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Funding boost for health innovations in the North West Coast

Three North West Coast companies are celebrating after securing funding for health innovations


Two have each secured £100,000 from SBRI Healthcare to help develop products while the third is funded by Innovate UK to take part in a ‘real-world’ evaluation of technology.

Brain in Hand, which has a Lancashire base, is providing a digital solution for the delivery of personalised care to people with autism. Liverpool-based AIMES drives digital transformation across the healthcare market and this particular project will develop precision diagnostics in cardiovascular care.

Meanwhile, Rinicare and the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay have received funding from Innovate UK for a joint real-world evaluation of the SAFE system to avoid falls.

AIMES has been the provider of the secure data centre for the Connected Health Cities programme, led in the North West Coast by the Innovation Agency to use data to provide innovative solutions to healthcare issues.

It will use the funding to develop OpenCARE – Platform for AI Precision Diagnostics for Cardiovascular Care. OpenCARE offers up to more than 40% accuracy than the current methods applied to measure heart functions like ejection fraction. OpenCARE will speed up analysis, is much more precise than existing methods and will improve patient outcomes while reducing costs.

Dr Dennis Kehoe, AIMES Chief Executive Officer, yesterday said:

“The Innovation Agency has been really helpful in providing an economic steer and guiding us through the application process and the best ways to present our business case.

“We believe that OpenCARE has the potential to transform cardiovascular diagnostics using artificial intelligence and we are now hoping to bid for stage 2 funding to develop the image data analysis for commercial use.”

Brain in Hand is being supported by the Innovation Agency’s Commercial Team to introduce its solution to NHS organisations in Lancashire.

The company aims to transform the model of care for autistic people who are supported by the NHS and social care to help them live more independently.

The system, which puts people in control of their own care while involving carers and supporters, provides a practical digital solution for the delivery of personalised care to people with autism.

Dr Louise Morpeth, Chief Executive of Brain in Hand, yesterday said:

“The award will fund invaluable research and development work to test and improve our digital support solution.

“This shows there is appetite for a scalable, holistic support system to help autistic people live more independently. This work will also show the potential of Brain in Hand for people with learning disabilities and those living with anxiety-related mental health conditions. We are very much looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Rinicare is developing the System to Avoid Fall Events (SAFE) a non-invasive intelligent alarm system designed to detect and prevent situations where a patient is in danger of falling out of a hospital bed onto the floor or has already fallen on to the floor. 

Dr Stuart Hendry, CEO of Rinicare yesterday said

“The Innovate UK funding is essential in the next step of SAFE’s development allowing us to generate the evidence in terms of the ability to reduce falls, improve outcomes and save healthcare costs that are important for us to be able to market the product to the NHS.”

The SBRI Healthcare team, through the support of the Innovation Agency and fellow Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff to identify key challenges from within the service, focusing on specific areas recognised as priority by NHS England.


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