The Digital North accelerator programme is a collaborative enterprise established by the four northern AHSNs: Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, Health Innovation Manchester, Innovation Agency (AHSN for the North West Coast) and AHSN North East and North Cumbria. It aims to support regional digital health technology firms in the adoption and spread of proven innovations within the healthcare system. Successful regional solutions are then guided towards national adoption through the Innovation Exchange programme.

The World Health Organisation has stated that climate change is already impacting health and is the biggest health threat facing humanity. With healthcare systems currently generating 4–5% of global greenhouse gas emissions they have a central role to play in the solution. The NHS is the largest publicly funded health system in the world and therefore has the potential to be the exemplar and contribute to both the global and UK challenge of decarbonisation. In 2007 the NHS was one of the first health systems to produce a carbon reduction strategy. Its plan and challenges for reaching Net Zero were updated in the July 2022 publication of ‘Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service’. Eight early steps were outlined, which included the adoption of innovations to support digital transformation and decarbonisation.

To ensure that our accelerator programme aligns with these Net Zero priorities, the cohort for 2022/23 will deliver digital innovations that support decarbonisation by providing sustainable models of care, reduction in travel and transport or optimisation of estates and facilities.

Our 2022/23 cohort of “Innovations for a Net Zero NHS” will receive a series of masterclass events delivered by experts from the Greener NHS team and AHSN sustainability leads. They will receive guidance on how to update their business case and product information to demonstrate how their innovation supports the healthcare organisations net zero objectives.

Eight SMEs have been selected for the 2022 cohort including:

  • Concentric Health – A digital consent application, sharing personalised information and documenting consent used by patients and clinicians.
  • Definition Health – An end-to-end digital surgical pathway from pre assessment to recovery.
  • Dignio – The Connected Care Solution combines methodology and technology to keep people out of hospital.
  • io – A digitally enabled UTI Test and Treat Service and a Digital Wound Management System.
  • Q Energy – Carbon reduction services and AI based energy optimisation for buildings.
  • Therapy Audit – A modular digital health platform enabling the monitoring of patients safely and at scale.
  • TytoCare – A comprehensive remote physical exam and diagnosis solution beyond video.
  • XR Therapeutics – A unique virtual reality treatment which combines traditional Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) with Virtual Reality (VR).

The programme will include:

  • Providing a named support lead within the AHSN network.
  • Co-developing the value proposition.
  • Reviewing business cases and associated evidence to-date and co-developing a localised business strategy.
  • Co-creating a narrative for adoption of the solutions across the north of England.
  • Promoting the solutions to key decision makers via NHS-focused virtual events in the north of England.
  • Publicising the solutions through the AHSN Network.

Read our brochure to find out more about the programme.

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