The digital arm of the governments Innovate UK agency has launched a competition in which five healthcare technology entrepreneurs could win a share of £175,000 and receive backing from Bupa, Toshiba and Jamie Oliver.
Maintaining healthcare for UK citizens
Funded by IC Tomorrow, Innovate UK is searching for five individuals or startups who are trying to tackle major health challenges, including mental health problems, nutrition and improved healthcare for the elderly.
The government predicts that by 2030, there will be 20 million elderly people living in Britain, so making sure that its citizens are healthy is a top priority.
‘‘Maintaining the psychological health and wellbeing of our working population is one of the biggest challenges facing Britain today,’’ stated Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare.
‘‘The health technology revolution offers the chance to make a big difference and, as a result, we are delighted to support Innovate UK’s Quantified Self contest that will encourage a new generation of technology developers to bring healthcare into the hands of working age people.’’
‘Enormous growth for UK healthcare’
With devices like the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear helping people lead healthier lifestyles, the government is hoping to leverage innovative technology in order to improve its private and public healthcare services.
Entrepreneurs can enter into 5 separate categories which are backed by the likes of AXA, Toshiba and Jamie Oliver:
- Re-imagining data capture: Bupa
- Improved wellbeing in later life: Saga
- Quantified nutrition: Jamie Oliver
- Self-tracking for young people: Toshiba
- Emotional wellbeing in working age: AXA PPP healthcare
Jamie Oliver got involved with the project after filming a documentary about sugar’s contribution towards type 2 diabetes and other major health problems.
‘‘The interest around quantified self has grown remarkably in the last few years and it could prove to be an enormous growth area for UK businesses, creating new markets and boosting productivity,’’ explained Matt Sansam, lead technologist, digital economy and programme manager for IC tomorrow, who added that the UK has only just scratched the surface with healthcare technology.
‘‘Once we can harness the huge amount of data that people are already sharing on their devices, there will be significant benefits in earlier health diagnostics and improved wellbeing. We look forward to seeing the new ideas that entrepreneurs can bring to this space.’’
Full information on the contest, click here. The deadline is open until the 27th October. Successful applicants will be able to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
Winners of the event will be able to keep 100 per cent of their intellectual property and receive expert mentorship and promotion to help bring their products to life in a pre-commercial trial. Each of the five winners will also receive up to £35,000 worth of funding.