West Midland Academic Health Science Network

The WMAHSN is looking to work with start-ups on emerging healthcare technologies which improve patient outcomes and generate economic benefit for the West Midlands.

While many industries have embraced digital working, healthcare has yet to fully capitalise on the opportunities offered. WMAHSN is seeking to spread the use of existing technologies and work with partners to develop new tools and services which have the potential to save lives, improve the health of the population, create wealth and make the West Midlands the UK’s first truly digital health economy.

Opportunities to work with WMAHSN are represented in the following challenges. If none of the below relate to your start-up, please apply by selecting ‘Other Great Idea’ on the application form.

Challenge One: Mental Health Crisis Care

How can digital tools support people at risk of mental health crisis, including:

  • Using data to predict when a crisis is likely to occur
  • Alerting service users, carers and professionals when risks of crisis are elevated
  • Providing tools to service users to maintain their mental well-being
  • Innovations that signpost users and professionals to the most appropriate services
  • New ways for users to interact with care professionals

Challenge Two: Data Analytics to Support Better Mental Health and Care

How can the NHS make better use of data to improve mental well-being, drive improvement in delivering supporting services and optimise user experience and outcomes? Questions that are not currently well answered include:

  • How do these things vary? (i.e. time of the day, week, year or geographically)
  • What will things be like next year given all the other dependent, linked or independent changes that we know will happen?
  • How do differences affect outcomes? (i.e. activity, demographics)
  • How can we adapt to improve the care system?

Innovations should deliver a combination of:

  • Better clinical and well-being outcomes
  • Improved satisfaction with services
  • Better work satisfaction for professionals
  • More effective use of resources; prioritising and future-proofing service models
  • Financial savings for providers and commissioners

While WMAHSN is not tied to any particular model, effective innovations are likely to involve smart mobile device applications and/or web based tools.

Challenge Three: Make a Difference to People with Diabetes through Medicine Optimisation

Diabetes expenditure is approximately 10% of the national NHS budget, with the West Midlands spending £94 million on diabetes prescriptions between April 2012 and March 2013. There is also a wide variation in the achievement of good clinical outcomes for patients with diabetes. Medicine optimisation can mitigate this by focusing on patients and their experiences; encouraging patients to take ownership of their treatment. WMAHSN is seeking innovations which will:

  • Support clinicians in transforming the value that people with diabetes derive from their medicines in terms of health outcomes, within the current financial framework
  • Support individuals in understanding and developing their own ability to ‘make a difference’ in this context
  • Change mind-sets and develop transformation skills to enable people with a healthcare delivery to ensure better use of medicines to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes

Challenge Four: Other Great Idea

If you have a start-up that you would like to pitch to WMAHSN which does not relate to any of the above challenges, you still have an opportunity to apply by selecting ‘Other Great Idea’.