Spotlight on our local innovation community

Eastern AHSN showcase innovations to senior NHS figures

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Published: 17th March 2022

Presenting our innovation-ready region

A group of health leaders from the NHS visited the region this week to see for themselves how health innovation in the East of England has the potential to benefit both local and national populations.

The team wanted to meet some of the innovators behind new technologies and services that are being piloted, evaluated and adopted across health and care systems in the region by Eastern AHSN to support the NHS with its post-pandemic recovery.

We showcased eight technology-enabled innovations which will support the NHS in its priorities of addressing the elective care backlog, facilitating earlier diagnosis and reducing the health inequalities across the country which have increased since Covid.

These included an innovative Joint Working partnership project brokered by Eastern AHSN between Suffolk Primary Care (Suffolk PC) and AstraZeneca to pilot Liberate Pro and CareDoctR to manage long-term conditions more effectively within primary care.

The group also had the opportunity to see a novel innovation to support the early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer, developed at the University of Cambridge, in use. Cytosponge is a small capsule attached to a string which allows cells to be easily collected from the oesophagus (gullet or food pipe) to be analysed for any abnormalities. Another cancer-related innovation on show was Neutrocheck, designed to enable people with symptoms to test for neutropenic sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of chemotherapy at home using a finger-prick test.

The group were particularly impressed by our work with Just One Norfolk, which Eastern AHSN have supported since its inception in 2017.  This is a multimedia educational initiative which empowers Norfolk parents to support the health and wellbeing of their children. The site has become a hugely valued community resource which supplements the traditional professional contacts provided by health visitors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Matt Whitty, Chief Executive, Accelerated Access Collaborative and Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences, NHS England and NHS Improvement commented;

“Through research and innovation, we can improve patient outcomes and reduce health inequalities and so it is important to celebrate and spotlight their impact. It’s a great pleasure to visit Eastern AHSN and meet those teams helping get some of the NHS’s most promising healthcare innovations to patients faster.”

Piers Ricketts, Chief Executive of Eastern AHSN, commented:

“The Eastern region is home to some of the greatest science and the most brilliant health and care practitioners in the world. It was great to profile some of the innovations from our region and how we are working with our partners to make an impact for patients. Everyone at Eastern AHSN is very proud of our work and it was a pleasure to share our progress on the ground with our national colleagues.”

If you want to learn about any of the projects featured, get in touch.

Eastern AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) is funded by the NHS and the Office for Life Sciences to bring together academia, citizens, health services and industry to realise the value of innovations more quickly. Our focus is the East of England, but we are part of a national network which enables us to deliver at scale.

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