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Digital innovations tested for vulnerable people during COVID-19

People who are particularly vulnerable or isolated as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak could soon benefit from a range of innovative digital solutions selected as part of the TechForce19 challenge.

NHSX and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have announced 18 digital solutions that have been awarded funding under the TechForce19 challenge. TechForce19 has awarded funding to innovations offering a digital way to support vulnerable people who need to stay at home or need other help in the community for extended periods of time. The response to the challenge was extremely strong, with over 1,600 innovations submitted.

NHSX has been working with the AHSN Network and PUBLIC to run the fast-track competition for innovators, creating a pool of technologies that have the potential to be rapidly scaled regionally and nationally.

The successful solutions will now receive funding to rapidly test their product to meet specific Covid-19 related needs.

This testing phase will last for two to three weeks, and be followed by an assessment to better understand the potential and scope for accelerated deployment at scale, based on evidence.

Each prospective technology must have the capability to operate on a standalone basis without the need to be integrated with existing health or care systems.

The West of England AHSN is providing mentoring support to four of the 18 innovations through the testing phase. They are:

  • SureCert  – SureCert is a digital platform that can connect displaced workers with jobs, as well as background checking them quickly.  They are focusing on the Care sector in response to the pandemic.
  • SimplyDo – The SimplyDo project aim to create a virtual ‘thinktank’ community of NHS medical professionals currently in self-isolation to contribute to solving COVID19 care challenges even though not physically on the front-line.
  • Aparito – Aparito aims to provide manage cancer care at home through remote monitoring of cancer outpatients receiving systemic anticancer treatment, through physiological monitoring data, daily self-rated symptoms and input from patients and healthcare professionals collated through the application.
  • Virti – Virti’s experiential education aims to upskill volunteers and carers with the necessary COVID precautions and medical training required to meet new demands using virtual and augmented reality.  It also aims to reduce clinical anxiety through improved training and preparedness, as well as resilience training and soft-skills around difficult conversations such as end-of-life care.

Nigel Harris, the Director of Innovation and Growth, West of England AHSN, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting a series of solutions which can potentially be piloted and then scaled to address the pressing needs presented by Covid-19. We have worked with many innovations that support the health and care sector – the current crisis means that now more than ever, we need to address the needs of citizens who are currently unable to access face-to-face care or their usual social networks. We hope these new products will help people take advantage of the potential that digital technology offers.”

Posted on April 24, 2020

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