Mental health and technology in surgery

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New SBRI Healthcare competitions launched by NHS England in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to find innovative new products and services.

The projects will be selected primarily on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered for patients.  Successful applicants can receive up to £100,000 for feasibility projects at phase 1 and up to a further £1 million for phase 2 for more detailed development of solutions that match the needs of the NHS.

The two competitions are being run alongside each other.

Mental health problems account for a quarter of ill health in the UK and have an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year.

More and more people are needing specialist mental health services, and there are pressures on services to meet demand with the appropriate level of care and to reach all people needing treatment.

There are 3 categories under this theme:

  • children and young people’s mental health, including identifying mental health issues early and ways of helping children to stay in education
  • depression, self-harm and suicide, including technologies that could be used to alleviate depression and self-harm and prevent suicide
  • new models of care, including ways of sharing data between mental health service providers

The number of surgical admissions increased from 3.7 million in 2003/04 to 4.7 million in 2013/14. Waiting times for non-urgent surgery are on the rise. There was a 39% increase in the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for planned treatment in the 12 months to February 2017.

The NHS is interested in technologies that can help surgeons to carry out their work better and more cost effectively. There are two categories:

  • pre-operative surgical simulation technologies, including ways in which surgeons could be better informed or practice in advance use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics
  • technologies to help with surgical procedures, including technologies to improve decision-making or reduce the cost of surgery and robots to carry out some procedures

The competitions are open to single companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities. Full details can be found here.

The competition closes 12 pm on 29 November 2017.