19 innovation funding available for SMEs. Register here. There are four elements:

  1. Innovate UK / Knowledge Transfer Network– Matt Chapman Providing an overview of the extra support Innovate UK has pledged for SME R&D, including the Covid -19 SME funding call via UK Research and Innovation
  2. UK Space Agency – Chris Hall Latest opportunities from the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency, including the ESA Business Applications Covid Health Fund
  3. National Institute for Health Research – Ian Newington Funding and support for Covid-19 research across the UK including the COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call
  4. RTC North / Enterprise Europe Network – Angela Smith Support available for business innovation including Innovate 2 Succeed

EU to Unveil “World’s Greenest” Virus Recovery Package

European Union is poised to announce the world’s greenest recovery package next week, as it seeks to curb pollution and save its economy from the coronavirus pandemic. European Commission President Ursula Von Den Leyen is set to transform her Green Deal strategy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, into a coronavirus economic rescue plan that’ll rapidly drive private investment and create jobs across the continent, according to a draft document with details of the proposal seen by Bloomberg.

NHSX remote monitoring call

Patricia Roberts, DHACA Board Member, made the following notes during the webinar yesterday:

  • Purpose of the webinar was to explain the context to the initiative which is to help remove barriers for NHS organisations to procure innovative solutions that have an evidence base to build sustainability for the future
  • As a consequence of Covid there has been a massive use of phone and video consultations in both primary and secondary care. The covid crisis has served as a major accelerator for digital health solutions and the plan is to make it simpler for health care providers to access remote care solutions that complement video consultation and will enhance care
  • NHSX were interested in innovative solutions to create new care pathways for outpatient appointments prior to Covid but the need is now more acute
  • NHSX want to provide a good amount of choice to healthcare providers via this process so the process isn’t limited by number
  • They are interested in solutions that support phone and digital consultations that link back to a portal with data and information that can be accessed by the clinical team.
  • Think of scenarios that are important in health and care now. Covid patients at home or patients who are vulnerable and sheilding. How can these patients be monitored remotely? They may have cancer / cvd / respiratory
  • The timeline covered in the slides is challenging but firstly register and take time to review all the documents
  • There is a turnaround of 10 days for a decision to be made. With an appointed status or not appointed given
  • NHSX will send out a set of additional requirements that focus on data security

The slides used are here. A recording of the event will be available shortly.

As a reminder “all interested suppliers who meet the criteria set out in the Statement of Requirements (SOR), to register and apply to the Crown Commercial Service Spark Dynamic Purchasing System and“. Closing date 29th May.

DHACA Webinar IX – Promoting assistive technology to carers June 3rd 10am

We are in the final stages of putting together a webinar on 3rd June in which we will be returning to the topic of how best to encourage carers to adopt technology particularly during the current crisis. When DHACA, working with Carers UK on a DH contract, analysed the information we got from Carers UK’ focus groups we concluded that this market is at least £1 billion in size – and that was two years ago! We want actively to engage members in a round table debate on how we can raise awareness of this critical issue. We will have at least four speakers, from Carers UK, the DLF, Canary Care and DHACA to get the creative juices going. We need your ideas and support though! For more details and to book go here.

RSM Webinar 27th May 12 noon

Looking further ahead we are in discussion with the Royal Society of Medicine in doing joint webinars – their first will be on 27th May at 12 noon entitled “Patient, digitise thyself: Digital healthcare and the patients conducting their own research” There is a (very) small charge  – book here.

PAS 440:2020 Responsible Innovation

This guide has just been published by UKRI/Innovate UK and BSI. A free copy is here (registration required). Melvin Reynolds who kindly drew my attention to this commented that “although there’s a lot of motherhood and apple pie in it there are also some mind-concentrating nuggets”. He reckons its essential reading by DHACA members, especially if they are bidding for funding.

The eye as a window to the (medical) world?

There is an interesting paper and associated comment in the most recent edition of Lancet Digital Health. The paper suggests that deep learning applied to retinal photographs is a good predictor of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The comment suggests that all the AI might be doing is correctly identifying the key risk factors for CKD which are already detectable from retina photography of the fundus: age, sex, hypertension, diabetes and ethnicity. A remark in the Lancet Comment specifically referring to ophthalmic research, though also true more generally, and a major concern to some DHACA members (as I pointed out when I gave evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology on behalf of members) is:

“Owing to the general lack of data sharing in ophthalmic research, most work in this field cannot offer such extensive external validation, and open access to validation databases remains one of the major unmet needs in artificial intelligence in retinal imaging.”

And finally…

  • iProov reports that NHS Digital is using their service to onboard users to the NHS App, already on Android for a while and now on iOS too, replacing manual checking. This is believed to be the first large-scale use of biometrics for onboarding users to a core medical service anywhere in the world, and during COVID has placed huge demands on the NHS.
  • PHE has created a new campaign, in line with the new advice, explaining the actions we all need to take to support the Government’s strategy. A suite of these campaign resources are now available on the Campaign Resource Centre.
  • PHE is also involved with Breastfeeding Celebration Week, 1st – 7th June 2020 where the theme will be ‘Promoting and supporting breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic’. During the week PHE will be highlighting the support available for breastfeeding in the community and in neonatal units, as well as showcasing innovation, such as support provided via video-conferencing. More info here.

Thank yous to Prof Mike Short,  Rob Berry, Patricia Roberts and Melvin Reynolds for their invaluable contributions to this and the newsletter I rushed out earlier this week.

Hoping you can join us on 3rd June.