Yinka’s blog: Supporting growth, building NHS capability and shaping London’s digital future

Supporting growth in the sector

2018 has started strongly for DigitalHealth.London with the highlight being the RYSE Early Stage Opportunity Fund call, which has allowed us to broaden our signposting capabilities in being able to direct digital health companies, with compelling propositions towards a source of funding with our partners RYSE Asset Management. We are still in the midst of evaluating proposals from the 109 strong applications received. The level of response signals that there is a hunger in the market place for investment at the seed level – £250K – £400K mark. We are proud to be in a position to help facilitate access to this. In the coming months, we’ll share more on the insights gained from this engagement.

Building a ‘capable’ NHS workforce

On the 17 January we hosted the last NHS Masterclass in the series for the financial year, together with the NHS London Leadership Academy. It was well received. The topic: ‘Getting smart with data driven healthcare’ which navigated an audience of around 60 through presentations that explored the use of big data in an A&E setting: a project led by Brunel University with Hillingdon Hospitals NHS FT; and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare planning in the NHS. The sights of our audience were expanded beyond the realms of health, to take learning from other sectors and cities. Examples included:  1) Copenhagen Wheel: commuter bicycles with sensors that enable Copenhagen to crowdsource air pollution and noise quality data, (potential application n prevention for asthma and COPD sufferers). 2) Underworlds: smart sewers with sensors to drive public health strategies. 3) McLaren F1: Shared with the audience the companies’ big data evolution, reinforcing that it’s a journey, not a race (excuse the pun). We have been privileged to have supported the NHS London Leadership Academy in kicking off its first ever ‘Digital Leadership’ series of masterclasses, and look forward to an ongoing collaboration.

Continuing on the theme of masterclasses and capability building, as we all know, transformation, be it digital or not, does not happen without people. Collectively, our investment in the people of the NHS needs to equal or exceed that of the technology we expect them to implement to transform services and care. That is why over the last couple of months we have been scouting the NHS for candidates for our NHS Digital Pioneer Fellowship 2018. A year long programme that aims to mobilise a workforce of NHS clinicians and professionals to be better able to influence, problem solve and achieve adoption of digital health interventions within their health care organisations.  Find out more about it here.

Helping to shape London’s digital strategy

For our London based readers, it’s an exciting time for London’s broader ‘digital’ ambition to become “the world’s leading ‘Smart City’ – with digital technology and data at the heart of making the capital an even better place to live, work and invest”. With a focus on data, city wide collaboration and growth. Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, now in his 100th day of being in post has gotten things off to a great start with a Smart London Listening Exercise, which seeks to hear the views and canvas feedback from a broad range of London based business and civil stakeholders. Keep up to date with progress on this here.  DigitalHealth.London is delighted to have been involved in these discussions thus far, and we look forward to a growing opportunity to ensure the voice of the health care sector is hear and well represented.

Helping to shape the way industry and the NHS work together

Today I had the privilege of participating at the DeepMind Health Collaborative Listening Summit. An opportunity together with a mix of NHS, citizen, patient and digital health stakeholders – to explore in some detail, and respond to some searching questions about what guiding principles should be defined to dictate how the digital health and more broadly, tech industry, should work with the NHS going forward. An important conversation to be having at a time when we are trying to reconcile the need for pace in innovation with the issues around public responsibility, security and ethics.

The month ahead

February will channel more of our efforts into the final phase of the RYSE Early Stage Opportunity; the launch of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Cohort 3 applications; the launch of the UK Israel Dangoor Healthcare Initiative (stay tuned for more on this!). As well as preparations for both our Digital Pioneer Fellowship 2018 programme launch and the DigitalHealth.London/collaborate 2018 Summit. Look out for Yinka Makinde and James Somauroo at the upcoming TechUK and Department for International Trade event on the 5 February titled ‘Digital Health Opportunities in the UK’. Livestream access is available. Till then, have a great February.