After closing an investment round earlier this month, Accelerator company Innerstrength Health have announced that they have won a prestigious Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)/NHS England contract to develop a solution which could reduce the burden of care on children and young people living with long-term conditions. After an extremely competitive process, Innerstrength Health was selected to develop Hacka Health, which promotes independence and helps young people manage their often burdensome daily routines of treatments.
Initially focused on supporting young people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), with plans to extend to other conditions, Hacka Health is being developed with the help and input of young people living with CF, their families and various health professionals currently working in the field.
Innerstrength Health’s co-founder, CEO and former physiotherapist, Avril Copeland explains that Hacka Health is “an integrated online platform which enables a patient’s healthcare team to extend their care beyond the clinic. It provides a tool which allows them to provide personalised exercise prescriptions, education and treatments to their patients, delivering them with the touch of a button directly to the young person’s smartphone.” The Hacka Health patient app enables the young person to receive their programme and manage their daily treatment routines, making them more effective, efficient and engaging.
‘’Parents and guardians can utilise the parent/guardian dashboard, giving them oversight and comfort that their child is completing their treatment,” says Avirl. “For the healthcare teams, they can now view their patient’s progress and adherence between visits, eliminating the traditional patient reported ‘snapshot view’ which is recorded every few months when a patient is back in clinic.The ultimate goal of this technology is to reduce the impact that living with a long-term condition has on a young person’s daily life, their education and their engagement with peers.”
The NHS England contract to develop Hacka Health is being facilitated by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), an organisation which provides funding for SMEs to develop technology solutions which meet an identified clinical need within the NHS.
The programme allows select companies to accelerate their products’ introduction to front-line healthcare services so that they can start benefiting patients as soon as possible. This programme selected five companies and gave them a shared fund of £3.1 million to advance their product development.
Commenting on winning the contract, Avril said; ‘’this is a huge step forward for Innerstrength Health and we are immensely proud to be awarded this contract. The SBRI Healthcare programme has a track record of selecting companies which have the potential to make a real difference to lives of patients worldwide. The SBRI programme has not only enabled us to work closely with young people and their families, it has also enabled us to partner with world class experts, such as Ms. Sarah Rand, senior researcher at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London and another Irish physiotherapist, who has been leading the way in researching new and effective ways to support young people living with Cystic Fibrosis.”
Notes to editors:
- Innerstrength Health was founded by physiotherapist Avril Copeland and expert technologist Greg Balmer. Greg, previously Chief Architect at Mapflow, has developed numerous innovative software systems which have been scaled and sold worldwide. Innerstrength Health have made significant strides in digital healthcare with their first product, TickerFit, a platform that allows health professionals to prescribe, monitor and analyse programmes of personalised education and physical activity to patients at risk of, or recovering from, cardiac related conditions, such as after a heart attack or heart failure.
- SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare is an NHS England funded programme that provides funding 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 NHS, focusing on specific areas recognised as important 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.