Digital health accelerator looks to respond to Covid-19

An accelerator programme aimed at helping digital health innovators navigate the NHS in the Yorkshire and Humber region, is open for applications from start-ups that have developed innovations or products as a response to COVID-19.

The programme, Propel@YH is in its second year and looks to build upon the success of the inaugural cohort which raised significant investment, created jobs, numerous research collaborations, and the creagenerated several new digital services, by supporting 10 start-up digital health innovators.

The new cohort was originally due to take place earlier this year however the March process was suspended due to lockdown. This time it is looking for start-ups that have developed innovations or products as a response to COVID-19 – from tackling the spread of the virus to assisting the most vulnerable and targeting health inequalities or enabling effective home-based care.

The six month scheme which is run by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) alongside its partners including the University of Leeds’ innovation hub, Nexus, and Barclays Eagle Lab, will provide research and innovation expertise and business support respectively. Leeds City Council will also be supporting the programme. Alongside the new partners, Hill Dickinson will return as legal partners.

Previous cohorts include Digibete, a multi-award-winning video platform to improve the lives of those living with Type 1 Diabetes, AI solution Scaled Insights and SmartER, a solution model that revolutionises the delivery of front-line emergency medicine and changes the patient journey.

Neville Young, Director of Enterprise and Innovation for the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said: “COVID has changed, and will continue to change, our health and care system completely and it is important that the NHS and other health providers have the tools in place to allow them to adapt to the new ways of working. Because of this, we have decided this year’s programme should focus on supporting solutions which focus in particular on COVID and the wider implications of the virus.

“This is the second time we’ve been able to offer this great opportunity for innovative digital and data driven health companies to access a raft of support specifically tailored to their needs and equip them with the knowledge and contacts to drive their businesses forward. Key to the success of this program are the great digital assets we have in the Yorkshire and Humber region in terms of infrastructure, skills and data itself.”

Applications are open all summer and will close on 24th September..