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The challenges we face

Companies, especially SMEs, can face significant challenges to introduce their new and innovative products into the NHS. The complexity of public procurement, patient safety and a risk averse culture across multiple organisations can be daunting. The Innovation Nexus aims to provide a single source of resource that can help companies, particularly SMEs, understand the steps that need to be taken to support their business planning and engage with the NHS more easily, thus progressing the adoption of their innovation at pace and with fewer unanticipated obstacles.

a fully funded intensive support programme for life science SMEs working in Greater Manchester

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If you are a business with an innovative product or service that you believe has the potential to benefit the healthcare market, the Innovation Nexus can give you access a network of specialist advice and support.

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Futuristic Flyers for the NHS

A partnership between the NHS and an innovative design agency is set to change the way patients with chronic lung conditions receive education and information.

MediaCityUK-based creative design agency Media and Digital Ltd. (or MaD for short) approached Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GM AHSN) through the Innovation Nexus. MaD provide a range of digital solutions that they believe can help the NHS to improve communications, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.

One area of particular expertise is Augmented Reality (AR), which allows patients to use their smartphones and tablets to access rich layers of digital content by simply pointing their device at everyday objects.

See examples here: https://vimeo.com/162672836

The possibilities of utilising AR in a care setting are broad; from talking brochures and training materials to interactive gaming experiences that make hospital visits for children less daunting. This was recognised by GM AHSN, who began dialogue with the company to identify opportunities within its network of NHS member organisations.

As GM AHSN’s delivery partner for the Innovation Nexus, TRUSTECH took the lead on identifying opportunities for the company to engage with the NHS in Greater Manchester and further afield through its NHS member organisations.

MaD was introduced to a number of NHS organisations and AR demonstrations and meetings were organised between the company and various clinical and speciality teams. The pulmonary rehabilitation service at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH), quickly matched the potential benefit that AR technology could deliver with a new BREATHE programme that is due to launch soon.

The BREATHE Programme uses exercise and education to help patients with chronic lung conditions, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), to understand and manage their condition. Following consultation with MaD, a dynamic campaign was formed that will utilise ‘intervention pods’ to deliver information and exercise programmes tailored to fit individual patient needs. 

At the pods, Patients either visit an interactive website or view printed materials that literally ‘come to life’ before their eyes with video and motion graphics to make managing their condition easier.

Joy Gana-Inatimi, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapy Lead, who is leading the BREATHE Programme for LHCH, said that TRUSTECH and GM AHSN helped them to “think of innovative ways of developing, enhancing and supporting the current clinical management strategies for patients. They have enabled the team to access appropriate expertise to support the launch of the BREATHE Programme through a web-based intervention strategy”.

From MaD’s perspective, engaging with the NHS through the Innovation Nexus has enabled the company to get their pioneering technology in front of NHS commissioners, something which managing director Stuart Atherton has found to be ”really tricky” in the past.

“The Innovation Nexus acts as a bridge between commercial innovators and key decision makers within the NHS”, said Stuart. “It identified appropriate contacts and set up meetings, which is something we could not have achieved without their support. Through their website and communication activities, they have also helped to raise awareness of our company, which is a valuable service.”

Dr Linda Magee, GM AHSN Executive Director of Industry and Wealth, concluded that:

“This example clearly demonstrates the value of the Innovation Nexus in connecting businesses with the right people within the NHS. By accessing the extended network The Innovation Nexus can offer, a Manchester-based company has gone on to secure an exciting contract with one of the UK’s leading cardiothoracic centres and we’re really looking forward to seeing the outputs of this project , which together with our continuing support will help MAD to engage with other NHS organisations .”

For more information about Media and Digital, visit: http://www.mediaanddigital.com/

For more information about the BREATH Programme: www.brownlowhealth.co.uk