The Innovation Agency (AHSN for the North West Coast) has been supporting the delivery of the European Bridgehead programme, currently working with companies from nine European countries, providing a wide range of tailored market access support and engagement with health system decision makers. Multiple AHSNs throughout the network have also been engaged to advise these companies where appropriate.
The programme provides European start-ups and scale-ups with individualised support in expanding beyond their home market.
Participation at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo 2019 provided an ideal platform for Bridgehead companies to interact with NHS Leaders, buyers and commissioners. Comprehensive visits to the UK for companies involved have also been arranged with full programmes of meetings with key opinion leaders, researchers, clinical staff, support organisations and investors.
The following range of support is provided by the Innovation Agency through the Bridgehead Programme:
- System engagement with key opinion leaders, decision makers and influencers as well as the research infrastructure supporting companies to navigate the complex healthcare landscape;
- Value proposition development - helping each company demonstrate a clear understanding the needs of target decision makers, the problem(s) that the company intends to solve, as well as support to generate the necessary evidence that will support future claims that the solution performs better than the alternatives;
- Business case development - supporting each company to develop the correct structure and format so that each is able to effectively demonstrate a clear rationale, the benefits to patients and the provider organisation, as well as demonstrate financial effectiveness and affordability of their technology, product or service;
- Regulatory support - providing access to advice to enable each company to develop strategies to secure access in the UK market by understanding the complex nature of regulatory affairs and compliance matters relating to healthcare products and services;
- Evaluation planning - supporting each company with protocol design to collect both qualitative and quantitative data during evaluation to report performance, isolate the effects of a product / service from other influences – resulting in credible metrics and ROI reports accepted by financial executives and other stakeholders;
- Procurement advice - supporting each company to develop a full understanding of how NHS procurement selection processes work, what commissioning authorities are looking for in a supplier and how evolving regulations provide clearer opportunities;
- Reimbursement advice by helping each company to understand different approaches to payment and incentives, how they function in the English NHS and the challenges and opportunities they pose to each company.
The AHSN has also secured additional funding from EIT Health to provide additional support to a select group of Bridgehead companies that will enable them to further accelerate market access by providing access to their network of technical and clinical experts, EHR enabled study capabilities and NIHR Real World Evaluation Sites to validate the impact of their technology in real world (practical) healthcare settings.
The following companies are being supported through the Bridgehead programme:
MODE Sensors: Mode Vivo is the first clinical-grade sensor patch system for early detection and prevention of dehydration.
CoNurse Guideline Adherence and Management System: A voice-guided application for improving quality and reducing avoidable medical errors and patient harm in hospital settings.
Eodyne : Neuro-rehabilitation Gaming System: a science-based treatment for effective recovery after brain damage.
QT Robot: A social humanoid robot that combines the latest advancements in the robotics technology and evidence based educational content to make autism training effective available and affordable.
Sensius HyperCollar3D: - A Hyperthermia treatment for head-and-neck cancer patients developed at the Erasmus Medical Centre Cancer Centre.
eHTA WIVI Vision: a digital platform for the assessment and treatment tool for children visual dysfunctions personalised for each user and the specialist based on immersive Clinical 3D and AI algorithms.
Qubiotech Neurocloud Platform: an online platform designed to host an ecosystem of fully automatic and clinically validated quantification and diagnostic tools that provide quantitative and visual information of PET, SPECT and MRI images in few minutes, allowing integration within the clinical workflow.
Sleepiz: a medical Device and software solution for the non-contact measurement and analysis of human vital signs to diagnose sleep apnoea at a patient’s home without having to attach any physical sensors or wires to the patient’s body.
Vitadio: a programme that helps Diabetes Type 2 patients permanently reduce weight, maintain proper blood sugar levels and return to an active life using data-driven high-touch lifestyle interventions.
LactApp: a mobile breastfeeding and maternity app powered by AI and which provides expert, confidential and personalised breastfeeding advice with 76,000 possible advice paths providing more than 2,300 answers, the application autonomously resolves more than 35,000 weekly queries worldwide on a personalised basis.
MOWOOT: the first Intermittent Colonic Exo-persitalsis device on the market: a class IIa medical device (CE) providing a non-pharmacological, non-invasive solution for patients with chronic constipation.
Lifeguard: a digital platform for organisations who want to address the health challenges of their workforce due to obesity, stress and inactive life styles and help their employees become healthier.
Psious: a VR platform for mental health therapy. VR allows therapists to expose patients to situations in a controlled way and therapy can be delivered in person and remotely to offer the patient choice.
HandInScan: a medical device focusing on the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAI). The Semmelweis Scanner examines what areas are covered on the hands after regular hand disinfection with a hand rub. It also provides immediate quality-assured feedback regarding hand hygiene.