Accelerating towards a digital future
With the success of their recent NHS Market Access Accelerator, TheHill is helping companies develop digital solutions to assist healthcare professionals, make the NHS more efficient and improve the lives of patients and carers.
The programme ran at the recently opened Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) with a rich timetable of talks including an introduction to the NHS; patient data, technical integration and clinical trials; reimbursement and procurement, the regulatory landscape and the opportunities available in Oxfordshire for aspiring digital health entrepreneurs.
The cohort included representatives from Cognitant Group, DeepMed IO, DEO, GeneOmics Solutions, Global Initiative, HIGOE, moveUP, RCube Health Ltd, Say Anything, Scout Health and Wiseserve. "We're excited to be working with such a promising set of digital health start-ups, with new technologies and approaches which could transform the way health and care is delivered," said Megan Morys-Carter, Director of TheHill.
Speakers came from the NHS, universities and Oxford's entrepreneurial community and included Julie Hart, Director of Strategy and Industry Partnerships for the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN); Vasiliki Kiparoglou, COO of the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre; Dr Roberto Liddi, VP Quality and Regulatory, Sensyne Health; Professor John Powell, Consultant Clinical Advisor for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE); and Gary Welch, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Companies who joined the accelerator explained their reasons for doing so including getting an insight in the complicated structures of the NHS and advice about how to go from prototype to clinical trials. Participants were enthusiastic about the content and the growth potential for their businesses.
"TheHill's NHS Accelerator programme has been an amazing experience giving the opportunity to learn about various themes in a short and intensive period. Dr Benn Gooch was especially useful and inspiring, as a GP and as part of tech start-up he gave honest feedback on his daily work schedule and the problems that needed to be solved." Manzoor Ahmed, HIGOE Limited
"The team at TheHill brought together an amazing array of experts to help us better understand what to do next to further develop and validate our technology to take it to market. The programme saved us months of work and lots of money – a hugely valuable experience."
The NHS Market Access Accelerator was the most recent initiative from TheHill which has also delivered an impressive programme of workshops on subjects from Patient Engagement to UX design and sponsored the Innovation Showcase at Venturefest Oxford, held at Oxford Brookes University. At Venturefest a queue of visitors crowded around to get a chance to play with the Wizdish ROVR: the world's first VR treadmill. Both events were funded from the European Regional Development Fund through the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership's Innovation Support for Business programme.
What's next on the horizon? In addition to the usual programme of workshops, the next one being on business models in healthcare, Megan Morys-Carter, Director of TheHill, explains; "This November we will be welcoming a group of European companies, visiting the UK as part of the EIT Health Bootcamp roadtrip. Anyone working in the health and care ecosystem is welcome to come to our networking event and find out more about their ideas and what's going on in digital health across Europe. TheHill will also be running an EIT Health Bootcamp next year, so if you're thinking of applying, this is a great chance to hear about their experience."
TheHill is Oxford's digital health community: an innovation cluster, network and support programme working in Oxfordshire with NHS Trusts, universities, digital developers, innovators and investors to catalyse commercial and impactful technological solutions in healthcare. For more information about TheHill visit www.thehilloxford.org.