SBRI Healthcare awards £1.25m to musculoskeletal disorder and oral health innovations

SBRI Healthcare has awarded £1.25 million to help fund the development of thirteen separate innovations relating to musculoskeletal disorder and dentistry, oral health and oral cancers. The pioneering projects were discovered through a nationwide call by SBRI Healthcare earlier this year for innovations to tackle healthcare problems in these fields.

SBRI Healthcare works with businesses to identify, co-create and develop innovative health tech solutions for the NHS by launching a series of competitions geared around solving specific healthcare challenges. The most recent competition in July 2018 called for innovations to tackle musculoskeletal disorders and improve oral health.

Innovations that came to the fore as part of this competition call and that can now benefit from the £1.25m funding range from AI-based smartphone apps and virtual reality programmes, to technologies designed to improve the diagnosis, surgical outcomes and pain relief related to oral cancers.

In addition to this initial investment, SBRI Healthcare will support the projects by providing consultancy services, including support with the development of prototypes and access to clinical trials, to help ensure these innovations are swiftly adopted by the NHS.

Karen Livingstone, National Director of SBRI Healthcare, commented: “Approximately 9.6 million adults and 12,000 children in the UK are affected by musculoskeletal disorders, which can cause chronic disability. Meanwhile recent reports estimate that poor oral hygiene and preventable tooth decay could be costing the NHS as much as £50 million a year. The range and calibre of responses we received to our competition highlight the significant role that technology can play in delivering cutting edge prevention and treatment services in these fields. 

“We are excited to support these companies through the early stages of product development and to help ensure that their innovations find their way into our hospitals as quickly as possible. All of these projects have the potential to have a significant impact on patient outcomes and to alleviate cost and time pressures on the NHS. Fast-tracking their development should therefore be welcome news for both patients and clinicians alike.”

Sami Stagnell, Specialist Oral Surgeon, commented: “Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, and is currently one of the leading causes of childhood hospital admissions for five to nine-year olds. The latest competition uncovered a variety of transformative innovations and technologies that have the potential to augment existing NHS initiatives and bring much needed benefits to young people’s oral health. The SBRI Healthcare programme aims to target significant areas of need within the NHS, with a view to fast-track these new revolutionary innovations into hospitals and other healthcare services.”

Funding was awarded to the following projects:

Musculoskeletal disorders

Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems LTD – awarded £99,726: CBAS’s remote monitoring system, PID:Digital, enhances the care-pathway for mobility conditions, by using machine learning to gather patient data from patient-worn sensors to assess their recovery and relay clinically-relevant metrics to clinics and patients via a bespoke app.

Amaphase Ltd – awarded £99,700: Amaphase is a form of transdermal delivery technology specifically for the self-care of chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis.

getUBetter Ltd – awarded £99,420: ThegetUBetter platform aids in self-managing lower back pain and occupational health. Patients can benefit from access to personalised self-management, prevention and wellness strategies that are integrated across the platform.

Manchester Metropolitan University – awarded £97,122: The university’stechnology measures knee movement after knee replacement surgery, helping to reduce the need for intensive early physiotherapy.

AMODISC LTD – awarded £95,900: Amosdisc’sAmoscalpel is a smartphone based surgical simulation training platform that interactively mentors orthopaedic surgeons and scrub staff of all grades, enabling trainees to gain safe, clinical practice that encourages a more effective surgical service.

VirtiHealth Ltd – awarded £94,600: Virti is an immersive patient education platform that uses 360-degree video and augmented reality to transport patients to real world environments to reduce anxiety and improve patient experience during in-person clinical encounters e.g. physiotherapy.

Chondrogenix Ltd – awarded £94,000: Chondrogenix’s data-driven platform has the capacity to generate unlimited cartilage cells from any human cell type, and thus create a safe and efficient way to develop and scale therapeutic cells.

Phyxercise Ltd – awarded £92,398: Physio Exerciser is an app that utilises in-built motion sensors to help patients perform exercises correctly and provide them with real-time information on the progress the patient is making.

Good Boost Wellbeing Ltd – awarded £89,050: Good Boost delivers aquatic exercise and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal conditions in public swimming pools. This creates a group therapeutic activity programme that is individually tailored to supporting musculoskeletal conditions using an app that can be accessed on waterproof tablets.

Dentistry, oral health and oral cancers

Lightpoint Medical – awarded £99,959: Lightpoint Medical’s novel intra-operative imaging device, the LightPath Imaging System, aims to improving head and neck cancer prognosis.

Zilico Limited – awarded £99,752: ZedScan is a clinically proven real-time in-vivo diagnostic product, based on electrical characterisation of cervical tissue, which aims to improve the speed and accuracy of oral pre-cancer/cancer diagnosis.

Brush DJ Ltd – awarded £83,330: Brush DJ is a free toothbrush timer app that plays two minutes of music taken from the user’s device to encourage brushing for an effective length of time. The app also allows users to set reminders to brush twice a day, floss, use mouthwash and when next to see their dentist.

MonMedical (trading as Cinapsis Ltd) – awarded £80,000: MonMedical are adaptingdeep convolutional neural networks, which are currently being used to distinguish cancer from benign skin lesions to achieve the same results with oral lesions.


About SBRI Healthcare

SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare is an NHS England funded programme that provides funding and support to innovative companies to solve healthcare problems. The SBRI Healthcare team works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff to identify key challenges from within the service, focussing on specific areas recognised as priority by NHS England and the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN). The programme aims to improve patient care, increase efficiency in the NHS, and support the UK economy by helping smaller companies grow.

Since launching in 2009, £75 million has been awarded to over 150 companies developing solutions for major NHS challenges such as cancer detection, dementia care, mental health in young people and self-management of long-term conditions. The programme currently has over 200 companies under contract with over 1000 notified innovations and a pipeline independently evaluated at £1.2bn.

About Academic Health Science Networks

There are 15 AHSNs across England. They connect academics, NHS, researchers and industry to accelerate the process of innovation and facilitate the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations. They are driven by two imperatives: improving health and generating economic growth in their regions. SBRI Healthcare competitions are designed, supported and promoted in partnership with the AHSNs.

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