The Innovation Funds provide financial support to projects that will improve the health and wellbeing of patients and citizens by making the best use of existing and emerging digital opportunities in health and social care.
The projects granted a share of the funding include IT technology to improve outcomes for patients at high risk of complex wounds, an app to increase exercise and prevent falls amongst older people and a digital platform to enhance identification and reduce the rate of obesity in children and young people.
To be awarded funding, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and organisations needed to demonstrate collaboration with NHS or social care partners and, potentially, academic or other industry partners.
Ben Bridgewater, chief executive of Health Innovation Manchester, said: “In order to transform health and social care to meet the demands of citizens it is vital that innovative digital products are brought to market quickly and efficiently.
“The projects given funding are perfect examples of the digital innovations being produced and developed on our doorstep in Greater Manchester to meet the needs of local people and patients.
“Health Innovation Manchester is uniquely placed to connect researchers, academics, businesses and the NHS, champion digital innovations and improve the health and wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s population.”
Funding was awarded to The University of Manchester to investigate the health benefits of a gamified exercise and health literacy app for older people.
The “Keep-On-Keep-Up” app incorporates exercises based on clinically proven routines and games to raise awareness of safety at home, hydration and nutrition, and health literacy.
It will be aimed at older people living in sheltered housing facilities who have a range of long term health conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, that increase their risk of functional decline, falls and hospital visits.
Funding has also been awarded to Manchester-based software consultancy MDSAS so their highly successful and innovative IT platforms can be used to transform the management and outcomes for patients with complex wounds, such as those experienced by people with diabetes.
The project will be delivered by a highly experienced team, with MDSAS adapting IT platforms for use in wound management.
It will allow the rapid and accurate transfer of data, including wound images, among different services to allow targeted early intervention and improved management, with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust co-ordinating clinical implementation of the platforms and The University of Manchester ensuring relevance for research.
Ultimately, the project will lead to much improved patient outcomes and potentially multi-million pound savings for the NHS, with the long-term potential for international implementation.
Rob Hollingsworth, MDSAS Managing Director, said: “Winning the grant from Health Innovation Manchester has provided us with the crucial support we needed to utilise our successful software platforms in NHS wound care, which we anticipate will deliver significant improvements for patient care and financial savings for the NHS.”
Manchester-based iQ Digital Health has also received funding to help combat child obesity through the development of an innovative digital platform with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.
The award will allow the continued development of NHS Children’s Health and Monitoring Platform (CHAMP), to reduce obesity in children and young people through value driven data feedback.