EIT Health opens applications for 2020 Headstart programme, NHS Arden & GEM CSU wins £1.4M contract, and more news briefs

Also: Number of registered users for the NHS App increases following launch of staff-facing campaign; Doctorlink appoints new chief executive.
By Leontina Postelnicu
09:21 am
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EIT Health. EU-backed healthcare collaboration network EIT Health announced in December that it awarded nearly €6 million in funding to startups working to improve the diagnosis and treatment of conditions including heart disease and Parkinson’s. Over 100 early stage companies and SMEs from 14 countries in Europe received a grant last year to further their growth through the EIT Health Headstart programme, and applications are now open for the 2020 edition.

“The quality of submissions across all the local offices was outstanding this year [2019] and it’s clear to see Europe’s brightest health innovators are disseminated widely across the continent and not confined to a handful of regions,” said Salvatore Demelas, the programme's project manager.

“It is hugely exciting that we are able to support a wide expanse of healthcare challenges with the funding, from innovations using the latest in health technology to find solutions that are cost-effective, time-effective and often completely new to the market.”


NHS. NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands (GEM) Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) has entered a two-year contract to provide business intelligence, claims management and data management services for the NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). With an estimated value of £1.4m, the contract was awarded following a tender process run through the Health Systems Support Framework last year.

“The service forms a key building block to the CCG’s approach to population health management,” said Elke Taylor, the CCG's acting chief finance officer. “This approach supports the local health and care system’s strategic priorities of helping people stay healthy, improving the quality of care, providing more care closer to people’s homes, improving clinical results and ensuring services are sustainable for the future.”


Apps. The number of people registered to use the NHS App in England has doubled since the beginning of September, NHS Digital said on Monday (6 January), following the launch of an ambassador scheme engaging frontline clinicians.

“NHS staff play an important role in telling people about the NHS App and supporting them to use it,” said Tara Donnelly, chief digital officer for NHSX. “Our intention is to encourage NHS staff to help people to understand the choices available. This will mean that some people choose to use another tool instead of, or alongside, the NHS App. This might be an app they have used previously on a longstanding basis or one that provides an additional service that better meets their particular needs.”


Appointments. UK-headquartered Doctorlink, maker of an online symptom assessment platform, has appointed Rupert Spiegelberg as chief executive. According to an announcement from December, Spiegelberg will focus on driving the global expansion of the platform, building on their work with the NHS in the UK. 

“Our success in the NHS has shown that Doctorlink's platform is head and shoulders above the competition and we are excited to be rolling this technology out globally. The benefits in improving patient access to healthcare, shortening waiting times and helping NHS England to save costs makes it a very compelling proposition for primary healthcare providers and insurers,” Spiegelberg said in a statement.