The health and social care sector is at the forefront of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare and technology businesses across the UK have been pivotal in supporting national efforts to tackle the virus and support NHS staff and patients. Investment and support for this growing sector has never been so crucial.
Figures now released show that the AHSN Network has generated almost £500 million inward investment for our nation during the past two years (2018- 2020), and that close to 2000 jobs have been created or protected during this time. The latest round of company surveys conducted by the AHSN Network show remarkable progress in the health innovation sector.
Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London said: “DigitalHealth.London is a collaboration of three London AHSNs and MedCity. We are delighted to be part of this wider network that is delivering economic growth across the country and much needed transformation to our health and care system. In London, our flagship Accelerator programme supports 20 digital health companies each year and makes a significant contribution to these national statistics.”
Commenting on the new figures, Nicola Hutchinson, Innovation Exchange and Economic Growth Director for the AHSN Network said: “The value of health innovation has never been so evident than it is now. The dynamic way many companies we work with have been able to grow and work with health and care providers has been inspiring. I am extremely proud of our AHSN teams across the country who have played a vital role in delivering transformation of key NHS services and pathways. Every day our teams support health innovators from idea to implementation, so that they can in turn support our NHS staff and improve the lives of patients.
“In this difficult economic climate, it is more important than ever to provide the right kind of guidance to companies who can prosper and help our nation to recover from this crisis.”
Healthy.io is one such company. Having turned the smartphone camera into a regulatory approved clinical device, they have attracted over £50 million in investment during 2019/20 alone, with ongoing support from nine AHSNs around the country plus the NHS Innovation Accelerator.
Katherine Ward, Chief Commercial Officer, Managing Director UK and Europe, Healthy.io said: “Primary and secondary care settings are under extreme pressure, and our technology can help significantly reduce pressure on limited NHS resources. The support the AHSN network gives to diffusing innovation at scale is helping us ensure more patients who require urgent attention can be managed and treated rapidly.”
The AHSN Network works closely with a huge range of companies, helping them to adapt quickly and respond to NHS needs in the most effective way – for example, in the early days of the pandemic the Network was able to quickly curate a database of over 350 proven technologies that could be interrogated against COVID-19 challenge areas.
Since 2018, the AHSNs have supported 5145 companies, entering into 322 long term strategic partnerships. Investment in this work is now showing impressive results. The AHSN Network’s positive contribution to ‘UK PLC’ far exceeds the £13 million annual funding received from the Office of Life Sciences for their economic growth commission, with impacts growing year on year.
In a recently published independent evaluation, the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator was found to be ‘excellent value for money’, for more information please visit here.