Creative and digital companies are set to benefit from a £500,000 investment fund announced today (27 June 2016) to support the development of innovative digital technology and solutions that tackle regional healthcare priorities.

The South West Interactive Healthcare Programme has been launched to improve cross-sector collaborations and innovation, while opening up exciting practical opportunities for creative professionals to work with business clusters in the healthcare sector.

Financed by Creative England’s regional growth fund, the programme is a joint initiative between the South West and West of England Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) in conjunction with SETsquared.

The new fund will support the development of digital technologies, (web, mobile and tablet applications) that address one or more of the South West’s healthcare priorities as identified by health service providers and that directly benefit patients within the region.

These priority themes are:

  • Enabling the health and care workforce, patients, their carers and families to work more effectively in care settings
  • Enabling patients and citizens to manage their health and wellbeing independently
  • Influencing and incentivising behaviour to improve health outcomes.

Lars Sundstrom, Director of Enterprise at the West of England AHSN, said: “By working in partnership in this way across the entire South West region, we can offer clear advantages of scale to companies that need to demonstrate market traction as well as supporting health service providers to explore innovative ways of delivering better care via the systematic uptake of innovation.”

The funding is available to small or medium sized enterprises based in England (outside of Greater London) via investments of between £25,000 and £50,000. Funding will be allocated to support the uptake and market traction of innovative digital technologies that will clearly improve patient care and health service provision.

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and the final deadline for submissions is 30 September 2016. For the full guidelines and an application form, please visit the Creative England website

You will be asked to complete an Eligibility Questionnaire and an Expression of Interest in the first instance. Before submitting an expression of interest (EOI), we recommend you speak to your regional AHSN innovation team.

Companies in the West of England (Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire) should contact Urszula Kapoulas at or 0117 900 2155.

Companies in the South West (Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) should contact Kurt De Freitas at or 01392 247903.

For any questions regarding the application process, please contact Creative England’s Project Manager Tim Evans

The South West Interactive Healthcare Programme

The competition themes are:

1. Enabling the health and care workforce, patients, their carers and families to work more effectively in care settings. Examples could include:

    1. Providing real time, mobile data that integrates with a mobile workforce
    2. Solutions to support the development of the Micro-enterprise care provider market
    3. ‘Smart’ homes solutions (including sensing technologies) to support carers or health professionals to manage their patient’s health
    4. Solutions that would take advantage of interoperability and integrated health records

2. Enabling patients and citizens to manage their health and wellbeing independently. Examples could include:

    1. Education and raising awareness of digital health resources or local services available to citizens and how they can access and take advantage of such.
    2. Developing enhanced interfaces giving accessibility to different patient and health staff groups.
    3. Self-management and monitoring, which includes utilising digital health solutions or technologies such as wearables, apps or social media

3. Influencing and incentivising behaviour to improve health outcomes. Examples could include:

    1. Gamification for health benefits
    2. Engaging patients with their electronic health record available from GP
    3. Creative solutions that break down stigmas around conditions by interesting approaches of storytelling
    4. Online health communities to encourage knowledge, support networks and self-empowerment.

Posted on June 27, 2016

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