Opportunity for innovator to develop Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) self-testing device in partnership with NHS

Opportunity for innovator to develop Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) self-testing device in partnership with NHS

Posted on February 11

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A search is underway for an innovation partner to develop a device allowing patients to self-test for Prostate Specific Antigens (PSA) within a home or community setting. 

PSA testing measures the amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood, patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer need to closely monitor their levels. This is a joint project between Health Network North, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, supported by the Northern Cancer Alliance.

The closing date for applications is Friday 25 March 2022. 

Submit expression of interest.

A launch event hosted by the lead clinician for this project, Dr Darren Leaning is on Thursday 17 February 2022, 12.30pm – 1.30pm, where there will be an opportunity to ask any questions. Contact Christine Jordan to attend.

Innovators from all backgrounds including businesses, individuals, universities, NHS teams or charities who are interested in forming collaborations to develop solutions, are encouraged to apply. The successful applicant will work with the lead clinician and a cohort of the patient population to co-develop a prototype. It is intended to progress the project beyond the prototype stage following a robust research evaluation process. The successful applicant will be supported by the AHSN NENC team.


  • In England, around one in eight men get prostate cancer

  • Currently, patients are often required to attend six-monthly Secondary Healthcare Oncology Services for routine monitoring. The majority are well and do not otherwise need to see a healthcare professional. Self-testing (similar to finger prick self-tests for people with diabetes to check blood glucose levels), could prevent unnecessary clinic visits and hospital stays could be avoided

  • The solution would help to solve an unmet need within the NHS in an area which would have a great benefit to the patient population and the NHS 

  • There is a clear market opportunity for such a device within the NHS

What are we looking for?

  1. A device (potentially a finger prick test) which can used for self-testing to measure a patient’s PSA levels

  2. The ability to communicate test results with a central point (hub/clinic) in order for the patient to receive advice and appropriate instructions. For example, this could be done by utilising the Health Call Solutions digital pathway

  3. The device must have the ability to interact with third party systems using secure, standards-based messaging i.e. API, HL7v2 or FHIR standards

Any questions?

If you have any questions or would like an informal discussion about the opportunity, support available, or Intellectual Property (IP) protection or processes, contact the AHSN NENC project team.

AHSN NENC project team: 

If you have analytical or technical queries please direct to:

  • Hazel Borthwick, Consultant Clinical Biochemist, County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust: borthwick@nhs.net

If you have clinical enquiries please direct to:

  • Dr Darren Leaning: leaning@nhs.net – Darren is the lead clinician on this project and is a consultant in the Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

The deadline for applications is Friday 25th March 2022. Applications will be reviewed and those shortlisted will be invited to present to a panel of industry experts.

Submit expression of interest 

Health Network North is a partnership between the AHSN NENC and Innovation Super Network.