Six innovative companies have been selected to develop their health technology products as part of an international pilot programme aiming to bring new solutions to UK patients.
The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA), supported by the UK Israel Tech Hub based in the British Embassy Tel Aviv, have partnered to bring cutting edge healthcare solutions to improve opportunities and outcomes for people in the North of England.
Six Israeli companies will receive funding from the IIA to run their first UK clinical trials or research and development (R&D) projects. The total funding awarded is £1.1m and includes three multi-site trials.
The project – the first of its kind in the UK – will see NHS Trusts in Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber, Hull and Leeds working together to assess and support the promising companies. The programme is also supported by the four Northern Academic Health Science Networks.
The UK Israel Health Tech Pilot and R&D programme launched a call for proposals in August 2022, asking Israeli SMEs to propose solutions to health challenges in the UK.
The companies and their technology are as follows:
- Kemtai – working with Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Kemtai is an Israeli start-up leveraging computer vision technologies to provide real-time feedback for Physiotherapy, MSK and rehab exercises. The technology is a rehabilitation system designated for motor recovery, available to the patients at their homes or at the clinic through their personal devices, and requires no special equipment. This product will instruct patients through their personal exercise program while providing real-time feedback, monitoring, and detailed reports to their medical team.
- Votis – working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Votis has developed PedCheck™, a revolutionary new tool to safely screen, stage, and monitor the diabetic foot. The tool measures changes in absorption and scattering of Near-Infra-Red wavelengths of light directed deep into the foot tissue. It analyses this information to derive changes in relative blood flow and oxygen levels in the blood of the foot, providing the healthcare provider with an assessment of the level of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) in the patient’s foot.
- PathKeeper – working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. PathKeeper has developed a real-time 3D navigation system that offers dynamic anatomical tracking for spine surgeries. The system is completely radiation-free intraoperatively and is mobile and manoeuvrable. The technology is comprised of proprietary 3D camera technology and artificial intelligence. The AI tools use the patient’s CT scans as raw data to create a digital map of the body which is updated multiple times per second using the data from the 3D camera.
- QLog – working with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust. QLOG aims to help hospitals run better, reduce staff workload, and save money. Using a mobile app and Cloud technology, QLOG products provide digital transformation for healthcare, mostly replacing manual (pen & paper) reporting. Most of the user interactions improve cumbersome and inefficient processes, allowing hospitals to reduce staff workload and improve equipment utilisation. The system does not require dedicated equipment, and it minimises IT staff requirements.
- CogniShine – working with Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Cognishine is a start-up company providing advanced and personalised therapeutic intervention tools for health and education professionals. Cognishine’s unique software platform is built on cognition, communication, speech and social-emotional factors. These areas are presented through a collection of ready-to-use activities presented through multimedia content. With over 80,000 images, videos and audio, the platform caters to different populations and people with varying disabilities from early age to elderly people, improving the therapy experience through interest-based content.
- Neurotrigger – working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The NeuroTrigger solution is a wearable eyelid pacemaker, allowing those with full or partial facial paralysis to blink, preventing exposure keratoconjunctivitis. The BlinkER System also prevents harmful non-ocular side effects for those who have reduced blinking function. The wearable stimulator is wirelessly coupled to an app on the individual’s mobile device allowing for easy control and monitoring of the stimulator by the patient.
Dr Ben Martyn, Executive Lead for Investment and International Partnerships, said: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for our Trusts in the North, and the potential reach in terms of the number patients who can benefit from these technologies, is huge. This project has been several years in the making so it’s incredible satisfying to see it come to fruition. The participating companies have been selected through a rigorous two-step process, ensuring they meet a real need in the NHS and assessed by technology and business experts. Some even travelled to the UK to discuss the projects and receive support on developing their value proposition and evidence base for the UK market and it’s great to see that resulted in the high quality applications. We are confident that these companies have the knowledge of our healthcare challenges to deliver their technologies to best meet the needs of the NHS and its patients.”
British Ambassador to Israel, Simon Walters, said: “In the few weeks since I have started my term as His Majesty’s Ambassador here, I have seen first-hand that Israel is a world-leading source of digital health technologies, with huge potential to benefit the UK healthcare system and the NHS specifically.
“This is another step forward in the excellent tech collaboration between the UK and Israel, specifically in health, where top Israeli technologies will be trialled and used in NHS hospitals in crucial fields like neuroscience, diabetes, mental health, hospital management and data manipulation”.
George Freeman MP, Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said: “By bringing some of Israel’s most impressive innovators together with clinicians on the frontline of the NHS, these projects show exactly what our global R&D collaborations are all about. By working in partnership with science and tech powerhouses right across the world, we can grow more ideas like these into successful products that make a difference to people’s lives.
“Our ambition for the UK to be a science superpower is ultimately about using the power of science and innovation for the good of everyone, and this work runs to the heart of that – from new screening tools to support those with diabetes, to labour-saving tools that will help our doctors and nurses work better.”
Dr Dipak Patel, Associate Director Research & Innovation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are excited to be involved in this incredible opportunity to collaborate with the Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd and our neighbouring Trusts in the North, to explore opportunities to work with the participating companies to evaluate their technologies to best meet the needs of our patients. After careful consideration, we worked closely with select participating companies to develop high quality applications and look forward to conducting clinical trials to assess the value proposition and demonstrate potential outcome measures for our patient population.”
Adrian Warner, Innovation Partnerships Manager, Research and Innovation, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), said: “MFT’s priorities include maximising the impact of Research and Innovation (R&I) so that our patients can benefit from innovative technologies and treatments which deliver better outcomes. The vision for innovation at MFT includes being the UK’s leading NHS trust for innovation, and the healthcare innovation partner of choice for industry.
“At the heart of providing excellent care that is fit for the future is the opportunity to collaborate with partners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Working with partner NHS Trusts, the Northern Health Science Alliance (NSHA), and Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) we are delighted to have this opportunity to explore developing our ‘digital first’ culture with companies offering exciting digital solutions for the benefit of MFT colleagues, and the patients and communities we serve.”
Heather Rice, Director of Research & Innovation for Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS FT said, “I am delighted to see a project deployed within Mental Health Services, underlining the importance of mental health, and ensuring parity of esteem for mental health patients, staff and the environments in which they work.”
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