The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), through SBRI Healthcare, has awarded £6 million to 18 innovations that will help improve patient care and save money while also making the NHS greener.

Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN) is proud to have supported three of these innovators, including Definition Health, Open Medical and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.

Climate change threatens the foundations of good health and has direct consequences for patients, the public and the NHS. Globally, over 13 million people die each year due to avoidable environmental causes. As highlighted recently in the Chief Medical Officer’s report, air pollution alone accounts for up to 38,000 deaths a year in the UK and also causes increased cases of asthma, cancer and heart disease.

Without accelerated action, there will be increases in the intensity of heatwaves, more frequent storms and flooding, and increased spread of infectious diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis and vibriosis.

The awarded projects for these innovators include:

  • Definition Health Ltd has been awarded £99,788 – Carbon reduction through a personalised surgical journey. The study’s aim is to use the Total Digital Surgery Platform in a pilot of Orthopaedic surgery at University Hospitals Sussex to digitise the entire patient pathway from first referral to discharge. This will create ‘Green Patients’ whose new pathway is predominantly digital, allowing carbon reduction at each patient touchpoint.
  • Open Medical Ltd awarded £798,923 – SurgiCare NetZero – Delivering a Net Zero NHS. As an environmentally sustainable waiting list management tool, SurgiCare is set to diminish the carbon footprint of elective surgeries in the UK. Remote patient assessments, digital consent and paperless outcome reporting features reduce patient travel and the ensuing carbon emissions, while the sustainability add-on features raise environmental awareness within healthcare.
  • Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) – awarded £92,984 – Sustainability in Quality Improvement (SusQI) commercialisation project: Net Zero Is In Your Hands. SusQI products measure the health outcomes of a service against its environmental, social and economic costs. Through commercialisation, more clinicians will be upskilled to use SusQI, influence more clinical pathways and reduce the environmental impacts of clinical decisions.

SBRI Healthcare is an AAC initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England, delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

Matt Whitty, CEO of the AAC, said “The SBRI Healthcare awards help the NHS to develop new technologies and solutions to address some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society. We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to patients while also helping to achieve a net zero NHS. By supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients’ needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

Kathy Scott, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and Chair for the AHSN Network Environmental Sustainability Community of Interest, said “The climate emergency is also a healthcare emergency. To work with the NHS it’s crucial that innovators put sustainability at the heart of their innovations. The AHSNs are helping innovators to consider the impact of their innovations on the environment right from the start of their journeys, and to understand how to work with, and in, the NHS. It’s encouraging to see such a diverse mix of companies awarded funding through SBRI Healthcare and we look forward to working with them in support of patients.”

Full details of all of the awardees are detailed in the SBRI Healthcare news announcement.