Practical advice for digital health innovators

“We have been tremendously busy over the last three days at the GIANT Health Event,” writes Programme Director Yinka Makinde, in her blog detailing the marathon ride of hosting 49 expert speakers, and delivering knowledge and insights to a mixed audience of innovators, investors and clinicians with an appetite to learn how to navigate the NHS.

We pulled together a star line-up, covering topics such as finding opportunities across care settings, working with charities, developing winning value propositions, navigating the evidence maze, and achieving accelerated access. Our speakers also held detailed sessions on “nuts and bolts” topics, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the NHS digital tools library process; FIHR and interoperability, MHRA and safety regulation, and procurement frameworks. We also heard about the latest research on the evidence that exists to support the value of digital health, interspersed with some lively entrepreneur panels showcasing some of our current and former Accelerator companies – MedCrowd, Skin AnalyticsInsource, LiveWell, SmartMed, and Infinity Health.

Some of the highlights for me were learning that there are in fact, 571 published RCTs (randomised controlled trials) available to prove that digital health interventions work. A compelling thesis presented by Brian Clancy from IQVIA. Anne Bruinvels, OWise and Dr Lloyd Humphries, Patients Know Best, shared their first-hand experiences of getting through the NHS Digital Tools library process. Joel Glover, Department of Health led an honest debate about the challenges of NHS procurement, but offered some practical advice to innovators. Many innovators don’t get access to the right advice, early enough in their journey, about the key elements needed to build a compelling value proposition. Well, the team from NIHR London IVD Co-operative (formerly the Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative or DEC) and Andy Orlowski from Imperial College Health Partners shed some much needed light on this with some top tips for audience members. I was blown away hearing how three charities: Asthma UK; British Heart Foundation and Autistica, are each taking a proactive approach to collaborating with digital health innovators. We can’t thank our NHS England and NHS colleagues Dr Harpreet Sood, Dr Gurpreet Singh and Dr Indra Joshi, enough for sharing their perspectives on the opportunities for innovators in secondary care; primary care and mental health respectively. There are too many highlights to mention. But on a final note, delegates were treated to hearing directly from Dr Lawrence Petalidis on how he has achieved significant success in helping innovators to secure business with the NHS.

We take a huge amount of pleasure and pride in being able to bring this valuable knowledge to as many stakeholders as possible, and we are forever grateful to those of you reading this blog, who continue to support Digitalhealth.London, generously. What humbles me, is appreciating that the ‘ecosystem’ we are trying to build around digital health in London is as a direct result of the contributions of time and expertise made freely by individuals like these, time and time again.


Also in November we were delighted to have launched our collaboration with RYSE Asset Management to provide an Early Stage Opportunity Fund for digital health innovators. This is truly an exciting opportunity both for us at Digitalhealth.London, and for start-ups and SMEs who need a boost to secure the next phase of their growth. You can find more details about the opportunity here. Deadline for applications is the 18 January 2018.

We hosted our last 5x5x5 pitch event of the calendar year. This one was a sell-out, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. We heard pretty compelling pitches from Lysa, Birdie Care,11Derma, Lacuna Health, and Megalist (who won the night). Thanks to a fabulous performance from our ‘dragons’, Pam Garside and Jason Foster, on the night, with sound advice given to each of the companies pitching. We are pleased to see a rise in the number of NHS clinicians attending this event. We’ll be back with 5x5x5 in February 2018.

As we enter the festive season, we will continue to be on hand and available for those of you who wish to find out more information about applying for the Early Stage Opportunity Fund; the Digital Pioneer Fellowship (for NHS colleagues); or to express interest in applying for cohort 3 of the Accelerator.

Have a great month.